September 7, 2008

Front Yard Gardens

Sometimes the best place for a garden is in front of the house. When we had our architect draw up our house plans, we included the fence on the blueprints. From the beginning, we planned for gardens to be part of the overall home design. The single French doors across the front of the house provide views from the inside to the outside. The front porch provides a great space to transition from the interior to the exterior. It's a wonderful place to sit in the summer when it's totally shaded and cool.

Our house is south-facing and passive solar, so the summer sun is straight overhead. On a sunny, cold winter day, we can sit on the porch in our shirtsleeves as the sun is low in the sky and warms up the front of the house and stone porch. The wall to our garage forms an L-shape and protects both the house and the garden from the harsh western sun in the summer and winds in the winter. The house shelters the garden from the north. The morning sun shines on the front garden from the east. This creates a micro-climate. In our three years of living here, we've never seen frost on the plants closest to the front porch.

By the light of a full moon, the front garden takes on a magical quality. Although I use a color scheme that includes mostly blooms with blue undertones, a few yellow blooms here and there glow in the moonlight.

Sometimes, a small garden isn't enough. With each year, we've expanded our gardens to include paths and more places to sit and enjoy the outdoors. Whether starting from scratch like we did, or modifying existing outdoor spaces, there's nothing like a place to view the garden and enjoy quiet conversation.
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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