The Sun Garden Front Yard Master Plan

The Retirement Garden Project rolls on, every day new plants coming back to life after the winter. On Monday I told you about the history. Wednesday we reviewed the current state of the garden. Today I will bring you the first installment of the Master Plan. 

Front Yard

Beautiful aged compost, all over the place, and the boys working hard.

I had planned to do this all in one post, but I thought a scant two novel-length posts for the week was enough. Rest assured, there will be more gardening coming at you next week. For now, who wants to geek out on the garden planning with me? You even decide where we put the plants! This is going to be fun.

This abnormally warm late winter and spring we have been having, while possibly being a precursor to the apocalypse, is a boon for us right now. On Tuesday I was sweating while wearing shorts and a tank top and clearing and mulching the vegetable garden.

The ground is soft, so the weeds are coming out pretty easily, but boy are there a lot of them, and all up the perennials, too. We are still holding off on putting anything in the ground until the normal last frost date for Zone 5 here, just to be safe, but now there is plenty of time to prepare everything for planting.

Today’s post feature, the front yard, is a bright, cheery sun garden with fiery warm colors all around. The house is to the west, a massive sycamore on the parkway to the east, and to the north and south are just the neighbors’ yards, neither of which have trees in them to shade our yard.

Front Yard Project

Click for a larger view

What is pictured here is mostly what is already in place, as well as a couple of plants (like the Black-eyed Susans and Wallflowers) that still have to be planted/transplanted, but have a place set aside for them. As you can see, there is still plenty of area we have yet to fill in. Then there is the matter of bloom time – plants with short and staggered bloom times can be mixed together to extend the total bloom time of an area of garden.

These are the seeds we have for the front yard, yet to go in the ground

Keeping in mind height, bloom season and sunlight needs, where should we put all of these? Shout out your ideas down in the comments section. It’s like a puzzle!

For a little more inspiration, check out what the front yard was looking like last September just after the big push get the garden ready to bed down for the season.

Front Yard

The castor oil plant, perhaps 9 feet tall by then?

Front Yard

Distributing the beautiful compost. Papa Bear on the left, dad on the right. And there's the daylilies!

Front Yard

I cannot wait to see these beautifully shaped beds filled up with flowers.

Thanks for coming with me on this massive labor of love. Don’t forget to tell where you think I should plant all of the nomadic flowers I have not yet found homes for in the comments below!


  1. Andrea says:

    I love puzzles! Especially the plant kind, and boy was this a tricky one! After doing a bit of homework on plant height and bloom time I dragged it into Excel and color coded it and everything *blush* wow, so anyways… here’s what I came up with. Wait…is there a way I can import an image? Meh, I’ll just email it to you. Also, as lovely as they are, castor bean is extremely poisonous. Make sure baby bear steers clear of it.

    • Natalie Webb says:

      Oh my gosh, totally send it over! I’m bouncing with excitement, seriously I am. The lady who sold us the castor seedling last year let us know about that. Not too worried about the little one, she’s never been the putting random stuff in her mouth kind of kid. But anything you’re putting in your mouth, she will say ever so sweetly, “sharing is good.” Manipulative little monkey. Papa Bear and I cannot eat an unmolested meal.

      Can’t wait to see what you came up with! Now, when the hell do I plant? They say Mother’s Day for last frost in Zone 5, but with this year, who the hell knows.