One of the things we wanted to do when we moved to this house was to landscape the property somewhat. As I've said before, we couldn't plant acres of crops. On the contrary, we needed start small and build our way up, get to know the property and condition the soil. So, as we made our raised beds, we also kept in mind what we wanted to plant around the house so as to encourage bee propagation and bird watch (yes, I love to watch birds!)
This was how the house looked when we moved in:
It was very barren and the ground was covered with landscape pebbles.
We knew we wanted to embellish the property somewhat and create some shade as there weren't any trees around to help with natural cooling during the warm So Cal summers. So, we gathered ideas keeping in mind that we had lots of hills, lots of rocks and extreme temperatures. We therefore, needed plants that were not only hardy but were dual purpose as herbs and attractive to bees and other useful bugs. Color was very, very important to me and we wanted to add a deck to the front of the house to make it more welcoming.
Don't you just love Better Homes and Gardens?
Along the front of the house, we wanted to be able to utilize the landscape pebbles that were so prominent on the property so we gathered pictures like this one that showed the type of pebbles we have. This was a look we both really liked and it was do-able for us considering that we have limited landscaping experience.
Because our property has so many hills, we knew we needed to plant on them to help with erosion. This was, and still is my favorite picture of landscaping on a hill and try as I might, I'm just not able to nail this particular look or even come close. The problem is not only getting the watering system to work properly but the rodents have demolished just about everything I have planted. The only thing they didn't eat was the ice plant (that actually seems to be growing quite nicely). I didn't necessarily want our hill covered in ice plant. I find that a little dull. But, I will try and try again to get something going. I've planted more lavender and a few other rabbit resistant plants. *keeping fingers crossed*
Here is how the front is looking today. Not near as lovely as the above pictures but a good start. Once the plants get larger I think it will be a good show.
The bird feeders and sundial right in front of the kitchen window.
The lavender is growing like crazy as are the grasses and rose bushes. The roses are cut back for the winter but you can see they're already beginning to sprout again.
I planted some grasses for texture along with lavender (which, unfortunately, isn't blooming right now - not enough sun). I love the bamboo in winter. It turns this lovely red and although I planted a few of them, this one is the only one that's completely red. Interestingly enough, it's redder than my Japanese Maple! There are also rose bushes in between that I cut back for the winter. This spring, the front of the house should look pretty spectacular!