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Front Yard Project

Last year I spent a lot of time removing the grass from the front yard as the grass was not healthy and quite patchy in spots. We also didn’t want to have to mow a small bit of grass.

I’ve now finished my spring cleaning of this area by removing most of the leaves and debris that fell during our spring storms. Now it’s time to landscape and I’m having a wee bit of a problem visualizing what I want done. Truth be told, I’d like to have a very simple perennial shade garden with some spots of color — kind’ve Japanese style but with no pond although we have a drain in this area.

Front Yard

The two two-by-fours you see are lying across the drain and the area slopes too far down. I’d like to make a Japanese type bridge that will cross this drain, 4-5 feet long, but the area seems too low and I feel I need to regrade it somehow. Otherwise I’d have to have a pretty large bridge that will reach from one side to the other and I think it will be out of proportion to the yard.

Front Yard Drain

I’m wondering if I can bring in some cement blocks (like the ones on the front of the house in the picture below) then add more dirt to make the ground higher and add more rock. I’m just not sure if that will make it stable enough.

Front yard - 2nd view

On the positive side, I have found quite a few places that have Japanese bridge kits that I can purchase and have my husband build for me. I could do it myself but as I tell my husband “there are some things that men should do.” I tell him this, not because I think women can’t do certain jobs, but as incentive to have him help.  (laughing)  Hey! It usually works!

Any thoughts out there?

I’m hoping to put in a couple of small trees that will be deer resistent and shade tolerant  along with a few other perennial plants so all I have to worry about is leaf/debris cleaning next spring. I hear there is a nursery called Gerten’s in Inver Grove Heights that I can get a lot of my plants from. I’m hoping to make a trip there sometime soon.

Coral Coast Harrison 6-ft. Cedar Garden Bridge

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2 Comments

  1. Kathy

    A Japanese bridge would be great! Have you been to the Kuboto Garden in the South End (off Renton Ave. S)? They have at least a couple Japanese bridges–including a very cute red one! Go for red if you want it to stand out, but if you think it’s too big for the yard, you may want to go with natural color wood so it blends in. Good luck! See the Kuboto Gardens when you come to town.

    • Norma

      I have been to the Kuboto Gardens. I ordered the bridge “kit” yesterday and it should be here by Monday. Once it’s put together then I’ll lay it out and see how big it looks. I agree to paint it red but only if it doesn’t dominate the front yard. Thanks for the suggestions!

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