I post a lot of photos of my backdoor container garden oasis, but not many of the front of the house. That prompted one reader to ask why. My answer is that I live in a rental, and the front of the house is a hot mess.

Someone long ago put down landscaping material and gravel…and since then, all sorts of plants have popped right through the “barrier.” There was a plum tree, a bunch of Chamisa and Morning Glories when I moved in, later I added a Spanish Broom and some grasses (as well as several herbs, onions and garlic in the area by the street). My landlady planted lots of Irises and Alliums. Each spring, Bachelor Buttons, Nigella and Larkspur show up on their own. Each summer, Cosmos appear. There is also Globe Mallow, Sage (which multiplies like crazy), Hollyhocks and Silkvine – none of which were invited as far as I know. Of course, there are also lots of weeds, mostly Dandelions and *^#@* Nightshade.

While I like many of those plants and flowers (especially the Cosmos), there’s no order, no planning and no theme to the front yard. I’m not willing to do much as a renter to change that. So like I said, it’s a mess. If I owned the house, I’d yank the gravel first (it makes weeding difficult) and then I’d plan a garden more appropriate for the high desert.

Still, I could do a little more than I had been. I’ve been so focused on the backdoor garden that I didn’t even bother with containers in the front. (I rarely even use the front door.)

Until now, that is.

I decided to do a little cleaning and planting for fall. It’s the least I could do – I mean, look how bad the front had been looking:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, front yard tangled mess

Those are mostly spent Nigella flowers that I had neglected to clean up. I also found a pigeon carcass by the steps (which illustrates how often I spend time there). Two of the containers have chipped paint, the metal container was rusted through. And I wondered how they could pass me up for the “House of the Month” award, haha!

(In fairness, just outside this shot, everything is ridiculously green – the Cosmos are making quite the comeback.)


I planted some purty flowers:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, front yard tangled mess

I cleared out much of the dead crap, although not all of it as it was about a million degrees outside. It’s a work in progress, but much improved. (The photo above was taken just after I hosed everything down.)

I particularly like the Rudbeckia and the Agastache together:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, front yard tangled mess

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, front yard tangled mess

So thanks, Ginny, for inspiring me to do better! When the Cosmos take off, I’ll update you on how the front looks.

What about you? Are there parts of your yard you like to pretend don’t exist?