North-facing curbside makeover

While I enjoy taking 15-minute breaks from my desk during the week, the weekends are an opportunity to tackle larger projects.

My front garden is a small plot, roughly 9 x 7 metres, next to the driveway. It comprises a squarish lawn, with borders that are mostly planted with shrubs and conifers, and is enclosed by two beech hedges. I confess, the back garden gets a lot more attention, so I’ve decided to give the front a bit more TLC this year, starting with the curbside view.

There used to be a 1-foot strip of grass in between the front beech hedge and roadside curb, but over the years it has become more weed than grass. It needed a makeover, but being North facing and shaded by a tall beech hedge, the options were limited.

Curbside project before makeover
Before …

Spring colour

I decided to dig out the remaining patches of grass, and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of soil, although I extracted quite a few large stones and pieces of brick (now in a bucket in the shed, as they’ll be good drainage material at the bottom of pots).

I added some home-made compost to improve the structure of the soil, planted it with primroses, cowslips and some fill-in forget-me-nots (which were in plentiful supply from the back garden) and watered. I’ll need to keep watering, as it will get quite dry under that hedge.

Curbside planting
… after

I plan to lift and divide the primroses and cowslips in the coming years to populate the bed with more springtime plants. They should be a welcome early source of nectar for pollinators. I will add some spring bulbs in the autumn.

Primrose spring colour
Cowslip spring colour
The primroses and cowslips are already providing some spring colour

Summer colour needed

Any suggestions for summer colour would be very welcome, bearing in mind that the bed is North facing and shaded for much of the day (although it does get the sun in the mornings).

The plants need to be relatively low growing, good for pollinators (the number 1 rule for any new plants that I introduce to the garden) and slug resistant. I’m thinking perennial geraniums might work well.

Watch this space!