I haven’t written much about my front yard, and there’s a good reason for it. It’s embarassing. Our front steps are crooked, the brick step down to the sidewalk is broken, the brick sidewalk I tried to repair has a major dip. Our front porch is an ugly brown, and some of the wood is starting to rot. Aside from a beautiful weeping cherry tree, the plantings are all overgrown and unattractive. It’s time for me to start thinking about how to remedy this so our house can regain some curb appeal.

Help!

While I’m not sure we can afford a major overhaul right now, I can at least start planning and preparing for the eventual rehab. The front yard is pretty shady, but I’d love to grow some perennial food crops if possible. One big problem is that the shallow front yard is sloped downward about three feet over the course of six feet. Part of the fix involves plantings, and the other part involves masonry, painting and reconstruction. I’d love to get rid of all the grass in the front yard. I’m not sure if the front yard should look cottagey or more formal.

So with all that in mind, I’m currently on the path of filling the whole yard with shrubs. There are a couple of tacks I can take – one is to build a retaining wall along the sidewalk and fill in with dirt until the whole patch is level. Another idea is to work with the slope, and plant down it to the sidewalk.

The one thing I know I will do is plant the apricot tree to the left of the front steps to balance the weeping cherry tree. Any suggestions?

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