Monday, August 23, 2010

the curse of the corner block

when we bought our house I was on the fence about buying a corner lot. I'd always thought it was a bad thing to live on the corner, but really had no idea why. what really sold me on this place though was the size of the block at over 7300 square feet (683 square metres). that's a pretty big plot of land in suburbia!
it's also a pretty big space to water - even with most of it covered in concrete... I turned our automatic sprinklers off a few months after we bought the place as I just couldn't justify watering a grass lawn every second day... it really didn't need all that water anyway. in July, it started to turn brown and not look so great, so we turned the sprinklers back on - until I got our water bill! it costs us $50 per month to water that front lawn! not to mention the gallons of drinking water being poured onto the grass...
we've been planning on making the front lawn a meadow and decided we should make a start on it and get rid of that water sucking lawn!

I have been collecting photos for inspiration and Julie drew us up a plan. we talked about putting in a fence, but Bryce was dead against that. if it were up to me I would build a 12 foot hedged wall around the whole property and create a private oasis - but he thinks that's weird... so we decided on a grass covered berm or a mound if you will.

we started ripping out the old bricked garden edging that is all broken and rickety and have been using that to build the base of the berm.
to create privacy on the corner
and then we're going to cover it in this beautiful green carpet of green fescue, which doesn't need much water or even need to be mowedbut you can cut it back every 6 months or so just to tidy it up
and then on top of the berm we will add this mexican feather grass to create a feature and also more height (privacy). this stuff needs zero water and turns greener in the winter when it gets rain.
we bought these little baby fescues a few weeks back and planted them in a temporary location so that they can get bigger, while we do the prep
saving us money by buying the smaller plantsand I've been find it hard to find mexican feather grass, but grabbed these 2 about a month ago
here's a photo of the 2 of them together. I love the great contrast of the green and the yellowy brown


  1. I am SO interested to see how this project turns out. Keep us posted.


  2. This looks beautiful Kate! Make sure to keep us posted...I'm looking forward to seeing the final result!

    My bf is like you - he thinks the homes with the huge 12 foot hedge-walls are the best and loves the idea of having a private little front yard as well as the back. Really, if you don't make a little oasis in the front like this it sort of gets unused and just sits there looking pretty but never actually serves any real purpose. I was totally opposed to them (like your hubby) but they have grown on me - I like the idea of having children and letting them run around in the front yard without having to worry about crazy people snatching them up, or letting the dogs run free (when we have them, that is). So now I'm totally for it...and now all we have to do is buy a home! :)

    I'm going on my trip soon...getting excited to go up north! The last time I went up I was too young to explore wineries, and this will be our first vacation together since living together (it's sad, but the last vacation we took together just the two of us was March 2008!), so I'm greatly looking forward to it.

    Hope all is well! :)

  3. I have mixed feelings about this. There are some homes around here that have those tall bushes and what not bordering the front of their house, so you can't even see their house. I think it's totally who lives there...and what are they doing...? At the same time, the privacy sounds great.

  4. Gha! absolutely brilliant! I support all of this!

  5. I can't wait to visit and run through that tall grass. I love tall grass!


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