Exterior Inspiration: Spring in the Air

We are so lucky in California, while the rest of the country is dealing with record low temperatures, we have been enjoying beautiful mild weather.  As a result the flowers have started to bloom and foliage is returning. Which has me thinking about what to do in our front and back yard.  When we bought the place the front yard looked like this:

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Abysmal, I know.  So far we’ve removed the paving and brick path and are trying to suffocate the Ivy by depriving it of light.  We’ve also added a fence, since our Monkey has a tendency to rush out on to the road.  We still have a long way to go.  That said I have visions that one day in the not too distant future our front yard will look like this gorgeous, modern Italian garden designed by Giardino Segreto..

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I have a thing for grasses blowing in the wind and love the burst of purple.  Visions are one thing, but reality is another.  First, I need to visit our local nursery to find out a) what kind of plants these are, b) if they are drought resistant, and c) if some can be replaced with native plants yet still achieve a similar feel.  I am completely ignorant when it comes to planting a garden, but given the lack of rainfall we have had, creating a drought resistant garden is my number one priority.

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I’ve discovered the Better Homes and Garden offers a bunch of garden plans as a free download. I think that for me these plans might be a good starting point, but ultimately I know I want to keep my color palette more narrow, like this:

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I also love the idea of replacing the retaining wall with Corten steel as seen below.  I love the natural rust look that forms.  But a friend told me that she looked into it for her garden and it was super expensive.  If I had a landscape designer kind of budget maybe we could do this, but since we have a DIY budget we will need to forgo this kind of expense and focus on the plants.

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I’m inspired, but I know that I’m completely lacking in skill in this department.  Fortunately Hubby has a better handle on what to do outdoors than I do.  I’m hopeful that together we can figure it out: I with the design, he with the implementation.

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