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Gardendote of the day 2013-09-10

Here's a photo of the garden next to the sidewalk now; this the result of the "Keeping up with the Jones's Lawn" design challenge back in May:

Back in May, I wrote:

When the pedestrian walks down the sidewalk and sees my "front lawn," it looks ragged and ill-kempt. But if they cast their eyes ahead to the next house, they see something that meets their expectations for being kempt: A lawn. I don't wish to convey the idea that I don't care about or maintain the property, and this unkempt vs. kempt visual impression could do just that. So that's the "Keeping up with the Jones's" part.

But both my "front lawn" and the front lawn one house up share a common problem: A messy edge between sidewalk and lawn. Just bare dirt. Icky.** The edge exists because the sidewalk gets plowed in the winter, which covers that area with sand and dirt, and occcasional scrapes of the blade. So this an opportunity for me to differentiate myself, and show that my "front lawn" is not ill kempt, but differently kempt.

So I'm trying to figure out some kind of border, but a border that will stand up to the plows in the winter -- and the pedestrians in the summer -- either because it's durable, or it's cheap and can be put in place year after year without a lot of work. And I like borders, it's part of the style of my garden.

(The little white picket fence, which showed respect for borders (hat tip CaseyOR), worked very well as a stopgap until the zinnias reached their full, very full size.)

So, this project is a really big success. And looking back, I see that I'm managed to think in three dimensions and create a pretty vista. (In this Gardendote, as in for some reason the last as well, I forget to indicate the tree: In that case, filberts; in this case, a catalpa, very rapidly growing, at top right, mostly out of the shot.)

Somewhere along the line, however, I reconceptualized the project from "kempt vs. unkempt" to "kempt vs. unkempt property"; I didn't want the property to look bad. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Now in the picture, and when looking down the street in RL, you can see the distinction between this property and all others very clearly: But at least this property clearly looks like it is the way it is for a reason: The fence, the brightly colored zinnias, all create a vista for pedestrians to walk toward with anticipation, rather than criticize in advance from far away.

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