What's Out Front?
Our property is 2 acres, but we spend 99% of our time in the back yard. It's fenced for the dog, it's where the veg gardens, perennial beds and the screened deck are. It's not that the rest is unimportant but it's not the focus of our attention most days.
I call the yard at the front on the west side Mushroom Meadows. Our first summer here we found quite a variety of interesting fungi out there, including a large crop of shaggy mane. I don't eat mushrooms, and I'd certainly not trust identifying most wild mushrooms, but I do know puff balls and shaggy mane when I see them, both of which are apparently edible - you know, just in case the zombie apocalypse does happen.
As I've alluded, 2019 was really, really wet - grow webbed feet wet - which equated to 'grow a lot of fungi' wet. A lot of huge fungi. A lot of varieties of fungi. Fungi everywhere.
That's okay. Fungi are great for soil health, and they make cool photo subjects, so I'm totally okay with my little mushroom meadow.
The west side has the aspen grove and there's an abundance of plants in it and at it's edge. At the north end there's a lovely bunch of wild rose, a few dogwood, and a scattering of fireweed (all native species). Further south there's some alfalfa, some sweet clover and red clover, a few clumps of Timothy hay, and some native false solomon seal , spotted coral bell (a native orchid), and both white and purple aster varieties. In the "forest" I've found a few different pea vine varieties, wild sasparilla, saskatoon, chokecherry, pin cherry, hazelnut, pink wintergreen, and perhaps the species that surprised me the most - ghost pipe.
We added three willow shrubs right on the north edge, and have decided to add to that this spring. There are some stunning willow borders on some of the mature properties out here that I hope we can copy, somehow someday.
There are three garden beds right at the front of the house, and they were planted with dogwood and hosta when we arrived. I added more hosta from Windermere, a few daylily and elephant ear (can't recall it's proper name right now), and we made a bed right in front of the garage and added daylily, anemone, lungwort, a few of the lilac seedlings we bought, and a hydrangea. The whole north east side of the yard is what you first see when you arrive, and it's a really boring expanse of grass but for these few elements. Our landscape design dreams big, including using the rock collection left behind to create a rock garden, and perimeter planting with trees and shrubs. As dad would say, only time will tell if that plan comes to fruition or not.