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Small Urban Frontyards : A Zen Garden

Posted Mar 28 2011 2:25pm

I designed this Zen Garden for a very small front yard of a contemporary townhouse for clients who wanted a low-maintenance, no-mow landscape.  This garden looks good in every season due to its structure of evergreens, rocks, granite/gravel base and decidious ornamental tree.  Minimal maintenance involved is watering, planting annuals for seasonal color  ( optional ) and removing any leaves that may accumulate in the Fall, for which a leaf blower would be ideal.  To further reduce the maintenance of watering, a low-cost, drip irrigation system with a timer could be added.

For DIYers that would like to tackle this project, I would advise starting by adding amendments to your soil  ( compost and manure for sandy soil; cotton burr compost and black forest soil condition for heavy ) , and begin by selecting and planting the ornamental tree and shrubs.  For small yards, garden centers can tell you how many bagged goods are needed to cover your landscape to a 3-4 inch depth . If your yard is larger, ordering a load of garden mix soil would be more economical. Dig it in well with the native soil.   For the stones and gravel and garden mix topsoil , check out businesses in Chicago under " Landscaping Supplies " that carry these and pay them a visit with measurements of your plot in hand.  Apply the gravel over a layer of paver base to a depth of 2-3 inches after everything is planted, and tamp it down . 

Garden centers usually carry a good selection of water features, soil amendments    statuary and of course, the annuals and perennials as well.

Written by Carolyngail at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago All rights reserved
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