The original front garden. Though I had moved to this house in 1985, it wasn’t until 2002 that this wonderful original design was created and implemented by Thomas Fullerton Hooper. But time had gotten the best of it, and of all the original perennials, only a few had survived. Even though it had been designed as a shade garden, the increasing tree canopies were causing the survivors to become weak and scraggily from too much shade, and for the last few years, I had been forced to rely on seasonal annuals in greater quantities in order to fill in the death gaps. It had become way too labor intensive, expensive, and wasteful of water.
Because of my budget constraints when this original garden was created, I had to rely on an existing twenty-year-old irrigation system consisting of a bunch of popup nozzles that just sprayed most of the water into the air. Little good did it do. The surrounding trees with their extensive root systems were sucking up every ounce of moisture from the soil daily during the summer months. The annuals with their young shallow roots were never getting enough water. So I ended up spending one to two hours every evening hand watering. This got very old.