Our front garden is part of The Garden Project too, as you will see if you take a look at my list of 52 Projects! Thankfully it's nowhere near such a huge task as the back garden, more a case of simply tidying/prettying (not sure if that is actually a word but I'm sure you know what I mean!) things up.
It's not easy to take half-decent photos of the garden as it is pretty shady but hopefully you will get an idea of what it's like out there.
The garden is mostly hard-standing which makes it easier to look after. On the other hand, though, that expanse of paving does tend to look a tad dull and barren. I'm really glad that we kept a border although on reflection I wish we had had it made just a little wider. Still, it is what it is so I will just have to make the best of things.
All the shrubs in the border were dug out of the garden before we had the paviors laid. They were put in large tubs and stayed that way for quite a long time. I was surprised that they all survived to be honest! They settled back into the border beautifully and are thriving. I want to have some groundcover-type plants at the base of the shrubs, hence the bare stems lower down ~ plus it does make life easier when it comes to weeding the border.
There is a large group of michaelmas daisies (I think that's what they are, anyway!) next to the butterfly bush, which will need to be dug out this year and divided. I may not put any back in this border but they will definitely be found a home in the back garden. I also need to decide on how high I want the shrubs to be. They were a fair bit taller than they are now but I'm thinking that I may cut them down a little more.
And this is the other side of the garden. Adrian made the bin-store and it tidies things up considerably. When he made it, we only had two bins. Now we also have an additional third one, the smaller purple bin, which is for non-recyclable items.
The brown bin is for garden and kitchen waste; I expect it will be getting pretty full over the coming months! The grey bin is for cardboard, plastic, glass, cans, etc. This bin is the one which really does get full over the two weeks between collections. Still, I'm pleased that the purple bin doesn't usually get more than about 1/4 or 1/3 full :-)
The crates are for newspapers, junk mail, etc, and we usually only have to make use of the blue one. When the council changed the collection system we could have given them the black crate back, but it does come in handy from time-to-time if we have too much for the grey bin (usually because we've had things delivered in cardboard boxes) or an excess of paper for some reason.
So now you have seen the "before" photos of both the front and back gardens. Hopefully 2014 will see vast improvements to both!