Monday, March 15, 2010

Goodbye Mr. and Mrs. Liquidambar

It was quite bittersweet at Sweet Bee Cottage this weekend.

We had to say goodbye to a couple who has been at our house since we bought it in 1997.  Sad times.
But sadly this couple had really overstayed their welcome.  They drank all the water and then broke the pipes.  They dropped their babies on the driveway and never picked up after themselves.  They were even interfering in the very foundation of our dear sweet home.  Really they were a nuisance!  

But oh did they provide sweet shade during our blistering summers.  They were so pretty during the autumn leaf season.  They even provided craft projects from those afore mentioned babies.  And did I mention that they were the shadiest trees on the block?  Did I mention that our front yard is at least 15 degrees cooler than the rest of the street?  Did I mention how much I am going to miss that glorious cooling shade?

But this could lead to some exciting times for the Sweet Bees.  We've always wanted a vegetable garden but our yard is entirely too shady (front and back) to get any sort of crop.  Our plan is to put raised beds along our driveway on the eastern side of our house and attempt to grow some yummy veggies (not candy corn and jelly beans as Worker Bee has suggested).  

Now here's the dilemma.  

How do we have this vegetable garden and still have curb appeal?

Do you have any ideas?  Please share!  I'd love to hear what you have to say and I will listen to your sage advice.  

What vegetables should we plant?  My dear Worker Bee is advocating for something called "square foot gardening."  Have you any experience with this?  

Do you know of any blogs that might be able to help with this?  

Again, I thank you for any and all suggestions.


  1. When they overstay their welcome - they have to go! I feel your pain. We also have a beautiful shade tree in front of our living room. It turns so many beautiful shades of red and orange in the fall, but its roots are beginning to undermine our sidewalk. Hubby worries it will fall on the house in a big storm. It's going to have to go - but what will we do for shade? You're so talented at personification!

  2. It must have been a little bittersweet to let the trees go but it sounded like it was time. I wish I could help you out with the gardening questions but I don't know anything about gardening.
    Have a wonderful week.

  3. How fun - front yard gardening is so popular - I see them all the time where I live although not everyone out here in the country cares if they have curb appeal...I would tho'! I bet you could put some cute fencing around raised beds or border them with tall flowers to look pretty - can't wait to see what you come up with. -amy

  4. Oh, poor trees! But, they did overstay their welcome, didn't they?!

    I think you could make a vegetable garden fabulous in front--I've seen it done before! Try mixing in flowers with the veggies--very English cottage style!

    Have fun!

  5. We got rid of several pine trees and some pretty crabapples when we first moved into this house - I miss the shade. That side of the yard is so hot now!

    There's a link on my sidebar to Little HOmestead in the City. Their front yard is cottage pretty - it's a mix of veggies and flowers and all kinds of things.


  6. This gardening thing is right up my alley.
    This is how I talk to my clients:
    FIRST ....Put on paper what you really like to eat.
    What you buy at the store weekly?
    Do you have a local farmers market that you can supplement your table with?
    Second....Most vegetables take at least 6hrs of direct sunlight a day.
    If the side of your house only gets about 4hrs..I only recommend green leafy veg.
    Your Tomatoes, squash, beans and corn need every bit of 6 hrs or more of light!! If your bed gets some south light also you might be in business!!
    We turned quite a bit of my front yard into a veg garden last year. I loved it!! We put a cedar post fence around it and I used my Grandmas picket gate that is over 50 yrs old. I also had an area with some cute flowers and small bushes mingled in. We had a lot of people who stopped and said they loved it. It faced due east and had sun till 3:oo in the afternoon.
    I hope this helps some. Have fun.
    Cindy from Tx

  7. I know you hated to see the trees go but we have had to do it too. Sad really!
    We have a garden every year with tomatoes, squash, peppers, cucumbers, okra, and sweet potatoes. This year I am going to plant sunflowers too ... Amber loved them!

  8. So sad to see the trees go.

    A lot of people mix vegetables right into their regular flower gardens. So it could just look like any other pretty garden bed.

    I am excited to see what you end up doing.

  9. It is always sad to have to cut down trees, but there is a time when it has to be done. We live in the mountains of WV and can't dig in the ground much deeper than 3 inches without hitting rock, so we garden using the square foot method. It is easy to work with and I don't think we get as many weeds, which I think is a bonus! I agree with most of the previous posters, plant what you love to eat and mix flowers in with it and neighbors will love it. I would say that if you plant zuchinni - the neighbors might run from you when they see you coming with a basket full of them. Zuchinni are very fruitful! We grow them any way - love a good zuchinni bread! Have fun with the garden - can't wait to see what you come up with.

  10. Yes. Mr, and Mrs. L had to go! And the raised beds sound like a wonderful new project! I am sooo NOT a gardener so I can't offer ANY advice...but I'm cheering you on from the sidelines.:)

  11. Just a small row of candy corn and jelly beans shouldn't hurt. Try the blog She gardens and has a Friday party called Fertilizer Friday, where you will see lots of gardeners. Good luck!

  12. What a cute post...dropped their babies! I hate losing a took them so long to get where they are! I know you'll enjoy exploring what to plant in a sunny space, though! Happy week!...Debbie

  13. I'm sure saying good-bye to those wonderful old guests was difficult, but I know you had to do it. Enjoyed your commentary about them! Have fun with your new sunny yard. laurie

  14. Always sorry to see trees go. We have two oaks within about a foot or so of our house foundation. Don't know whose bright idea that was. Not ours. In terms of the veggie gardens, I'd consult the author of some gardening books: She's very talented, and I regularly read her blog. I'd think you could mix flowers and herbs with the veggies and pretty it up.

  15. oh my feeling your pain, knowing how hard it woul dbe to part with our very old oak ( praying that it will never come to that...knocking on wood:o)
    You could do the flower bed around it very pretty and it will have curb and eye appeal!


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