This picture is from 2009 but you can see the whole front yard. Please don't be jealous of my awesome
The flower beds that you can see are mostly the same. They're close to/on a wall that stands about four feet up from the sidewalk. The gray thing at the bottom is my porch roof.
Next, some recent pictures of each side.
This is the right side of the yard (I'm standing on my porch roof looking to the street). The neighbors' driveway is to the far right, and our half-dead tree is in the upper right corner (I got a verbal okay from J that we can cut it down at the end of the year - yay!). The purple lines denote current flower beds. You can also see the new Nandina 'Firepower' that was planted this past fall.
The brick path leads to the allée. I'm considering removing the brick and putting in a more organic curved path, but I haven't gotten that far in my planning, yet. To the bottom right and out of this picture is my giant forsythia.
The other side of the front walk is larger but has a couple of restraints, namely that I need to leave a couple of paths for Neighbor M to weed her front garden and for her husband to bring their garbage cans down to the street across our lawn every week.
To the bottom and out of this photo is the small flower bed by the porch and the azealea. I don't intend to move those right now.
I'm still not sure if I'm going to do raised beds or not. If my soil is okay after the lead test results come back, I'd prefer to just stick everything in the ground. Of concern, though, are the many slugs that like to roam around so I'd have to have a copper barrier of some sort.
Behold! My very simple ideas for the front yard.
Scenario A for the front right:
Tomatoes in the back, since I predict they'll be unattractive and unwieldy. The nandina will likely be moved, as will the contents of two of the three flower beds.
Scenario B for the front right:
Instead of circles, we have a few rows here with paths in between. I can keep most of the existing flower beds as they are.
Scenario A for the front left:
Very simple, as you can see. Rows of veggies with paths in between for all of us to walk through, while still maintaining the flower bed in the front.
A little fancier. This would compete with the flower bed by the porch and by the wall, though, and I'm afraid it might be too much.
This is one of those times when I'm having difficulty visualizing things that are not right in front of me, so my designs at the moment are super simple. The plus side to this is that if I don't do raised beds, I can change things around from year to year as I get a better handle on what's working and what's not.
And finally, since I mentioned the word crazy in the title of this post, I thought I'd just throw caution to the wind and tell you about what else I'm thinking of doing.
Some possible ideas include turning this trellis of silver lace vines that climb up the side of the porch...
...into a trellis of cucumbers or peas. It is currently high maintenance to keep the vines check. But cukes by my face as I walk in the front door? Not so sure about it yet.
Edamame growing up the drain spout? Possibly.
Strawberries instead of flowers in the boxes on the porch?
I need to make sure to pace myself though. But as I sit inside with snow covering every inch of the ground, it's hard not to get excited at all of the possibilities my little yard might become.