sand, full shade, and no gutters! ;)
Well, I've lurked on here for a few years now..gleaning ideas for my "someday when we move outta this apt. and into a house" yard. I should have been more specific when wishing for a yard ;)
The front yard faces north, so the area near the foundation is in full shade. That's not so horrible.. The landlord however, put down a good 6-8" of pure sand completely around the entire foundation to fill in the cracks from the drought last summer. That sand generally comes about 2-4ft away from the foundation. Add the rain beating down from the roof..and we've got a HUGE mess every time it rains :D
I generally prefer cottage type gardens to anything formal or too "planted" looking. At this point though, I'm keeping all options open for ways to bring some life and beauty into such a drab space. I'm sure raised beds are going to be a must..though because it's still a rent house, I'd prefer to keep the price as low as possible.
The usual "perfect garden" list is applicable here too..delightful flowers, fragrance, fall/winter interest, erosion control ;) I'd be great with either a bushy, flowering shrub that would get at least 3-4' tall, and some smaller perennials in front of it. Or a collection of plants.
We're in NE TX, in between dallas and the piney woods, so summer heat/humidity is also a slight issue.
I've been researching ideas and plugging through one forum after anothers previous posts, trying to learn enough about these particular issues in order to figure something out. Though I think all I accomplished was a wild goose chase.\0/
Here is a link that might be useful: view from the street