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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Must Be In The Front Yard!

Our Front Yard Before And After....FOUR Years In The Making.

2008

Buy the worst house in the best neighborhood. Everyone does it on all the DIY shows, right? Sooo.......we did.

Maybe it doesn't look that bad...but it certainly doesn't look that good.
Left side of yard is eroding away into the woods. Random evergreen planted in the public utilities easement by the front curb. White porch and black door and shutters are too starkly contrasting. Mailbox is too short and leaning. The rest of the landscape is blah.


Grass was nonexistent and soil was gray, unhealthy, and eroding badly.

2008

Poor unappealing little curb. I knew this would never do. And the transformations began.


Just expanding, mounding, and edging the bed made a difference. The vinca annual plants added color but of course weren't permanant.


Annuals were beautiful, but to really make an impact, I needed some evergreen shrubs and perennials. I was leaning toward a woodland/cottage theme. I thought this fit the setting of the house next to the woods.

I began raiding the plant clearance racks at Lowe's and surfing Craigslist for cheap and free plants.

2012

Now creeping phlox flows gracefully over the curb and the yellow blooms of the coreopsis float color over the low growing juniper evergreens.

Buying your evergreens small and on clearance is economical and takes patience. Everything filling in around them can be transplanted and divided later when the evergreen grow larger. Salvia, coreopsis, creeping phlox, daylillies, candytuft, and red hot poker.

2012

2008

My husband used free pallets to retain the flower bed next to the woods.

It was difficult to walk on such a slant next to the house. We will be adding dumptruck loads of dirt here for years to recover an unusable area of our property.



2012

Euonymus shrubs are now healthy and provide me with seedlings and rootings to transplant around the rest of the yard for free plants.

2008

We picked truckloads of river rocks from a horse farm next to the James River. This covered the patch of dirt under the front porch that was a bed of weeds.

2012

Shade plants now blanket a once weedy and eroded spot. I transplanted hostas that came with the house and bought seedling Hellebores on Craigslist. Hellebores cost $20 a piece at big box hardware and nurseries. I bought them for $1 a piece as seedlings.

2012

Medium size boulders hold up the low end of the bed. I love rocks and ask for them for my birthday every year. I always find listings on Craigslist where people just give them away! Alot of hardscaping companies have a discard pile you can pick out of for a discount.

2012

The azaleas will add more height every year helping fill the expanse of brick wall. I have also added a fringe tree and a native holly which both are evergreen for winter interest and height.

2008

Everyone in the neighborhood has this front porch....kind of colonial. I wanted more cottage/woodland bungalow.

2012


2008

All clay and rocks on the right side of the house.

We have an extra curb entryway that was a service road. The previous owner bought this section after it was no longer in use. Eventually we will fix the curb but it is a red tape process. There were drivway gravel rocks embedded in the soil and it was impossible to do anything to the soil except build on top of it.

2012

2012

We added wood and dry-stacked stone retaining walls to deal with all the slopes and erosion. Grass would have been a constant battle and the flower bed helps separate our yard from our neighbors.

2012

Native mountain mint helps hold the slope and to hinder erosion.

2008

The side yard leading back to the shed was the most dramatic change.

2012

2012

2012

2012

Four years is really a long time...long enough for me to forget what we started with and all the work we put into it.

 I now find more earthworms than grubs which is a big enough reward in itself. Then there is all the wildlife to watch that now finds food or shelter in our yard. Not to mention all the blooms and sweet smells.




I don't know if I could do it all over again but I do know I enjoy it now that it has been done. I think it well worth it!




DIY Club



12 comments:

  1. Wow! Talk about a labor of love! Absolutely gorgeous! I am so impressed with the knowledge and hard work that you put into your yard. The strategic and beautiful placement of the plants and accents are definitely TV-show-makeover-worthy! I am following you from It's So Very Cheri. Linky hugs!

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    1. Thank you so much, Effie! Please visit again, and by the way, I really enjoy reading your posts!

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  2. What a great transformation ! And as a gardener , I know it was a LOT of back breaking work ! But so rewarding . I am happy to follow you too . You have a great blog!

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    1. Thanks so much Dawn and I have been enjoying reading your posts!

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  3. Very nice, you have a lot of variety. Sweat, vision and muscle is what it takes for such a beautiful yard.

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    1. Thanks so much! I will look forward to reading more of your posts!

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  4. Omg....I ♥ it!! I love working in the yard, it is back breaking but sooo worth it! It looks fabulous.

    Your newest follower as well.

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    1. Thanks much! Been reading your posts...so fun!

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  5. Looks so lush and gorgeous. I love gardening because the plants are ever-evolving and it's so rewarding. Thanks for stopping by the blog!

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    1. Thank you Shauna! Much appreciated! I will stop by your blog to read more...I really like it!

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  6. Gorgeous. You have put a lot of work in and it looks great.

    Cheri from Its So Very Cheri

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    1. Thank you, Cheri! Love the blog hops...meeting so many nice people with great blogs!

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