Sunday, May 16, 2010

Curb Appeal

Let me start off by saying that my back and hamstrings are KILLING me!!!! I could barely move when I got out of bed this morning and I'm fairly certain that I'm doomed for the same fate tomorrow morning. This project has been a work in progress. We started on it last weekend and finished up today.

Our front yard was really really Blah... with a capital B! We hadn't done anything to our front yard since we moved into our house almost a year ago. The builder had planted some shrubs out front and put some small juniper plants and TWELVE (yes, TWELVE) of those little palm plants all over the place and around the giant oak tree in our front yard. I know that they are very popular plants down South, but, I'm just not really a fan. I've been wanting to take those suckers out since the day we closed on our house! The builder also pine straw-ed the heck out of our front yard. Personally, I feel like the landscapers were either really lazy, or ran out of sod because they didn't even sod all the way around the tree trunk... they just put pine straw all the way up to the corner of our driveway.

Over the past year, a lot of the pine straw had worn away (and I had already raked a bunch of it up before I remembered to take "before" pictures!) That was fine with us... we are more mulch people. Not really fans of the pine straw. I have been having a hard time with all of this landscaping because I've never really done it before, so I wasn't sure what plants to pick and what would look the best, etc. The one thing that we had decided on was putting white azaleas across the front planter. Other than that, it took me multiple trips to look at plants to decide what I would go with.

Here is the finished product! (for now...)

We took all of the shrubs out of front planter and re-planted them along the left side of the house. Then we put in our new azaleas and some perennials.

This is what the front planter looks like now... much better! We also added some sod along the front edge. The previous area that was covered in pine straw was much larger. We thought it would look much nicer if the sod extended straight across from the walk way. I'm really happy with how it turned out! (especially since I put all the sod down myself!)
Here is how the right planter looked before... you can see that there was pine straw (although mostly worn away) on both sides of the walkway... not anymore!

I don't have a before picture of the right side of the house along the driveway edge, but there weren't any plants. Just pine straw. I planted some hostra today and filled in with mulch. It looks a lot better now!

This is what the front planter looked like around the tree... UGLY! I was so happy when Matt dug up all of those palm plants! We also found someone who wanted them all, so they are going to a new home tomorrow.
This is the view from the front of the tree before...

And here it is after! I can not believe how much better it looks with sod in that corner and in front of the walk way! It made a huge difference. Oh, and by the way... I cut all of the sod in the circular shape around the tree with my Cutco scissors! Those thing are amazing! I use them for absolutely everything!

Here are all the shrubs that we moved from the front of the house and planted along the left side. There weren't any plants here before. Just more pine straw. It's nice to have some green on this side too.

I'm definitely really happy with how the front yard turned out, although there were several times today when I found myself wishing we hadn't started this because it's just one more thing to keep up with now... but when I look back at the "before" pictures and realize how ugly it was... I'm super happy we got it done! Now I just have to do my best not to kill everything!!! I'm not sure how much of a green thumb I have!


  1. You did this yourself?! I am impressed! Looks great!

  2. Yes... with Matt's help! He dug up the plants and helped me spread mulch :-) I'm glad it's done though. It was a lot of work.

  3. It's really not too much work. Just make sure you are REALLY diligent this first year, and the plants wil become established and will take care of themselves. My tip: When you are watering, don't use a sprinkler. Water the roots of the plants at close range, and water them thoroughly. If you do this, the roots will grow long and deep, and the plants will withstand drought conditions. I did mine this way, and I haven't watered my front yard in years and everything is thriving.
    PS: It looks great!

  4. Oooh! Good advice! Thanks Svenja! Although today they totally just got POURED on... poor little things. I hope they didn't drown!