the great outdoors

It used to be the meh outdoors.  If you recall, the front yard started like this:

I must apologize again for the crappy before pictures.  Anyway, the front beds contained FOUR sago palms.  These are not my favorite plants.  Not even my favorite palms.  I in no way felt like they belonged in the front yard of our house.  We also had a wall of oleander.  I don't mind them but I don't appreciate them being planted right in front of my dining room windows.  Lordy, people.  Do me a favor.  If you decide to plant something in the ground?  Read the tag that comes with it.  Plants are like puppies--they get bigger.  Anyway, we also had a mishmash of three different kinds of hardscape (none that I like) and a TON of this crazy groundcover (see front left of the photo above).  And some poorly placed shrubs.

So I enlisted the help of nice people who found my ads on Craigslist.  They came and dug out about 90% of the groundcover I hated.  I gave it to them for free.  Same thing with the palms.  They were so big that they had to be pulled out of the ground with a suburban.  It was awesome to watch.  It was more awesome that all this labor was done by folks who gladly took away things I hated.  Win-win.

Then we removed most of the hardscape.  I need to figure out what I want to replace it with and I also want a new outdoor light and am going to paint the front door (please don't tell my HOA) and would love window boxes on the second floor windows and am going to remove the beds around the trees so that there's just grass and will move what turned out to be day lilies to a different area and...  Obviously this is a work in progress but we've made SO MUCH PROGRESS!

Ahem.  Here's the current "after."

I did nothing to the brick.  It looks like such a different color in this picture but it's more accurate than the "before."  I know, I keep getting side-tracked.  You'll also notice our new windows.  I think they make the house look better since they have wider frames and blend less with the rest of the house.  And we got a different style half-circle window above the door that I love.  And, of course, there's the requisite American flag.

I kept what I could live with but had to move a lot of stuff around.  I did a lot of browsing around in the neighborhood to see what I liked about folks' front yard.  It came down to liking repeated elements (plantings), front beds that carried around to the side of the house (we're working on that), and some degree of symmetry.  I also wanted low-maintenance, flowers,interest for every season, and an area for annuals since I do enjoy periodic yardwork.  We both wanted trees.  He's kind of blendy (the uplight is pointed at him) but we got this little guy, a Dwarf Japanese Maple.

His foliage really goes well with the color of the house but he'll also be a fancy orange in the fall.  In the background is our peach tree.  She has beautiful blooms in the spring that are a darker pink than peach trees usually have.  We also plan to have a more mature tree installed on the left side of the yard.

I also planted knock-out roses, white azaleas, society garlic, dusty miller, pentas, and verbena.  Everything is a shade of pink, purple, or white.  I planted another camellia on the left side of the sidewalk (blooms in winter) and will eventually match the one on the right.  The plantings around the camellias are symmetrical as well. 

And the front of the beds (next to the sidewalk) are for my annuals.  We finished mulching everything this weekend.  I also hung up a little bird feeder in front of my office window and added a pot to the front porch.  It's coming along.  Feels a little bit more like me now.  Feels a little bit more like we actually live here.


Katie Lady said…
It's official. you can come do my house next. At least the planning of it, our outside needs some SERIOUS help!

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100 things--thankful

hey, would you like to see the nursery?