Today I am going to show you what a difference a little new landscaping can make to complete the exterior of your home. This is the post I lost when my computer crashed last week. I was finally able to get it back together. Yay!
I have mentioned to you before that we purchased a foreclosure less than a year ago. The yard was atrocious! Weeds instead of grass, weeds instead of bushes and more weeds up to my knees. There was no grass left, at all, in the front yard. This house had been abandoned for over 3 years and had been given no love whatsoever. Our only option was to start over.
The first thing we had to do to get rid of the weeds was spray the entire yard with industrial strength Round-Up. I left this dirty job to the Hubs. He put on a cute mask and took a big sprayer and went to town. It took about 2 weeks for all the weeds to die and shrivel up.
After all the weeds were dead, we had a bobcat come in and scrape the entire yard down to the dirt. Here is a little hint on how to prep your dirt for sod: Take a soil sample from about 20 different locations around the yard. The best way to improve your soil is to have your soil tested for pH and nutrient levels. We went to the University of Georgia Agricultural Office and asked them to provide us with soil test forms and instructions. We then sent in the 20 dirt samples. Less than 2 weeks later (while waiting for the weed killer to take effect) we had our soil report.
The soil test report will tell you whether your soil needs lime or nutrients or both. If the soil test recommends lime, apply it! Work the lime into the soil with a spade or a tiller to a depth of about 6 inches. Lime changes the pH balance of the soil, which is critical to absorption of nutrients by plants.
We were now ready for sod. Sod = instant yard = happy day!
The sod is finally installed. It is not a pretty green … yet. It is now time to work on the planting beds. This is a picture of the largest bed on the right side of the yard. I know the tree looks dead, but it comes back with gusto!
Added some plants, but within days the bed is completely taken over by weeds. Want another little hint? Cover your beds in wet newspaper before you mulch. It is a better weed deterrent than those plastic weed barriers and better for the environment. Do what I say … not as I do. We got tired and skipped this step. BIG MISTAKE!
Wow … I had forgotten how bad the weeds were in this bed. Yikes!
One more view. Those branchy plants in front are hydrangeas. Aren’t they looking a little pitiful? They survive and will be stunning one day.
Here is the same bed – weeded and mulched. Can you believe the difference? The tree bloomed so beautifully – this was one of the 5 trees we kept in the front yard from the original landscape. I am so glad we did.
Ugly front bed but we were able to save this huge Crepe Myrtle. It is a gorgeous tree and we were thrilled to have it already there.
From the other side. The pile of dirt on the left/top side is going to be a flower bed – need to use your imagination.
Plants and mulch – such an amazing difference already!
Hi Pico! I can’t go anywhere without her following me. I am surprised she is not in every picture I take. I don’t even go to the bathroom alone. I complain, but I adore this dog!
Here is the Crepe Myrtle bed completely done. The mulch is in, flower bed is planted and a decorative rock (not really decorative – put there to prevent our teens from running over the flowers when they are backing out of the driveway). Shhhh … don’t tell them. The red thing you see hanging in the tree is a hummingbird feeder. I love those little birds.
You can see all the bulbs that I planted are starting to come up in the front of the bed. You all know that I have a major black thumb – any bulb that pops through is a big accomplishment for me. I admit not all my bulbs came up – such a bummer.
Another ugly bed up by the house. Again, the pile of dirt will be a flower bed. Plants are in, but mulch is desperately needed. The Japanese Maple was another saved tree. This was quite a treat for us – we love Japanese Maples and they are so expensive. Lucky us!
Doesn’t the Maple look so sad and naked? She comes alive … just wait.
Some mulch + a Maple with leaves = Happy Mama!
The flag was out for Memorial Day and I just can’t bear to take it down. It makes the house look so complete and makes me feel good to see it waving in the wind.
The Maple looks so proud to finally be the center of attention and not over-run by weeds and overgrown shrubs. She is thriving!
Front bed is complete. I can’t wait to see it all grow and fill in – I will be sure to update you as the months go by.
This is the side hill next to our neighbors. These Leyland Cypress trees were here when we moved in and provide a nice, natural privacy barrier. I planted about 75 Coneflowers bulbs on this hill and so far not even ONE has come up! What in the world did I do wrong??
I must have been mad about the Coneflower debacle the day I took these pictures since I didn’t really show the hill again. Trust me … no flowers. Crap!
This is the bed at the end of the driveway before we put in another Crepe Myrtle or mulch.
Another teen-driving- deterring rock, Crepe Myrtle and mulch!
Doesn’t mulch make such a gigantic difference in the look of a yard? It is pretty scary and a bit daunting when it arrives however:
Oh My! It is pretty overwhelming when it is dumped on the driveway. Lucky for us the young gentleman who sold us the mulch said he would throw in installation for the same price. I had to think about that one for about …. ONE SECOND! This “kid” put in his earphones – took a bucket and a wheelbarrow and had that entire pile of mulch installed in one afternoon. Amazing. This would have taken Hubs and I days to complete and most likely many threats of divorce. Just kidding – but I am so grateful that it got done for us. We all know that being sweaty and dirty is not really my thing! * *I know where your heads just went and it’s not funny (well- a little funny)!**
Here is the house with sod, landscape and a decorated front porch. I am so happy with our finished product. It finally looks like home – a home to be proud of!
If you want to know the name of any of the plants we included in our beds, feel free to shoot me off an email and I will get back to you. I tried to save all the tags off the plants so I should be able to get you any information you might need.
Thanks for going on my landscaping transformation today. I hope you enjoyed seeing how much landscape can completely transform the look of a home.
Hope your life is more blooming Coneflower heaven than no flowers havoc!
Come see me at these blog parties this week: