June 15, 2012

Landscaping Project #1

We've spent a lot of time working on the inside of our house and the vegetable garden but zero effort has been placed on the landscape and it is starting to show. Let me tell you, landscaping is back breaking work and it can get expensive fast. But worse than that, I have no idea what I'm doing. Shade vs. sun, tall or short, flowers or evergreen, there is so much to think about! Did you know you can get a sunburn if you spend too much time mulling over things at the garden center? It's true.

Bernie wants to rip out all the bushes in the front of the house but I keep telling him we need a plan first. And honestly, ripping out 4 humongous bushes is a little too overwhelming right now so I decided to start with the area along the side of the house which was nothing but a thin strip of the ugly red mulch that plagues our yard. Every year we remove another section but still there is more red mulch…

Here it is, the before pic, eek!
pretty lawn, but everything else is in need of a makeover
When our friends visited in April we did a lot of power washing and staining
Since then we have stained the rest of the fence but it could use another coat
This area seemed more manageable than the front yard and there is a meter and some window bars that could definitely use some camouflage.  A lot can change in a neighborhood over 100 years, at one point it looks like there were bars on all the windows, not just the ones for the basement!
7 small day lilies, 2 lavender, 2 hostas, and a rhododendron are in the middle section
 l to r: peony, tower boxwood, hosta, barberry, russian sage
there is a boxwood on each end of the house
they are supposed to grow 9' tall and not very wide
We removed the mulch, widened the bed, gave it a curvy shape, put in new edging, and then I put down brown rubber mulch that is supposed to keep its color for 10 years. My only regret is that we didn't make the bed wider. In some areas when I've dug down to plant something I've run into the foundation. Turns out the foundation sticks out further than the house. 

You'll have to use your imagination and I'll have to keep my fingers crossed that everything will fill in and look balanced. I bought the smallest perennials possible to keep costs down and it is going to take years for some of them to reach full size. I'm hoping everything survives given this is one of the shadiest parts of our yard.

does everyone have a stalker watching them work?
Next up? Probably the back of the house. This one is all me, Bernie has no interest in helping with this project. I want to paint the back porch to blend in with the house vs. the way it sticks out now, add a window box, remove another section of the nasty ass red mulch and beautify with some plants. Easy enough, right? Famous last words...


  1. The planning part is definitely the jump off point in starting a landscaping project. Knowing exactly what would be needed and where it should be placed would greatly help in smoothing the progress and preventing mistakes, which also helps you save money. Anyway, the landscape project looks like a big success! I hope the plants would bloom beautifully and healthily! Good luck with your other home improvement projects!



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