Joe and I, mostly Joe, have been busting our backs getting the front yard more complete. We've added lots of hardscaping and plants. We'll share with you all our DIY tricks and plant selections below. We spent approximately 5 weekends on this project and around 80 hours. Material costs were around $2,250 in total for stone, rocks, plants, potting soil, manure, top soil, mulch, sand, etc. But wow, we must have saved a fortune on Labor and a Landscape Architect! haha Joe and I started this whole project by making a drawing of our front property and mapping out where we'd like to plant things and where we could add hardscaping. The planning part was the fun part. Deciding on plants was also super fun. We didn't get everything at once, instead made several visits to local nursery's to get inspiration and surfed Pinterest for ideas. Things changed constantly as we paired plants together to see what looked best and what would work well in our climate and in what part of the yard they would be in. Of course, only time will tell if our plan works. It will be fun to watch things grow, and see what worked and what didn't. We'll have to keep you posted! But alas, here it is.
On the front patio, I gave our chairs a fresh coat of paint as well as the table. The base of the table went from turquoise to white. I sewed little seat back cushions out of gray and white fabric and made removable straps with snaps. I put the big black urn pot on the porch with a dwarf alberta, Little Treasure White Rock Cress, Lysimachia, and Dianthus.
I found two of these tall pots at Lowes, but they weren't the right color, so I sprayed painted them with gray stone paint that gives it a textured stone look. Inside the little flowers in front are called Alpino Early Picotee Saxifrage and behind on the left is Carnival Black Olive Coral Bells and on the right is Ascot Rainbow Euphorbia. All of these are perennials. In case you were wondering we are Zone 7.
This is one BEFORE picture of our front garden bed. It used to contain about 8 small Holly bushes. They were getting some sort of black spots on them and looked just plain boring.
I ripped up all the Holly bushes and replaced them with a back row of three Sizzlin' Pink Fringe-Flower Loropetalums, a row of 7 wintergreen boxwoods, and 7 Mediterranean Pink Heathers. We also added a border of stone.
Down either side of the driveway Joe added square paver stones. Here is the path that he made to cross into the front grass without stepping on plants. He removed the sod below and added weed fabric and sand. He added polymeric sand in between the pavers to keep them stable and to prevent weeds from popping up. Pardon the dirty driveway! We still have to power wash it.
Around the side off of the driveway Joe pulled out the sod to create a walkway of white marble chips and cement 18" stepping stones. We made the side mulched bed smaller to create a bigger walkway. He lined both sides with curved gray stones. The bed is filled with sand and then the rock. It goes underneath the gate and around to our side garage door.
We were able to place a Profusion Crab Apple Tree in this corner bed that we created. We dug out the sod here and put in a good layer of soil and mulched the top. We also put in some weed fabric to prevent the grass from coming in.
Down each side of the driveway we planted 3 topiary Peach Drift Roses. It will be so fun to watch these bloom this summer. We alternated Boxwoods and Lavender down the driveway and mulched with pea gravel to give the lavender a nice hot spot to thrive in and to prevent hardwood mulch from washing down the driveway.
At the corners of the driveway we made little "moments" that we wanted to use to tie in the plants at the front of the house. We replicated the plants so that things would look cohesive. The first little bush at the bottom of the photo is the loropetalum that will reach between 4-6 feet tall and wide. We placed it towards the back because it will be the tallest of all of them. The light green bushy plant is actually three of the Ascot Rainbow Euphorbia.
Looking the other way towards the house are three sets of pink snap dragons. On the left is the Dwarf Alberta Spruce which will also get around 4 feet. To the right and behind is Lamb's Ear. Behind that are two Alpino's, one Rockfoil, and on the left mid point is one Desert Eye Deep Rose Yarrow. I think it was important to stick to just a few colors when considering plants for our yard. At first everything was going to be green and white. But as I shopped for plants I couldn't help but fall in love with the pinks, rosey hues, and purples. But all are muted tones and not super bright.
I love how the muted tones of pink and purples play nice with the light tan and blue of the house. And can't wait to see our lawn turn green! One of the things we will probably do this fall is plant Fescue grass so we can have a green lawn all year. One of the other things we did was remove the Maple tree that was smack dab in the middle of our yard. Besides being dead, it was going to block the entire view of our house.
This lavender smells so divine. I really hope it thrives in this location down the driveway.
Our mail box plants got a little makeover. We took out the mums and other purple creeping plants. We added two boxwoods, two Powis Castle Artemisia, and four Snow Cone Candytufts. Behind the little black trellis is a Dragon Hybrid Aster. In the fall it will be blooming with purple flowers.
In the slope on the left of our front yard we decided to make a special place for our Royal Star Magnolia. Her Royal Highness deserved a special castle to reside in! She is surrounded by Little Treasure Deep Rose Rock Cress. A Royal Star Magnolia can reach around 10-15 ft. tall and we hope to prune her into a pretty tree.
This pretty Radiance Southgate Rhododendron will get between 4-6 tall and is in the side forest where the shade plus some sunlight will be perfect. I still need to add some pine straw here because we've been dumping a lot of clay over here. And you see a Holly bush here too. I put the 7 from our front garden here. We'll see how they do. I'm not holding my breath for these guys.
Another view of our front bed. I just love the pink heathers. They are a winter blooming plant, but have been blooming since December!
My kids helped make this little white planter a few months ago. We put in a Dwarf Alberta, some Highlander White Saxifrage, Irish Moss, and Northern Lights Violas. Oh and few faires and gnomes!
The lavender down the driveway was definitely inspired by my lavender I added in these galvanized pots on the front steps. There's nothing like smelling lavender on your way inside.
I have lavender seeds in the little pots at the bottom of the steps. I'm hoping they come up soon. The LED lanterns are from Home Goods. And more pink snap dragons. :)
We are wiped out! But stay tune for some back yard projects, including a gravel expanded fire pit make over, a raised bed garden, and an Italian Cypress and white rose garden!
Have you been inspired to do some spring gardening?