simple is beautiful

Our Front Yard

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Yesterday I took pictures of our front yard makeover.  These are "keeping it real" pictures and the conditions aren't ideal now that the leaves are falling faster than we can keep them up.  But I wanted to show you how the landscape turned out before everything goes dormant this winter. A while back R and I met with a landscape designer who helped us tremendously!  Greensboro readers, let me know if you would like her contact information.  Marguerite knew the right scale, growing conditions, plant pairings, etc.  She was a wealth of knowledge and in the long run saved us time and money.  She sketched out a plan and we went to work.  The project took forever and it ended up costing more than we had planned, but we wanted it done right.  When we started this project the ground was hard as a rock.  If you live in the south you know what hard clay is like.  We worked and worked and dug and dug and watered and watered until finally two weeks of rain came and I think everything is going to make it with the exception of the dogwood tree.


Our yard before was flat.  We wanted more dimension and interest and to include plants we like. We love how it turned out and now it just needs to grow.  We added the sidewalk to the left that runs to the driveway as part of the plan and are thrilled with how it turned out.  The hard work was definitely worth it!


Here is a shot from the driveway.  The beds include yews, boxwood, and white nancy (the rabbit's new favorite all you can eat salad bar, grrrr).  White nancy is a ground cover that will fill in the space (if the rabbits don't eat it all).


Here's a better view.



Marguerite wanted to highlight this window and recommended and grouping of annabelle hydrangeas, english boxwood, dwarf english boxwood, and lenton roses.  She called it a necklace. The boxwood are slow growers, but over time they will connect to form a low hedge.  I cannot wait to see those annabelles bloom next year!!!


The cobblestone sidewalk is flanked with boxwood.



Pachysandra is on the left.  It's a ground cover that will fill in that area completely.  Marguerite says the first year it weeps, the second year it sleeps, and the third year it creeps.  So I guess this whole thing might take a while.


For the longest time, we wanted to plant something in front of the boxwood and weren't sure what would be best.  We loved her suggestion of autumn ferns & soloman's seal!  They will also thicken up over time.


Here's the same thing on the other side of the house.



In this bed we planted cleyera, more white nancy, lenton roses, a chantilly hydrangea.  We also transplanted a dogwood which may or may not live.  We're giving it until spring.


Marguerite also showed me a better way to trim the boxwood.  They had gotten so big and tall they blocked the window boxes.  They look a little thin now, but come spring they will put out new growth.


Another tiny detail - I painted the porch!  I'm not sure why it never occurred to me to paint the porch like the rest of the house, but I did.  And I like it much better.

Next spring when things start to turn green and bloom, I'll share updated photos.

25 comments:

  1. Beautiful and charming! I love the painted porch.

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    1. Thank you Kristen! Don't know why it never occurred to me to paint the porch. Sometimes I think you stop "seeing" things when you live in the same house so long.

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  2. Looks fantastic! Please share how you trimmed your box woods as mine have grown too big too.

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    1. Thank you Lynn! I'm not sure if this works for all boxwood (mine are American Box). You reach into the center and snap off the branches. This promotes growth from within which will eventually lead to denser plants. Hope this helps.

      P.S. Wear gloves. My fingers were sore after an hour of snapping. :)

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  3. The front landscaping looks great. I really like the classic look that is pulled together with black, white and green surroundings!! We are almost mid-way through our front yard complete redo .... living in California and suffering a drought we are eliminating half our lawn and adding what I like to call a "desert oasis" look with plantings.
    Thanks for sharing!!
    Darlene
    www.BundleMeBaby.etsy.com

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    1. Oh that sounds fun! I love California gardens!

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  4. OMG, Rene. It is absolutely gorgeous! I love everything you have done. I didn't think it could look any more beautiful, but it does. The color of your house even looks softer. I can't wait to see it in the Spring when it has settled in and grown. Love, love, love.

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    1. Thank you so much sweet Mandy! I'm definitely looking forward to spring! XO

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  5. I agree with Cassie. Charming is the perfect word for your house. LOVE! And yes, the pachysandra will definitely fill in an area! We started out with three or four small pachysandra plants on the side of our house a few years ago, and now it has filled in the whole bed. We had to thin it out last year, but it's really pretty. Nice job. Your hard work has paid off.

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    1. Thank you!!! That's great to hear Kim! It's one of my favorite ground covers, but I've never grown it before.

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  6. Your house looks so welcoming! It all sounds beautiful and should look so pretty once it grows in. Love the cobblestone sidewalk.

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    1. Thank you Jen! Yes, now I need to be patient. :)

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  7. beautifully charming
    my inner horticulturist says "water the hydrangea's!" cannot help myself, i can tell they need water from the photos. 'hydra' in latin means water, and they like a lot!
    debra

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    1. Thank you Debra! You are right. Our annabelles in the back yard also look droopy by the end of the day. They perk up as soon as the sun goes down though. My biggest challenge will be keeping everything watered the first year.

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  8. Just lovely! Boxwoods are so classic and look great year round. I also love hydrangeas even though they do require some watering. The paved walkway looks amazing!

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  9. Your house looks great! I love all the texture, and boxwoods and hydrangeas are my favorite!

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  10. How have I not seen the exterior of you house...charm personified! Love all of plant choices, boxwoods and hydrangeas are favorites...so pretty!

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  11. Thank you for the sweet comments everybody! I'll be watering my hydrangeas this morning. XO

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  12. We have been down here, in this climate, for five years now (can't believe that!) and yes, that hard, clay soil can be something to deal with. Last spring we installed an irrigation system and now don't know how we lived without it! http://www.libbywilkiedesigns.com/2015/06/installing-a-garden-irrigation-system.html
    It really WAS easy to install; buy it at Lowe's. And has made life so much easier and the gardens so much happier!

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    1. Thanks Libby! I'll have to check into that. I just spent nearly an hour hand watering each individual plant and have done it countless times before now. An irrigation system would be a HUGE time saver.

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  13. So so pretty.....I have most of the same plants in my yard.....I can't remember what it looked like before but it sure looks great and will fill out nicely!

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I love your comments and read each and every one. Your questions will be answered here or you can email me at rene.cottageandvine@gmail.com

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