Sunday, September 18, 2011

Last Minute Landscaping

window boxes

Heya!! How was your weekend? Good I hope – the temps were pretty darn great around here and I took advantage of it!

All of the activity we have going on in the backyard has kind of spilled over into the rest of the yard – but not in a good way. Our front and side yards have looked like the back for the past month or so – AWFUL.

With all the workers walking all over and all the STUFF everywhere and dust and dead grass and moving furniture off the deck and back on and off again – it’s not been pretty around here. So we kind of gave up on the front too.

Hubby is a fareeek about our yard too – so that tells you what a mess everything has been. We just figured we’d wait till everything was done to make the outside presentable again.

Well, the back is thisclose to done, so this weekend, I attacked the thorn in my side in the front.

Shortly after we moved in to our house, I installed landscaping bricks along the front of the house:


I also tore out all the plants and put in the azaleas and lilies. Didn’t they look great?

Then, as time went on, the plants got bigger – the lilies looked GREAT, and the azaleas did awesome too:

And check out those petunias – wowza! :)

For a few years, it looked great! But lately I’ve noticed something every time I pull up to the house. It just looked MESSY.

A hot mess to be exact:

Numerous issues were going on – (most) of our azaleas are out of control. Which is great, but a couple of them are HUGE. They’ve at least tripled their size since I planted them. Nice problem to have, I know. ;)

But the lilies are being completely choked out. You can see how big and beautiful they were before. Now they just looked like weeds coming out between the azaleas.

Speaking of weeds – I’ve just ignored them lately. The landscaping is so tight behind those bricks that I can’t even get in there to get the yucky stuff out. We have a HUGE problem with critters dropping Mulberry tree seeds – so we have random trees popping up EVERYWHERE.

(You can see one coming up behind the azalea above.)

It drives me mad. Cuckoo.

And add to that, if hubby didn’t use the weed wacker every single time he mowed, the grass just looked like booty up against the bricks.

So I thunk and I thunk and tried to figure out what to do. And I decided to take the bricks out.

I had one of those “is this allowed?” moments I sometimes have with myself – I mean, I worked my tail off installing that brick (years ago). And it took me forever to get them all level (years ago). And they weren’t cheap (years ago).

So I felt like I had to keep them there, which is just silly.

But I don’t. So they’re gone. :)

It took a while, it took some muscle. It took some weeding. MUCH weeding.

And in the end, it was different, but a good different:

landscape lighting

I still have some work to do – it needs more mulch, I need to cut into the lawn around it to keep the mulch in and clean up the line a bit, and after a good rain I’ll actually be able to get the landscaping lights down into the ground. Our soil is solid. Gah.

Eventually I want to run beds around our little sidewalk and down along the driveway and add more perennials. But for now, just clearing it out and adding a ton of mulch made a HUGE difference.

I feel like our house can breathe!

Originally I was going to just reinstall the landscaping bricks around the mulch, but goodness, those are so much work to get right and level. And I want to tie in this area with the rest of the front yard, so the bricks just won’t work anymore.

What’s especially awesome about this small change is that the landscaping lights were hidden behind the plants before, and now we have LIGHT! Over time, you couldn’t even see the spot lights on the house because the plants got so big. And it was a BEAR to get behind there to change out the teeny light bulbs in those things too.

I got a couple more lights to add to what we had, and now it’s even brighter out front.

I LOVE landscaping lighting by the way. It adds so much beauty to your house at night. And it makes it look more expensive – I swear. If you don’t believe me, drive through the fancy neighborhoods at night and check out the amazing difference landscaping lights make! ;)

And they are just so easy to install too – I just luuurve em.

While I was at it, I tore out the dead flowers from the window boxes and planted my kale and mums:

cottage style shutters  kale and mum window boxes 

I think kale is such a beautiful option for fall – they hold up great in cool temps, they are unusual and just pretty.

I throw in a few (fake) pumpkins this time of year to fill in the empty spots, and I love how it looks. The first signs of fall are showing around here! YAHOO!!

I’d like to add extend the beds even further next year, move the lilies out a bit so they can breathe, then add some annual color along the front. But going into the fall, I’m just loving the power of simplifying:

cottage style exterior

Next up – mums in the porch planters and some front porch changes! Ohhh…I’m so nervous. ;) Can you guess what I have up my sleeve?!

Are you working on any last minute landscaping? The weather is PERFECT for it and fall is great time to plant trees and bushes! I am so motivated, I’m moving on to another overgrown spot this week.

And I hope to show you the backyard this week too – once we clean it up! :)

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