Monday, June 6, 2011

So Far...Oh So Good!

When we left you after our last Front Yard post, we had cut down a mountain laurel and transplanted one bush as seen below. 


Shortly thereafter we moved the other two (and I didn't post an update, my apologies) and it made such a huge difference in how the front of our house looked.  Like I've said a hundred times it just opened up the entry way and made our front door the focus.


Well this last weekend, we decided to finish up the planting bed.  We were a little tired of looking at the dirt and I'm sure our neighbors were not too thrilled to look at it either.  Recent news is the Yard of the Month winner was awarded and it was not us...but a house down the street.  That is enough to get my husband motivated to spruce up the yard and win the highly sought after Yard of the Month sign in the front yard!!

So off to our local home improvement stores we went to purchase flat blade shovel, metal edging...


Weed block fabric...


and mulch...


We altered the planting bed shape slightly to allow for the front steps to be accessed easier.  Before it had the bushes and planting bed in front of the existing little walkway.  You had to walk on the driveway up to the path to get to the front door, which is almost impossible with a car parked in the drive.  So we opted to end the planting bed at the corner of the walk that way it would leave the space open to extend our walk way toward the sidewalk in the future. 

Here is a pic before we did any shrub relocation...


and here is after shrub relocation...


So to begin the transformation, the first step was to lay down the weed block fabric.  Since we had some existing plants we had to cut the fabric to ensure the fabric went around each plant. 


Since we altered the shape slightly, we (Devin really) had to dig out the grass from the area to make sure no grass would grow in the planting area.


Once the fabric was laid out, the edging could go in and around it and hold the edges down snugly.  Here you can also notice the new shape that ends at the corner of the walk way. 


Next step was to purchase plants and configure them in a logical manner.  Basically we made sure the plants we purchased would grow to be the right size so that they wouldn't take over the front yard and that one plant wouldn't be taller than the one behind it, also that they were appropriate for the light available (ours are part sun plants since the area is shaded some) and that they were perennial so we didn't have to replant EVERYTHING next year. 

Here is our layout...


To summarize, we bought a mixture of Mondo Grass, Asparagus Fern, Begonias, Vinca, and Oyster plants for a total of 58 plants I believe. 


Let the digging begin!  To plant the plants, I had to cut an X in the weed block fabric to expose the earth to dig in.  This was my time to shine! 


It really wasn't that bad because of COURSE I had help!


Finally once all plants were in the ground, we could mulch.  This was Devin's time to shine as I sat and drank tons of water and let my back readjust to being vertical.  He used the technique of splitting the bags in place and just spreading the mulch to the more open areas.  For the tighter fitting areas he shoveled small bits of mulch from the Great Wheelbarrow and also did some mulch spreading by hand.


Ok ok, enough explanation, here are the final pics!  Yippee!  I am so in love with the new look and now am eager to add an extension to our walkway toward the street!  To review, here is the before pic...

 
And AFTER...


Our Gnomio has a new home also!  He will do a great job taking care of our new baby plants.  Hopefully they will grow big and strong!  You might also notice a lovely piece of limestone next to Gnomio, it is a beautiful rock that was just sitting sadly in our back yard so we moved it to the front for it's moment of glory.  I think it adds some nice dimension and texture to the setting.


I also love how the green just pops off of the dark mulch!  Muah! (motioning with my fingers exploding from my lips)


Here you can sorta see the small planting area to the right of the steps, there I planted the same Oyster plant as on the left side to add some symmetry to the walk.


Voila!  On to the next!

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