Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Not exactly Wordless Wednesday: Landscaping before and after

Well our front yard planting project is finally complete...with only a few minor delays. For some reason, I do not have pictures of the house from when we first moved in a year ago. The previous homeowners made some very strange landscaping decisions.

Let me show you what we had done:

I've already given you a preview of our mailbox area. When we first moved in, there was no landscaping by the mailbox...just some strange vine on a trellis. Last fall, we actually made a bed there and planted pansys and whatever that white/greenish plant is around the border. We left the vine. My mother actually wanted to pull it out for our Spring landscaping project. But thank goodness it bloomed just before we started. We (meaning the landscapers. Not me. No, not me) pulled out the pansys, added some sort of yellow and orange flowers (marigolds and zinnias maybe?), trimmed the other thing (what are they?!), and moved the Clematis vine (thanks Aunt Elizabeth!) more around the mail box. Now, it's just gorgeous.




Next area to tackle is the small bed on the otherside of the driveway. Honestly, I don't recall what was there before. It wasn't memorable. I know that when we had work done in the fall, we moved a bunch of things around. In the fall, we put our lone rose bush as the focus of the bed and surrounded it with some other grassy things (don't you love my knowledge of all things plant? You should have pity on our landscaper when she tried to ask me questions about what we wanted planted!):Well...we moved the rose bush, added some day lilies, maiden grass, and some purple flower (petunias?):And those Daylilies? We tried to get some orange ones to go with the yellow ones that were already there...but our landscaper found this variety instead (hey...I remember what this one is called: moonlight masquerade!):
The next area we (don't you love my usage of the royal "we?") tackled was our side yard. Which was completely empty. Except for the weeds:My first thought was that I wanted sunflowers. Lots of sunflowers. But it doesn't get enough full sun. So...then I had a wild hair...and thought "what about a rose garden?" We moved that rose bush from the front to the side yard and added some more. We got knock-out roses - they bloom continuously from spring to fall:

Moving right along...we have a bed in the middle of the yard. Last fall, we moved some plants around in here...and actually made it smaller. Before, there was no grass between this bed and the street. When we moved in, the only thing in the bed was some weeds and some hostas. We moved the hostas around, moved some plants (my landscaper calls them seedums - but I have no idea if that is what they really are) from the front to the shade...and then this time we added 6 azeala bushes - and they are the encore azealas - and should bloom 9 months out of the year. So far, nothing - I'm sure it's the trauma of leaving their friends at the nursery.And the last bed we tackled was the one right up front and under the dining room window. This one was the strangest when we moved in. There was 2 hedge type bushes right up in the front. And then, nothing in the back. Nothing. It's like the hedges his the nothing. Well...the weeds. They hid the explosion of weeds. That I tried to weed once...and after hours in the sun informed everyone who would listen that we needed a landscaper. There were some other random things in this hedge purgatory - a few day lilies, a jasmine vine, a strange looking hedge that thought it might be a tree, and some terra cotta pots....filled with dirt. Nothing else. Also, shortly after my weeding attempts, these HUGE weeds appeared. They grew to about 4 feet or so. And every time I looked at them, I thought about pulling them out. And then went quickly back inside to enjoy the air conditioning. Or unpack another box. Or read a book. Anything but deal with the weeds taking over. And then one day, my weeds had blooms. HUGE blooms. And then...they bloomed...and those were not weeds at all. They were stargazer lilies. Gorgeous stargazer lilies. One of my very favorite flowers. Who knew they look like weeds?! I cut all the blooms and brought them inside. Not so smart. Stargazer lilies stink. The stench was unbearable...and I had to move them to the dining room so we could all breathe. We'll just enjoy them outside this year.
Okay...moving on. Last fall, when the landscaper came, they put down a pretty red mulch...moved those tacky hedges, moved the day lilies so that they would sort of make a border...and added pansys.
The plan this time around was to put in a crepe myrtle tree...put new flowers into the pansy beds, and add some more color. (see that tree/hedge type thing over on the far right? - the plan was to get rid of that too) Mom wanted the jasmine gone too. Cause of her vine issue. Lucky for her, it, too bloomed right when the landscapers came. And it, unlike stargazer lilies, has a wonderful scent. I decided that it should just be transplanted and trained to grow around our deck in the back. And this is what it looks like now:We moved those terra cotta pots to the front door(and transplanted those stinky stargazers into the pots...plus we added some other pretties)...added 2 crepe myrtle trees...added a rose tree in the place of the jasmine...solar lights...and a bunch of other plants I don't recall the names of. And now, we are brimming with curb appeal.

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Theme song: Elton John, Empty Garden

24 comments:

GBK Gwyneth said...

Beautiful, Katrina! Makes me want to go home and do some gardening...

The Ridge School said...

Very nice. You are really making it yours!

Angela said...

Wow this looks fabulous! I love to see what people are putting in their beds!

Angie said...

Color me jealous. Love the house. Love the landscaping. Love the flowers. Hell, I even love your garden hose! ;)
It looks great! You are a lucky woman to get a landscaper. I have dirt under my newly grown fingernails and I am NOT happy about it!

Rhea said...

Awesome landscaping tour, Kat! I loved it! You crack me up with your use of the royal "we," the weeds that turned into lilies that in turn stunk up the house, and the lack of speaking plant. hehe

Your yard and beds look incredible though, very, very nice!! And, that moonlight masquerade flower is gorgeous!!

Great post. Please send your landscapers to my yard now. And your husband to do my shopping. And Katie to do my cooking. hehe

Debbie said...

Kat it looks fantastic! I am so late getting out to my garden this year. The weather has been so wacky it's been difficult for me to get out there..plus I have been working on some indoor projects. Never ends does it!

Firefly mom said...

I hereby award you with the "Wordiest Wordless Wednesday Award" :D

Those daylillies are beautiful. I'm glad the gardener told you what kind they were - I'm going to see if I can get some up here! Maybe I'll re-name them "Kat Lillies"

Kat said...

Gwyneth--You are welcome to come here and garden. I am so not a gardener. I am a hirer :-)

Jenny--We are making it ours. It had this haphazard thing going on...I just want it all done. We already have more plans for fall and then for next spring.

Angela--Thanks for coming by. I love to see what everyone else is doing too. I just wish I knew what things were called so I can say "I want X to be added." But I have no idea...so I just let her pick.

Angie--You like the hose?! It used to be hidden by those hedges. It's not so discreet anymore. It needs a new home. But I am too lazy, and I think it'll just stay there.

Rhea--thanks...I have a lot to say about the transformation...I just don't know the words to use :-) I'll need to send my mom to you, too - she does all the laundry.

Debbie--our weather has been strange here too...which is why it took so long to do this post :-) It has been partially done for several weeks. Just delegate your gardening :-)

FM--Oh, I need someone to make that award. My WW are usually wordy...but not to this extent! It needed the story though. I'm glad I got the name of at least one plant for ya...and one of the prettiest. Let me know if they sell Kat lillies up there!

SKELLER said...

Oh, it's all just so very beautiful. Thanks for taking me on a tour of your new garden. It's just splendid!!

Heather said...

Everything looks great, Kat!!! Okay, and I love that you live somewhere that you can transplant things. We can't do that here because it's too dry and the plants freak out. I LOVE all of your roses and your clematis climbing up your mailbox is beautiful. You did good!!

Kat said...

Susan--thanks!

Heather--Well, my Jasmine is currently freaking out. Lots of the leaves have been dropped...but I think it will settle in soon. But a lot of the other plants have been moved around quite a bit.

Cindy said...

I'm so excited because I actually know what that "white greenish" plant is by your mailbox - it's Dusty Miller. Makes a nice contrast. Your home and landscaping is beautiful.

Nissa said...

"Luke, I am your father" (haha- welcome to the darkside, Kat!)

I love the clematis vine on the mailbox!!! Great job on all of your landscaping. It truly does make or break a house, in my opinion!

Kat said...

Nissa--I thought of you the entire time. Knew I would make you proud! We need someone savvy to make us "Way too wordy for wordless" badges :-) Or how about "The Dark side of Wordless Wednesday?" But, alas, I am not that person.

cellista said...

It all looks so beautiful!!! I really like your house too. I love brick with shutters. The flag is a nice touch too! I need serious help with my yard now, but I don't even have a clue where to start.

Lula! said...

How did I miss this post? Oh wait, I know...I saw Lost and went all wonky, as is my usual reaction.

Your house/yard looks AMAZING. We are huge fans of knock-out roses...we have about 12 hot pink and light pink ones in our side yard (where the garages are) and then a ton of red ones around our patio and the pool, which is in the back. And those are huge--I cut them down back in March and they have grown like crazy since then...tons of blossoms.

I am a gardening person, so this post was right up my alley. Loved it--thanks for taking us on the tour.

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

BTW - I don't think I managed to tell you Sunday - you have a BEAUTIFUL home!!!!!!

Karen said...

Very, very nice... !!!

I had some Daphne bushes in my garden, in NZ. They give off the most incredible scent. I used to cut a few flowering sprigs off and bring them inside. They would scent the whole room. Lovely.

Rhea said...

I said it once, I'll say it again. Your yard is awesome.

Rhea said...

I have a dead tree in my front yard. The landlord needs to put it out of its misery.

Rhea said...

Someone needs to put me out of my misery. I feel swollen and bloated and tired this morning, my soccer team was slaughtered and I have a headache.

Rhea said...

Should I just conceded and let Karen and Tiffany have it?

Cecile said...

Nice post. You're fortunate to have a very good landscaper. The landscape designs are great and amazing. You have a beautiful garden and a beautiful home (these two come in package). Thanks for sharing.
snohomish landscaping

Hudson NY Tree Care said...

Thank you for showing before and after shots of how you added to your landscaping. Were those shrubs that you planted by the mailbox? Good post.