Monday, August 19, 2019

If You Like Flowers You'll Like This Post

We usually spruce up our front beds around March or April each year - sometimes with a new plant or two, but always with pulling the weeds and putting down fresh mulch.  Well, this spring Jeff was busy with a couple of projects near the driveway so the plants were put on the back burner for oh, you know, four months.  When we finally got to the plants, it no longer qualified as a spring spruce up, but hey - the end result was better than anything we've done there before so the wait was worth it.

We've lived in this house for 19 years - moved in when it was new.  There were two small yew trees planted in front of the garage windows.  Over time they grew and grew and it got so we kept trimming them in order to walk up to the front door without getting whapped by a branch but this year Jeff said he thought the bigger tree needed to come down.  He never says something like this - Jeff will save every tree or plant that he can, which is why our side yard looks kind of janky, but it's hidden by the fence so whatever, I don't care.  But he thought the yew was covering up too much of the house, and once I stepped back and really looked at it, I agreed.

Here's a before shot:
That's one tall tree.  Also, I took these pictures in early July - sorry, neighbors, for having to look at this mess for so long!

Other side:
Everything was either overgrown or had outlived its lifespan, so Jeff ripped it all out except for the lantana at one end and the smaller yew.  He trimmed that back mostly to see if we could make it work but also because we didn't have anything to replace it with.

When we'd gone to breakfast at Flourish with Karen and Jimmymeow in July, we stopped at a nursery on the way home, where holy cow, did we ever get some help from a woman who worked there.  A day later Jeff and I returned and found that same woman and showed her pictures I'd taken of the front beds so she could see the area we had to work in, plus I told her about our full sun situation.  She led us to a selection of full sun plants that we hadn't seen in either Lowe's or Home Depot plant department, and pointed out the options that would work best for that area.

We ended up buying four plants, in addition to a double shepherd's hook and a couple of fun plant stands.  Our plant lady also had explained why some hanging plants we'd bought earlier in the summer weren't blooming - they needed to be in full sun.  So between the new plants, bringing out three non-blooming plants from the backyard, and the other two blooming plants we'd bought when we stopped with Karen and Jimmy, we had enough to make a big change.

Here's an after shot:
It's nice to see the brick again!
Close up - quite a change from before!

The green plant is a Sky Pencil Holly, which does not have spikey leaves.  It's supposed to grow 6 - 10 feet high and 1 - 2 feet wide.  The other new plant is the yellowish green one - it's a Ligustrum and should spread 3 - 4 feet, which will fill in that rounded area nicely.  To the right of that plant are two Abelia Radiance shrubs and I can't find that plant card so I don't have anything more specific about it.  But our plant lady said these would do well in this spot.  The plant with the orange blooms is one of the backyard non-bloomers, now happily blooming.
Other half of the bed - WE HAVE FLOWERS!!!
So many flowers - I just love coming outside each day to see how everything is blooming!  

The two hanging from the shepherd's hook are purslane or portulaca, I can't remember.  That's also what the yellow flowering plant in the blue pot is, as well as the pink flowering plant to the left of it.  You can see how Jeff trimmed the yew tree that we are keeping for now - it reminds me of a giant bonsai tree with its shape.  You can also see the bougainvillea blooming, and next to it is the flowering lantana plant that comes back each year and blooms like crazy all spring and summer.
These plants are awesome - they bloom like this, then eventually these flowers die and a couple of days later, new blooms!  You don't have to deadhead them at all, which is my kind of plant.
As my Grandmother used to say, it's a riot of color!

Obviously we are very happy with how the front bed turned out - it's a whole new look for our house:
First the inside was renovated; now we are working on the outside.  There's a lot more to do in the beds to the right of this picture, but this is it for now.

This has been a very visually satisfying project and I feel like we have a better handle on what will work well for that space.  Now we just need to watch the new plants grow!

16 comments:

  1. I like what you guys did with your landscaping the after pictures are very nice! I have good news I am happily typing this from home this morning so I am able to leave comments easier since I can stay signed in to Google on my home computer.

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    1. Thank you, Susan - and welcome back to regular commenting!! Very happy you have your home computer up and running once more. :)

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  2. Those vibrant colors look fantastic against your white brick. I need to go to a real gardening center as I'm getting ready to rip out everything and start over as well. I don't have near the beds or room you do so I need to talk with someone who knows. I also need plants that don't need a lot of babying, otherwise they're gonna die.

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    1. We don't have any real garden centers around us; this one was about an hour away, which wasn't bad considering we got so much help and cool plants. I don't know why we never thought about doing this sooner. Hope you get some professional advice; it helped us so much, especially when we showed how small the bed was.

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  3. Oh man, now I have landscape envy! It's nice that Jeff is so motivated. My husband says he wants to do all these projects but getting him to the action phase is a whole other animal...

    Looks great!

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    1. I was surprised that Jeff took down the tree when he did - it was HOT HOT HOT and I'd told him to wait until a cooler morning, but I think he wanted to see the new plants in place. Glad he did it...my contribution was to bring out water and Gatorade occasionally.

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  4. Very pretty!! I love when I can make an old space look new again - your flower beds all look so great!

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    1. Thanks, Jill - it is so different from what was there that I can't stop marveling at it when I drive up to it as I'm coming home. :)

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  5. Wow! That is all fantastic looking! Your bougainvillea is making me jealous!! And the plants in the shepherd's hook--I've tried growing those before. I'm guessing I just didn't put them where there was enough sun. It all looks so pretty!!! Going to a nursery where they really know what they are doing is so great!

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    1. We've tried the flowering plants in the ground but they still didn't do as well as the hanging plants are (and the ones on the ground were hanging plants originally, too. And after fighting bougainvilleas for years in the backyard, it's so good to see this one happily blooming.

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  6. Wow, it looks beautiful! I love the riot of color :) I'm with Jeff on wanting to save all the trees (and I've been SO SAD to see older, taller trees around here ripped away by developers for new subdivisions and retail centers, only to be replaced with new saplings 6 months later) but agree that's a pretty positive and impactful change!

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    1. Oh, me too on the beautiful large trees cut down for another building; I could rant on how much our town has changed just in the 19 years that we've lived here...but I won't. Today, anyway. ;)

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  7. This post makes me so happy!!! Yay flowers!

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    1. Thanks Lori - I knew you would like this post! :)

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