front yard makeover: part 1.

For the last two years, we have been the disgrace of the neighborhood. Really. Our front yard was a mess. I love plants, gardens, and landscaping, and when we moved in about 9 years ago, I chose and planted everything myself. At the time, I was a stay at home mom, and had a little more time for garden upkeep. But not anymore.  I’m surprised we haven’t gotten nasty notes stuck in our mailbox from concerned neighbors.

Now that I’m a full-time business owner as well as a full-time mommy to 4, I haven’t had time to breathe, much less weed, water, and plant. If it weren’t for my in-laws, just mowing the lawn would be a obstacle! Needless to say, the yard has suffered.

Up until now. We’ve been on the lookout for a landscape guy who could help us turn things around. (For a year, the top item on my honey-do list was literally “find awesome landscape dude”). He had to at least know as much about plants as I do (and I have a Biology degree), have some creative ideas for our problem areas, and be willing to let me have my way. Enter Chad, our awesome landscape dude!

He’s been working hard this past week getting things ready, so I thought I would share some in-progress photos. Maybe there are some plant nerds out there, like me, who actually enjoy this kind of stuff!

Here’s the dreaded before photo. It doesn’t look too bad from the other side of the street, as long as you don’t look too close. But it’s obvious that the shrubs on the right side are too big and covering up the windows. For a gal who loves light, that’s not cool. The weeds are quickly taking over, and nothing has been cut back all year.

Front Yard Makeover (1)

This is what it looks like as of this morning. Everything that wasn’t staying has been cleared out.

Front Yard Makeover (2)

Here’s the front of the garage before, with its overgrown shrubs and weeds. You can see the dead spot on the right corner where nothing will grow.

Front Yard Makeover (3)

Who doesn’t love a closeup of weeds? I have been growing more grass in these beds than anything else!

Front Yard Makeover (4)

Ahh. That’s better, even with nothing in it. The daylilies and mums along the front are staying, and we will be adding more. The daylilies even started blooming again after being tended to by Chad! I see one little yellow flower. Chad has a plan for hardy shrubs here that will look much better.

Front Yard Makeover

This area won’t be changing much, other than some weeding and trimming. I couldn’t part with my beloved hydrangeas. We will also be getting that fountain back in working order.

Front Yard Makeover (5)

To the left of the door was another bed of weeds, among some azaleas whose color I never really cared for (they were supposed to be red, but ended up more of an orange that clashed with the brick). My garden girl is sad.

Front Yard Makeover (6)

Again, much better after being cleared out! We have daylilies along the front here too, and they are staying. We’ll be planting new Encore Azaleas in a beautiful white here, along with some other things that Chad has in mind.

Front Yard Makeover (7)

In front of the house, I had planned a flower bed for annuals that I would change out with the seasons. Uh, yeah. Right. Obviously, that never happened, and the grass took over. You can barely see the bricks that we laid to keep the lawn out of the flower bed. Which worked like a charm (sarcastic rolling of eyes here).

Front Yard Makeover (8)

The grass has now been removed, along with the brick edging. A beautiful stacked stone retaining wall will be going here instead, so that we Chad can finally plant that bed of annuals. We’ll be starting with pansies when the weather gets a little cooler.

Front Yard Makeover (9)

You can see the footings for the stone that have been dug here. So excited for this part!

Front Yard Makeover (10)

That’s a pond. No, seriously. We installed it to help us drain some of the water that went through the yard. But before, it was so overgrown you couldn’t find it unless you followed the sound of the bullfrogs.

Front Yard Makeover (11)

See? Told ya. It’s been cleared away, and Chad has designed a new garden that will circle it and make it much prettier. And he’ll straighten up those rocks too.

Front Yard Makeover (12)

The pond empties into a dry riverbed that directs water away from our yard. This was the view from the street, underneath the overhanging branches of our river birches.

Front Yard Makeover (13)

Now, the branches have been trimmed, and the grass has been cleared out next to the riverbed to make way for plants – more black-eyed susans, purple coneflower, and some low grasses are in the plan for this area.

Front Yard Makeover (14)

On the other side of the house, the flowerbed next to the driveway had more grass than anything else.

Front Yard Makeover (15)

The rose is staying, but everything else has been cleared away. We moved the evergreen shrub to the backyard. Stacked stone will be going around this bed too.

Front Yard Makeover (16)


Front Yard Makeover (17)

I think Chad is going to be starting on the stone today, and I can’t wait to see that go in! Hopefully next week we can start working on my favorite part – the plants!

I’ll keep you updated. Here’s to a new front yard. And flowers. And an awesome landscape dude. Cheers!


  • Sarah
    Posted at 08:29h, 25 August

    Wow that Chad dude IS awesome & makes quick work of getting grass gone (my nemesis)!! I wish I lived closer to hire him too!!! Can’t wait to see the end result! Do keep this plant nerd posted!