We bought our first home in July of 2011 and as much as we absolutely LOVED the inside of the house, we knew the landscaping had to go. I mean, just look at it! The bushes were practically swallowing the house.
(Spring and winter photos for your viewing pleasure.)
Landscaping isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do and thankfully, we have friends and family with trucks and equipment who helped. We tackled this as a DIY project and saved a lot of dough.
After a full year in the house, the time was ripe to take out the bushes starting with the two ginormous ones that covered our front door. I bet our mailman was pretty happy about that progress. He no longer needed to use a human slingshot to get to our mailbox.
When we got back from our honeymoon in September of 2012, we tore out the rest of the bushes using a truck and a fire hose. You could say the honeymoon was over…for the bushes. I have to admit, I was a little (I stress little) sad to see them go only for the mere fact that they are fantastic for Christmas lights, but I digress.
We waited patiently all fall, winter and spring to tackle the rest of the project. We knew we needed a new roof and we had to save save save. Because the roof was so pricey to get done, we ended up having to really rein in our budget for the landscaping, but we’ll outline that for you later.
If you’ve ever seen a roofing project done, you know why we waited to do the landscaping until the roof was done. I arrived home from work the day the roof was being put on, and our house looked like it got sick and well…just see for yourself.
As bad as it looks in the photo, I have to give the crew a lot of credit for their cleanup efforts. They picked up great and we only found a couple of roofing nails afterwards. So now it was official. As of June 2013, our home had a new roof, new gutters and we were ready to tackle the front landscaping. Yahoo!
Once the dirt was rototilled, we could begin the landscaping process. You see this pile of dirt in your driveway and you say, “Oh that’s not that much,” or “We got this,” or “Tom, I used to work at a barn shoveling horse poo, this is nothing.” Then, about 45 wheel barrel loads, lots of sweat and one little tear later, you have both changed your mind.
After a couple of hours, the dirt was in and we were ready for some plants. After two years, I finally got a photo of Tom and I in front of our first home. (Definetly not our best look, but it was 90 degrees and we were working hard.)Very happy to have the new roof on, the soil tilled, the new dirt in and being able to start to plant. Cheese!
We wanted to go with a variety of plants, varying in color that bloom at different points in the year so that there is always something in bloom. We came up with a pretty good lineup from the Home Depot, Elber’s Landscaping, and Russell’s Tree Farm; 2 boxwood bushes, 4 hostas, 1 Japanese maple tree, 2 mini Christmas trees, 1 pink columbine plant, 1 hydrangea tree, 1 red burning bush, a couple ferns, 1 dwarf grass plant, and 1 nandina shrub. You put all of that together with some black Preen mulch and viola!
Now for the budget. We spent $96 at the Home Depot for some of the plants. They were having a great sale, so we capitalized on that opportunity and got everything 50% off. The rest of the plants we bought at Elber’s for $25 and Russell’s for $56. We bought 10 bags of mulch and plant food at Lowe’s for $45. The dirt was about $100 and it was delivered to us, which was a very nice perk. All in all it cost nearly $325 which is a HUGE savings compared to what it could have been. Our plan is to start small and see how the plants fill out by next year. We may add some additional plants as we go, but we shal see. We’re no pros, but we think we did a decent job for the resources we had. Now its onto the next project-the pink bathroom!
Do you have any tips on landscaping or gardening? We would love to hear them! Leave your comments below. One last “before and after” for you, just for giggles.
Update: October 2015
We have added mulch each year to prevent the weeds from taking over and its looking really great. (Picture taken in spring – plants fill in even more over the summer!)