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.)

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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!

Roof: before
Roof: After (Wasting no time to use the rototiller)
Roof: After
(Wasting no time to use the rototiller)

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!

July 2013

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

The landscaping has gone through a couple of years of harsh winters and is still growing strong!

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!)



Posted by:Jackie Hausler of haus2home

Jackie Hausler seeks to inspire creativity in the name of reclaiming, reusing and upcycling. With each project, she walks followers through do-it-yourself projects, shows how to give old items a new chance at life, and teaches ways to be eco-friendly and live a green lifestyle. She believes making your house a home doesn't have to be expensive to be beautiful, and is passionate about accomplishing that while being kind to our earth. Jackie is the founder of the home and lifestyle blog haus2home.com.

8 replies on “Our Home Lanscaping Adventure

  1. I’m always on the lookout for old brick buildings being torn down in the city to steal for edging. Your garden would look lovely with some old bricks around it! I got lucky living at my grandmothers, there was already some large stones there, but they were buried. Brandon and I dug them up so we could raise the garden full with mulch, and it looks so polished! Keeps the grass from creeping in on my garden too. I later found out the stones are actually from an old building in NT. And the bricks in my backyard garden are from when Oliver St. was a brick road! I’ll never get rid of them!

    1. Oh that would look awesome, great tip Stephanie! Your house sounds like you have put a lot of hard work into it too. I bet it looks as fabulous as it sounds! Keep up the hard work. 🙂 And, thank you! I’m glad you like it. It was indeed a bit trying at times, but we did it!

  2. Just wondering if you could post an updated picture of your lanscaping project. It is so hard to envision the finished look that you get when everything grows in.

  3. Hello!

    This is my first visit and journeyed from your lentil recipe to here. I know this is an older post, but it’s new to me. And resonates: we’ve always DIY-ed our landscaping as well: heavy, dirty, rewarding work!

    You did a great job! Plants/bushes/trees make such a difference. And it’s so much fun to mark the passing of time through the things you plant (way better than via wrinkles). You won’t believe that Japanese maple in 10 years!

    Greatly enjoying poking around your blog…your bathroom reno is amazing!

    1. Hi Em! Thanks so much for stopping by and for the nice comments! I agree 100% landscaping is tough and very rewarding!!! Since its been a few years already, its looking great. I should do an update post so everyone can see how its thriving. 🙂

      Thank you about the bathroom as well! I hope you’ll give the blog a follow and continue reading. 🙂

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