Home Update: Fall Landscaping In The Front Yard

Nov 6

We’re getting back to basics today. And I couldn’t be more thrilled. My long-time blog friends will recall there once was a day when I blogged about home improvement. You know, improvements made in MY home. Ahhhh, so excited to share that recently I’ve had *a little* time to knock out of a few serious projects. In the front yard specifically.

I’m sleeping soundly tonight!

For my new friends, let me catch you up to speed real quick:

You can see the before images of my home’s exterior in this post. It’s truly amazing how much the property has changed in 3 years. The house itself is original (in all its 1960 glory), but the outside – where we spend a lot of time – is where the improvements are focused. For now, at least.

After purchasing the home, I added a driveway (part 1 here and part 2 here). This was a necessary project as there are 3 kids living here. It was like we were stuck in perpetual camping mode, with dirt tracking into the house on the daily.

Once the driveway was completed, I added sod and plants in the front (seen here).

Then added a path to the front door (seen here) with some landscaping.

There are many many posts about the improvements made round here. Soon I hope to put together a comprehensive, easy to read, all encompassing post so everyone can catch up. Even I had trouble digging back through my posts to put this history together, so I get it! In the meantime, I hope the links above give you at least a general idea of where I started and after reading today’s update, you’ll see how far I’ve come in 3 years.

I want to first say I’ve been hesitant to do anything in the front in terms of landscaping because I’m hoping to tear into the kitchen soon. I say “soon”, but I said “soon” 3 years ago when we moved in. A kitchen renovation will be more than just the kitchen, which is why it’s going to be a while. The renovation involves expanding the house into the front, where the current landscaping sits. The landscaping placed in the front of the house, nearest to the kitchen, are plants that can be easily torn out and replaced or moved. I didn’t want to invest in trees or flowers I would fall in love with only to feel terrible about pulling them out and saying goodbye.

I added plants like star jasmine and lavender. A few bushes. Morning glories / ivy. Simple items that provided ground cover, but also something pretty to look at in the meantime. These were also plants that don’t require a ton of water here in drought land. You can see everything planted here.

2 years later, nothing really changed. Well, other than growth and ground movement. As you can imagine, a lot of upkeep needed to occur. Yes, we’ve maintained the lawn and trimmed back bushes when necessary. But I’ve been too busy helping other families that my front yard was looking sad and begging for serious attention. In addition to needing mulch and flowers / color, I was dreaming of trees in a few wide open spots along the deer fence. I’ve previously mentioned on the blog that we had 2 break-in’s at the house. We live on a regional trail and thief’s have taken opportunities to steal bikes and things right from our garage / front yard. And while we were home. Brazen, I know. Obviously, home security was taken seriously and those updates have been made as well, such as the addition of cameras all over the property.

Anyway, I wanted to add more trees for privacy, more flowers and even after everything I’ve done, there is still much dirt yet to be covered.

Over the last month, I picked out roses and trees, had them delivered and then waited through the rainy few weeks we had to finally plant everything. I also had the borders fixed in the front walk, as earth movement is normal…but it was causing us to trip out here.

Let me show you some pics of the before first, shall we? You can see the border popping up…

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

 

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

You’ll also notice the plants and trees are randomly sitting in holes. This project was completed in phases…when time was available.

I’ve always wanted maple trees…and now we have 4!…

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

Sadly, they had to sit like this for a while. Not that we were upset about the much needed rain though!

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

I’ve been craving flowers and color around here. There’s so much green and brown, but minimal color. I found this stunning crawling rose sitting all alone at the nursery. I seriously fell in love with the vibrant orange color…

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

It’s going along the deer fence and look forward to watch it crawl like no one’s business…

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

I chose 3 rose trees for the 3 empty spots in front of the garage doors…

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

For a moment I thought about little bushes…but Sam, flowers! We need flowers. Stay focused, girl!

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

I added rose bushes to the left of the front door…

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

On the corner, something really special. A Japanese maple tree…

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

My Grandma had a Japanese maple in her yard. The tree was there for more than 40 years. It’s still there in Sonoma, but she isn’t. In the Spring we moved her to assisted living. Her home was sold … and while the stunningly beautiful tree is still there, I won’t be seeing it every Fall and Winter. I wanted one of my own as a memory of my childhood (and adulthood) visiting her and my grandfather. Looking forward to watching this tree grow and change color to that vibrant red each and every year. I think this is the new tree I’m most excited about.

This weekend, the weather was spectacular so we finally had a chance to not only plant everything…there was time to mulch as well. And oh my gosh, I’m in love! These 3 maples filled in a rather large opening along the fence line. Can’t wait to watch these guys grow!

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

Mulch makes all the difference! In previous homes I’ve opted for a brown mulch, but this time went with black and it’s stunning! I’m totally sold…

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

Yes, a lot of wood. No, I didn’t chop it myself.

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

Took it a step further this evening by adding my pre-lit wreaths to the front gates. Sorry, I’m ready for some holiday cheer up in here…

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

There’s a couple more beds to mulch and I may add more flowers, if time allows. In the late winter, however, I’m planting more flowers for sure. Definitely peony bushes, which my nursery said they won’t have available until February. I was bummed because I really wanted to get those babies into the ground. Next year, perhaps a billion tulips for the Spring? Or if I randomly find some time later this month, I may go ahead and plant those. We’ll see. Who knows what mood will strike me! haha!

To finish out this home improvement update, I also added the last strip of concrete to the very end of the driveway. Here it was before…

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

These bumps we wreaking serious havoc on my cars alignment and shocks…

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

They are now smoothed out. Along with our previously bumpy drive in and out of here…

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

I’m going to spruce up this area around the mailbox…

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

The border is in. My concrete guy is going to fill this in with asphalt for the mailman’s truck, but behind and around the mailbox will be leveled and filled with something pretty and green. Maybe flowers too!

Simply Organized: Landscaping Update

Excited to have a fresh update in the front yard. Was fun to get back to the old days and share something home improvement related. I’ve missed these posts. There’s more to come, guys!

(I linked up with A Bowl Full of Lemons)

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  1. Joni says:

    I love it!
    So fortunate to live in California where you can have so many great things in the yard!

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