Hey all! I hope you had a lovely weekend! I celebrated my 41st with friends and family and it was just perfect. The 40's have treated me well so far. :)
I got an early birthday present when we had some landscaping torn out up front a few days ago. We planned to do this forever and haven't made it happen till now. I saved up a bunch of coupons from our local nursery and we got new plants at a discount. A friend's son did the tearing out and replanting for us at a great price, and I'm SO HAPPY to have this done!
If you remember, we had our small front steps torn out last year and replaced with wider cement steps. Still one of the best changes we've made to our house -- I can't believe it took us that long to do.
The next phase was this simpler landscaping. I planted azalea bushes in the front shortly after we moved in years ago and they did great...too great. They were overgrown and eventually half dead because they had no more room to grow.
They are absolutely gorgeous for two weeks in the spring, but in the winter our front landscaping was bare. Also, they were so close together it was nearly impossible to keep up with the weeds and trees that were constantly taking root:
Note that it didn't always look quite this bad! I let it go knowing we were getting it taken out. ;) It drove me crazy because it was always such a mess. I was constantly pulling tree sprouts and those are not easy to pull.
I've talked to you about this side of the house before too -- it was a mess:
I hated the bushes I planted there ten years ago. That rose bush on the corner bloomed maybe a couple times every two years or so.
We also had lilies that were huge every year but never bloomed anymore either. They were being choked out by the azaleas:
So we had it ALL torn out. I was so ready! We tried replanting an azalea last year and it didn't survive. We don't have a good spot for them and the light they need (and they were half dead underneath) so we didn't keep them. I thought I would be sad but I wasn't. :)
We replaced them with five simple plants -- three boxwoods and two buckthorn trees:
Edited to add -- many have mentioned concerns about the buckthorn in the comments. This is a Fine Line version and it is non-invasive. Sounds like other species of this plant can cause major issues but I'm not worried about these.
And my goodness, we are both SO thrilled with the change:
The side of the house looks bare and not so pretty, but we don't even care:
I'm going to take my time next spring and make a better plan for what we want there. I'll be researching that this winter.
The front porch got dressed up a bit for fall -- those fluffy mums are my absolute favorite!:
We had even bigger versions on the patio last year and I'm obsessed with them.
I did a very simple fall wreath with dried hydrangeas stuck inside:
The "S" cutout was from Micheal's months ago but I bet they still have it (I spray painted mine).
It's hard to get a good view of the landscaping from this side of the house because of our trees, but this is how it looks from this angle:
And here's a reminder of how it looked before:
So. much. better. Whoot! One more project off the list for this year!
Our son is a good gauge for projects around the house...if he likes it I know it's a good change. He was hesitant about having all the old plants taken out but when he saw the new, simpler look he said "good job Mama":
Ha! I always feel validated by the nine-year-old! :)
This is a start...I plan to add some color in the spring of course. I've missed my window boxes so those are going back up soon. I'll actually be able to get to them now!
It's a much simpler look but man, I am so craving that lately in our house. I know the holidays will bring more STUFF and I'm just loving editing everything right now. It feels so good and this change was one of the best. The front of our house can "breathe" now -- I'm excited to add on to this next year!
I know I haven't shared a garden tour this year -- and we've focused SO much on the exterior of our house this summer. We had the pergola and deck stained, had the trim on the house painted of the first time in 12 years, painted the back patio doors a pretty blue and this project of course. We didn't do new mulch this year to save some money and overall my garden didn't do as well this year either -- it was really weird. It was an odd year for most of my hydrangeas. I may still do an exterior tour sometime this fall when the leaves change though!
Fall is a GREAT time to plant! Do you have any landscaping projects coming up before the winter hits?
**I realized the other day I forgot the before and after link up AGAIN this month so it will go up next week. Winning.