Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Front Yard - Landscape

I'm quite thrilled to show you how we've made on in our front yard.

Truth be told, I wasn't sure how we were going to pull it off. Neither Ryan, nor myself, are in any way professional landscapers, and aside from enjoying gardening, we have little experience doing any sort of landscape design.

However, after finally deciding to decommission our existing septic system, and hook up to town septic lines, our front yard was utterly destroyed. To be fair to the crew, they did their best to work around my well established lilac bushes, and they even managed the save a small white pine we had planted when we first bought the house. But everything else had to go. 

We literally started from scratch.

The entire front yard was scraped and leveled. This was a huge amount of work. Because we were on a tight budget, we did everything ourselves, except this part. Our neighbor luckily has a small excavator, and was able to do this for a very reasonably price.

After that, we were on our own. Once we had a blank slate, we mapped out where our new walkway would go, and where the sod would end and gardens would begin. We put in a large flagstone walk, which allowed for access to the front door from both the main drive, and the extra parking space. We had no idea how hard this would be.

Next we built up beds for gardens. We more than tripled the amount of garden space, which once established, will provide a great deal of privacy. After gardens were put in, the entire front lawn was given a layer of top soil, and we laid sod. Our property is on an angle, and no matter how hard we tried to come up with a symmetrical design, something curved and free-flowing worked much better.

Finally came the planting, which was my favourite part. I think I visited over 20 garden centers in the area. I had a very specific list of perennials that I was looking for.

After the work was finished on the yard, we decided to spruce up the house a little. We've never really done anything to the exterior, and as I mentioned before, our budget was small. But, a little paint on the eves and shutters went a very long way. It'll look even better in a couple weeks once the new roof is installed.

Spending money on your septic is so unrewarding. If you're going to invest a large amount of money in your home, you hope to at least have the benefit of enjoying the results. However, now, each time we come home and walk up our front walk, we do just that! It's so nice to have a yard and gardens again.

You can see here that we still need to install our edging posts around the extra parking space. I'm also on searching for two larger lanterns to mount on either side of the door, and a new fixture for above it. I think this will bring more balance to the entrance.

My goal was to create a full, multi-levelled garden that blooms throughout the year. Once matured, the garden will have entirely filled in. All of the lower front plants are wild Geraniums and a couple varieties of Anemonies which spread and have beautiful white blooms. In the back, for height, I planted Dogwood and Vibernum bushes. These will get quite large, and create privacy. There is also a white Magnolia tree, a Peony tree, and a dwarf Cypress tree planted.

I grouped varieties of Hydrangeas together to create more of an impact. I also have a few varieties of Peonies planted to break up a the design a little, and flowering Woodruff as low ground cover.

Here you can see how established my Limelight Hydrangeas are, to the right of the house. I'm looking forward to seeing the entire garden established.

Between the houses here is where my Lilac bushes are. Unfortunately they are now quite sparse. I've planted a new Lilac in the back corner, as well as another Vibernum, which in time, will fill out this empty space.

This is my Mother-in-law's garden. The landscape design was done years ago by some of Ryan's best friends. I love how it's evolved and filled out perfectly over time. I used many of the same plants like the Dogwoods and Anemonies and Woodruff.

Now I just have to patiently wait. 


  1. Wow. What a fantastic job you did with the landscaping. Jaw dropping. So beautiful. Thank you for sharing!!!

  2. I LOVE it! The pathway looks fantastic and I love the shape of the beds. This is so inspiring to me because our front yard is really neglected and we've been trying to imagine what we can do with it.

  3. It is stunning. Ours is in need of such a transformation.

  4. it looks great maria!!!

  5. How beautiful everything is. You all did such an amazing job and Im sure people all over will be adding this to their inspiration boards all over pinterest!! ~Ashley

  6. From the previous look of your front yard up to its current state, I can say that you’re doing a fantastic job! I’m excited to see how it would look like after you do the edging. I’m sure it will be more attractive. Wish you all the best!

    Mitchell Knapp @ Scenic Landscaping

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  8. Oh my heavens! Your front yard and walkway are so beautiful!
    You did an amazing job! So happy that you shared "after" photos with us.
    Have a wonderful week,

  9. Very inspiring, you did such a great job! It's all very BEAUTIFUL!!!

  10. Wow, what a difference! You've really transformed that front yard, looks like your hard work has really paid off, you have done a really impressive job, thanks for sharing your journey. A little bit of lawn feed will ensure your lawn stays lush and green, it's important to keep the grassy areas healthy.

    Norberto @ Thorburn Landscapes


Thanks for leaving your comments! I always love reading them. - Maria