June was a bit of a blur filled with lots of working in shifts in the Texas heat while also dealing with our baby’s first illness and a major sleep regression. I was one tired mama but we’re back to sleeping through the night (some nights) and I’m finally able to share our before and after of our front yard makeover!
Our home was built in the late 90’s and had not been re-landscaped since then. Much of what was planted was overgrown and the landscaping was more like rock-scaping. We had huge rock flower beds and landscape fabric that was tearing off in shreds. There was very little color in any of the beds. The drains in our front yard, had roots growing through them. On rainy days we had water pooling across our walkway.
Before Our Front Yard Makeover
Because of how overgrown everything was, you couldn’t even see the sides of our home behind all the bushes and huge trees. Plants should accent your home’s architecture, not cover it up so everything had to go.
Saying Goodbye to All the Rocks
My husband started our front yard makeover by cutting down all of the large bushes and trees next to the house with the exception of our gorgeous Japanese maple. We then preceded to shamelessly crowd source the clean up by offering free landscaping rocks on a local Facebook group.
After two weeks of complete strangers showing up in our yard to pick up rocks, the rocks were cleared away. If only all cleaning efforts could be crowd sourced!
Grinding the Stumps and Roots and Updating the Drainage
With 20 years of large shrubs growing, we had quite the root system in our front yard. The roots had taken over! We rented a stump grinder and got to work grinding away the roots. The stump grinder also worked as a sort of rototiller to till up the clay in our North Texas front yard. Then, everything had to be raked flat and the drainage pipes had to be replaced.
With all of the rocks gone, you could really finally see how massive our flower beds were. They were huge! To trace the new beds, I used a can of spray paint and then we were ready to lay sod. We purchased a pallet of Saint Augustine and laid 3/4 of it on the right side of our home. Did I mention how big our previous flower beds were? To shape the beds, we then cut the sod with a box cutter along the spray painted lines.
Choosing New Plants (The Fun Part)
That’s Super Shady
Our front yard gets quite a bit of shade near the front door and walkway. I love having lots of colorful flowers, but it’s hard to find bright flowers for shade areas. While searching for shade plants, I kind of fell in love with hostas. Their dark green foliage is just gorgeous, especially next to pink hydrangeas. If you’re unfamiliar with hostas, here are some gorgeous pins I found on Pinterest that inspired my new love!
Based on the above images, I decided that I wanted hostas and hydrangeas near our walkway. We purchased 4 Endless Summer Hydrangeas and 6 hosta “So Sweet” and 4 plain 1 quart hostas.
I also love the lime green in the above images so we purchased some coleus and caladium in bright lime green and pink, red and green.
I knew we needed access to our front garden hose so I decided to add a cute paver path to the hose. I absolutely love the result! I can’t wait for my plants to grow and spill over the path.
To add some additional color to our shade areas, I learned that azaleas can be a great shade option. From what I’ve read, they actually really enjoy shade and who doesn’t love their gorgeous blooms. For around $13 a shrub, I purchased 4 Autumn Carnation azaleas.
The Sunny Side
I’ve also become kind of obsessed with the Garden Answers YouTube channel. Anyone else with me? I’m sure you are because they have 500K plus subscribers! She is constantly raving about supertunias, so I tracked down some Proven Winners Supertunias to add to the sunnier area of our garden beds. One each side of our home where we get more sun, I planted some elephant ear bulbs (another love), two roses, limelight hydrangeas, ligistrum “Sunshine” and a $7 Japanese Sky Pencil. I also planted two knockout rose plants and another limelight hydrangea and some salvia. I just love the contrast between the lime green, pink and purple!
After arranging all of our plants, we irrigated the front flower beds and then planted. I could write an entire article just on irrigation but needless to say, all of our plants have either direct lines or drip lines that run at their root base. Over 60 bags of mulch later, we were finally done with our front yard.
Here’s before the mulch:
After our Front Yard Makeover
We are soooo happy to finally be done with this project and to get a break from the Texas heat (for now). I plan on planting more annuals in the empty space, but I will probably wait until the spring so that the heat doesn’t scorch them. I can’t wait to have all my new plants begin to mature and bloom and I’ll be sure to update the insta account with new photos. Stay tuned!