Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Face Lift For The Front

The very first thing people see pulling up to your house is obviously the front yard.  I think it may be one of the most over looked areas of a home.  Our front yard needed a face lift.  It had good "bones" and great potential to look beautiful but first it just needed a little nip & tuck. Our Goal: To make the front yard look Fresh & Clean with a splash of colour and some creative features without spending a lot of money.

The Problem Areas: 1. The garden beds needed a little work 2. There was a tiny tree in the middle of the yard 3. The lawn was full of weeds 4. The pond 5. The fire hydrant Our Solutions:  #1 Remove the lawn (A.K.A weeds)
 The Sod Cutter is a great tool for getting the old lawn out.  It makes a cut from one side of the lawn to the other and all you need to do is roll the strips up and carry them away. We rented this one for $54 for the day but watch out because that thing ViBrAtEs like crazy.

#2.  Re-define The Flower Beds.  We wanted the flower beds to continue from the top to the bottom of the yard all the way along the drive way.  So after we removed the old lawn, smoothed and leveled 2 yards of top soil ($40 pickup) we added new edging to the area for the new flower beds.  We saved a lot of money as well as work hours by connecting the 2 existing flower beds to create one long continues bed that flows nicely from the top to the bottom of the yard.

#3.  Clearing Out The Existing Flower Beds  Once step #2 was complete.  We began removing the old decorative stone which filled the 2 existing flower beds.  We recycled the old decorative stone and filled in the side of the house which soon with be filled with some plants.

#4. New Mulch & Beach Stone  We decided to go with black mulch and beach stone to fill the beds in the front yard.

Like I said before the front yard had some great features that we were able to reuse.  The stones you see in this picture, we were able to incorporate them back into the new landscape design.  We also made many design choices around the mature plants (mainly evergreens) that had been previously planted. This again allowed us to same a lot of money as well as time.   

#5. Moving The Tree In The Middle Of The Yard This poor little tree just looked so pathetic sitting all alone in the middle of the yard.  As soon as we decided to give the yard a face lift this tree was first on our list of things we wanted to change.
We placed the lonely tree in our newly made flower bed.  This however was not the first choice.  Upon digging a hole for the tree in our first choice we realized that there was a layer of what seemed to be concrete only a few digs beneath the soil. So we went looking for an alternative spot.  Using a push broom for a visual we found a new spot and again we hit concrete.  It's final resting spot was choice #3 but I think that it worked out just fine. 

#6 Flowers For the Hydrant .  Although we had many preexisting evergreens we were lacking some colour and the blue and yellow painted fire hydrant was still an issue for me.  My first thought was to find some plant/flowers/bushes to cover up/hide the hydrant but then I thought maybe we could blend with the hydrant.  So we went shopping for some blue and yellow colour.  What a great time to shop for plants. All of our plants and flowers were 40%-50% off.  We saved a lot of money and were able to pick up some great plants and flowers for a great price.
When planting flowers and plants I like to lay it out, placing the flowers and plants around where they will be planted. It is much easier to move flowers/plants around when they are not in the ground.  Another great tip, read the information that is given about the type of flower/plant that you are planting. It is very important to check the size your plants/flowers will grow to as it matures.  Also you want to make sure you know the amount of sun or shade your flowers need.

Finally things are starting to come together.  I love the contrast of the Beach Stone and the black mulch.

#7 New Sod. There is nothing better then adding a nice green thick lawn to spruce up your front yard.

And we are almost there...a few more surprises and our front yard face lift will be complete.

Our Next BIG Project For The Front Yard
our stone

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