When we proclaimed that 2009 was The Year Of The Curb Appeal, we meant it. And although our header paints a quaint little picture of our exterior (I know, I know- we have to reshoot it with the new porch), the gruesome truth was that our bushes were crowded, overgrown, diseased, and completely dwarfing our short and stout little house.
Plus we knew our impending front porch makeover would do that thing that most new things do… make everything around it look a little less gorgeous by comparison. So it was time to start fresh and plant things (correctly sized things, at the right distance apart) that would enhance and not uglify our home sweet home. It was pretty intense work (that involved shovels and even a sledgehammer) and we’ll be back to share the full monty of before and after pictures in a bit. But for now we’ll leave you with this odd mid-point shot (yes, giant bushes were planted within AND in front of that strange little brick ledge). And that’s just the tip of the metaphorical landscaping iceberg.
So as we say so often around these parts, stay tuned. And we’d love to hear about any and all curb appeal projects that you have on your to-do list these days. What’s the situation in your front yard?
Right now my husband is edging the lawn as a Mother’s Day gift. I think edging really adds to curb appeal. I’m also planning to repaint the railing in front of our front door.
I just got a curb appeal surprise, we closed in December and I thought all the plants in front of the house were dead (as they didn’t take great care of the rest of the house…) But after the rain we had mini azaleas bloom and hosta plants. They look so pretty!
P.S. Hooray for taking the lead over at HD challenge!
Oh you’re making me sad. You should see what our neighbors just did. I want to cry. :(
Don’t be sad Manda! We always donate our bushes to locals for free on Craigslist (it works like a charm). And we can’t imagine what your neighbors did, but we’re hoping they bring in something fabulous and turn your frown upside down. And stay tuned for our curb appeal Cinderella Story (aka all the glorious after pics) coming soon…
The Tiny Homestead says
we have giant overgrown yew bushes in front of our house. they have to go, but I haven’t decided what to replace them with just yet. It’s happening this summer though- I can’t take it any longer!
Carol S. says
Does it count if I did it in the back?? Our neighbors just cut down a privet hedge to the ground, and poof…there went our privacy. I splurged and brought in a new compact 5ft holmstrup arborvitae hedge which makes everything sooooo much better! Oh, can’t wait to see what you do with that section and hear about how you donated your bushes to locals for free on Craigslist?! I’ve got lots I’d like to go bye-bye! Happy Mothers Day to all!
I wish i had a curb to groom and play with! Never before have i appreciated greenery! the one flaw about living in nyc…
When I bought my house 2 years ago, there was a giant tree stump in the front yard, right in the middle. I had it ground out last year and this spring I have planted grass seed. It’s been a huge chore; there was a ton of river rock there, so my teenaged boys shoveled it all up and hauled it to the backyard. Then after the stump was ground, it left shredded mulch everywhere. In hindsight, I would have had the previous owners get rid of the stump as part of the sale!
They also left a ton of old, rickety whiskey barrels. Got rid of those on freecycle.org – and need to plant shurbs in their place. Homeownership is full of activity! Thanks to the Youngsters and their fans, I am blessed with new ideas constantly!
Happy Mother’s Day :)
Two weekends ago we took our terrible-looking garden, totally dug in and made it deeper and wider, and more lovely…(it was one made by the developer!)…and tossed some good soil in there, got lots of plants and flowers and tomato bushes, etc…and made it lovely. You can see the before and after pics here:
This is exactly something I’m struggling with right now, and we too have a brick wall with a high window and I have not the slightest idea how to fill it. I cannot WAIT to see what you do!
And of course, voted.
We have big curb appeal plans in the form of landscpaing… ripping out and replacing our already-overgrown bushes (they have only been there for 2 years!), except the azaleas, they can stay. And adding flowers! But, alas, we have a HOA and they have to approve our plan, so we are playing the waiting game. In the back, I put in a flower bed with some roses.
Team Alix says
Ugh- we live in a condo, so I don’t get to play in the yard. But I discovered something while trying to put my touch on things with some mums one fall- There is a landscaped bed between the lawn and the facade of the house. It has some plants and shrubs planted in no particular order (great landscapers!)and then they put rock along the bottom instead of mulch. I thought I’d put a few mums in around the bushes and liven things up, but guess what? I dug and dug and there was NO SOIL under the rock! Just more and more rock! So they really don’t want me planting out there at all…. its been container gardens ever since!
Have fun planting… I wish I were, too!
If you even knew . . . We bought a house six weeks ago, and though it needs a lot of updating inside, we’ve been working on the landscaping first. Mainly because trimming bushes and pulling ivy is free; easy on the pocketbook! Updating bathrooms is not (but removing wallpaper is also free, and next on the list!). I must say that pulling ivy is a GREAT arm workout and just plain hard work!
I spied you guys at IKEA this morning! I was too busy trying to explain to hubby who you were before I had the chance to say hello. Anywho, I hope you guys nabbed some fabulous finds…we did!!!
That’s too funny! It was totally us. We were just breezing through (picking something up for John’s sister) but we’re so glad to hear that you snagged some fabulous finds! Ikea is such a magical place.
We are actually going to paint around our door way entrance and windows. My house has the old aluminum siding and everything is white but the front door. That is red. So, I thought a tan color might tone down the white and make our house stand out more.
Laura C. says
We just bought a house near Virginia Beach, which had sat vacant for nearly 3 years. While the neighborhood kept the lawn manageable during that time, no one handled the 4 flower beds. We freecycle’d all the river rock (which clashed with the style of house), removed the 10″ of mulch, trimmed & shaped the 8′ scary shrubs to pretty and round and smaller shrubs, planted a new shrub to replace a noticable landscaping hole, and planted tons of new white covas and purple fountain grass. Also went from brassy and broken light fixtures to pretty black ones, and painted the shutters and door – originally pinky-purple to black, and replaced exterior door hardware. We also got rid of 2 flower beds. (we also updated the interior with travertine tile in the kitchen, and Brazilian Ipe floors throughout the downstairs – now on to painting cabinets, replacing countertops, updating bathrooms, painting the entire interior, and installing gutters)
My mom spent her Mother’s Day weekend doing yardwork with my husband and me. She’s made the three-hour trip to Raleigh to do yardwork that weekend since 2005 so it’s our tradition to have her plant flowers instead of us giving them to her for Mother’s Day.
We took up pinestraw, added sod, planted what feels like thousands of flowers, took out one tree and added another, and installed the first 75 feet of edgers around some of the planting beds. We still have mulch to add and more edgers to get in this season, then we’ll remove shrubs and add trees in the fall.
Oy! My front yard has been giving me a hard time since we moved in 2.5 years ago. The first summer I was hugely pregnant and did very little. Last year I took out a lot of really old, over grown and unattractive bushes and plants and painted our front door a wonderful blue (sailors jacket)- it had been the same color as the house. Too boring! This year it’s starting to look better but there is always more I want to do. Tear more plants out, put in planter boxes on two of our windows. I think we will live here for a long time (10+ years) and I really want my home to welcome you from the driveway. Curb Appeal is pretty important.
Can’t wait to see what new things are planted at your house!
We just redid our front flower beds and added to our porch decorations. The poor plants that had been there were just pitiful. So, we ripped’em up and planted some new ones! We’ve got some Hostas (we love them!) that have grown considerably with all this Nashville rain, some boxwoods, some Aztec Grass, yellow pansies, and some Indian Hawthornes. We even put a few pansies in our cute green planters that match our house. Then we threw some matching green/red/yellow outdoor pillows on our white Adirondack chairs so it all comes together. It’s a great place to have a glass of wine after work (or spy on the neighbors).