Front Yard Transformation | Our Home | Suburban Living

As a kid, my mom would force me to help weed every-so-often.  What kid wants to spend summers weeding instead of playing whiffle ball?  The experience traumatized me.  I can still hear her shrill little voice screeching, "You need to pull at the root!"  (Disclaimer: My mom's voice isn't shrill and she's really a lovely person.  But in my memories of weeding, her voice is shrill.)

When living in NYC, I told my brother that living in a "concrete jungle" for the rest of my life was fine with me because it meant no yard work.  And I meant it.  And when I moved to Cleveland, I told Mr. Stranded that yard work was not part of the deal.  Who wants to spend their weekends weeding, pruning, preening, and plucking?  Are those even real gardening terms?  I don't care. 

Even though the inside of our house is always immaculate (and I challenge anyone to find a dust bunny,) did I care our landscaping was unimpressive, boring and overgrown?  Nope.  That's how much I despise yard work.  In my head, Cleveland was temporary, so why bother?  Why should I put money into a house we'll be leaving soon?  Or so I kept telling myself...

Well...we've been living in our "temporary house" for a couple of years.  This year, I finally caved.  As much as I hate yard work, I couldn't stand the "blah" and mess anymore.

After chatting with a friend, she said I could give the yard an updated look for $200 if we transplanted what was already growing around the yard.  She came over one afternoon to lend me a hand.  With a little work and less than $200, the front of the house now looks clean and cheerful.

BEFORE: (Please excuse the lame pixalation and awkward cropping.  With dishonest people out there and identity theft, I didn't want to show the entire house.)


We created a flower bed using some stone slabs I stumbled upon in the backyard.  They were recessed so far into the ground, they couldn't be seen.  We dug them up and transported them to the front.  I like the smattering of moss.

We also transplanted some hostas and tiger lillies found on the side of the house and planted some salvia for a pinch of color.  It's a very shady area, so I'm considering planting some impatiens or begonias for added color.  The more colorful, the better.  The hostas and lillies should look lovely when in bloom.

We tore up the dying evergreen trees and replaced them with two bright red azalea bushes.  They're small now, but will grow bigger in the years to come.

I also bought some planters for the front steps.  I'll write a separate post on the planters another day.

We used black mulch for ground cover.  It's looks clean and sharp.

And the Vinca that was originally under the picture window and always looked messy - we transplanted them under the magnolia tree as a ground cover.

Am I the next Bree Van De Kamp?  Absolutely not.  But this is what I discovered: I actually don't mind yard work.  Lifting stones, digging up trees, clearing an area isn't so bad.  It's instant gratification and good exercise.  BUT - I still hate weeding.


Mamma said... [Reply]

I thought gardening and weeding with the family was kind of fun, at least for me! You forgot to mention that I told stories and sang songs to keep you entertained. It was part of Family Time, always my favorite part of any day. The front looks great! Way to go! I'm proud of you. -Mamma

Adrienne said... [Reply]

Wow! It looks great - a big improvement. I think it really does wonders to make your home look very inviting.
I have bad memories of doing yard work with my parents too, by the way.

Miss T said... [Reply]

Tres magnifique! Let me see if I can find some information on organic homemade snail repellent for you - those little buggers LOVE hostas!
T x

Mrs. Stranded said... [Reply]

@Adrienne Thanks, Adrienne! It was much more fun than I thought it would be. Having a helpful friend and willing hubby made the project rather fun. Glad to hear I'm not the only ones with bad memories of weeding!

Mrs. Stranded said... [Reply]

@Miss T Miss T - I had no idea slugs liked hostas. Good to know! I'll have to be on the look-out.

Sara Louise said... [Reply]

Wow! this is really impressive! It's amazing that the transformation was that easy, the results are beautiful :-)
And I had a mother that used to force me to weed too. Saturday mornings my senior year of high school were not fun. Thanks for the memories Mom.

Nicole said... [Reply]

Very beautiful! You and Mr. are rather talented.