{renovate} curb appeal, update

It seems like the NW is one of the few places getting sun this week! It's been so lovely, and is the perfect time to update you all on our landscaping. See, this weekend last year, we started working on our front yard landscaping. You know, in an effort to bump up our *curb appeal.*

As a reminder, this is what the house looked like when I started this blog. No curb appeal whatsoever. You can read more about that adventure here and here.

And, here's what it looked like after we finished landscaping last spring. Teeny, tiny (= inexpensive) plants. Have you guys ever noticed how long it takes for plants to grow!? I knew it would take a few years to fill in. And, admittedly I'm an incredibly impatient person. So it's nice to look at photos and see that things are. actually. growing.
Here's what it looks like today. The growth is especially noticeable in the fullness of the Mexican orange plants against the foundation. As you can probably tell, I purposely chose low-maintenance perennials. I really don't want a high maintenance yard. Especially front yard. All my dreams for the backyard revolve around some sort of maintenance, but I tend to forget about the front.

Here's the other side of the front last year. It's incredibly hard to get a good head-on shot of the house because a HUGE plum tree sits in our parking strip, right where I'd need to stand to get a good picture.  (On a side note, I really should post a picture of it here. Chris gave it a *haircut* two years ago, and the poor tree is still trying to recover. It's a pretty funny story.) The side angles are me trying to angle my way around that tree.

And today. I didn't realize until looking at these pictures that our grass looks SO MUCH BETTER this year! The crazy part about that is last year I used fertilizer and this year I've completely neglected the grass. Hmmm. Maybe chemicals aren't all they're cracked up to be?

The part I'm most excited about is that both our trees (the big ticket items!) came back! Above is the dogwood, which still hasn't actually flowered, but seems healthy.

The Japanese maple not only came back, but is also a much more brilliant shade of red this year. LOVE it.

We amazingly only lost one plant over the winter. We had two of the above. One didn't come back. And, this one actually looks nothing like what we planted, but we think it's the same plant coming back. Can you tell how little I know about landscaping?

One of my FAVORITE plants is the gardenia, above. LOVE the smell! We planted two, and I was worried about them at first, but they actually are coming back.

This year, I have a couple holes to deal with. The first is on the side of our house. We weren't sure what to do with it last year. And I'm still not sure this year. But, I want to get it figured out soon because I don't like weeding it!

The second hole is right in front. It's hard to see it when you're looking at it from the front, but when you're walking up to our door, it's completely obvious. 

The problem is that I'm terribly unconfident about landscaping. I know in landscaping it's okay to experiment and even moving things, but I'm terrified I'm going to completely mess it all up.  It's funny because in the house I'm never worried about taking on a project or messing something up. But once I start thinking about plants I get all nervous. Sigh. So, any landscaping lovers out there? Any tips on what I can do with the holes in my yard? 

I hope you all have a GREAT WEEKEND! Thanks for stopping by and saying hi this week! 


  1. I really like your landscaping, especially the dark mulch! Such a nice contrast, especially with your lawn and house color :)

    Landscaping scares me too!

  2. Jenn,

    Your landscaping looks fantastic!!! It is crisp and clean and interesting. Go forth and be confident, I think landscaping is more forgiving than some of the renovation projects you have tackled....the key thing to remember is getting the right plant for the right place and any good nursery can help you with that. Plus, it's easy to change things, just dig up the plant you want to change and move it! I've checked books out of the library for ideas and help as well. And since you are staying in theis house for the time being, have fun with your garden!

  3. Clap clap clap clap clap <-me clapping for you! Great job! A suggestion for the hole behind the dogwood? Get a BIG (bigger than you think you need) reddish pot (to reference the maple tree) and plant one tall non-flowering annual (elephant ear, corn, tall grass) and some medium-tall non flowering plants (coleus) and 2-3 creeping jenny vines.

  4. It really is looking good! I get so frustrated by how long it takes the tiny plants to grow in. And since I rent, I rarely have the opportunity to see them in full form years later.

    With grass - Ryan has taught me a few fun facts that I'll share. It may explain why your yard is happy this year. Apparently if you water every day, the grass roots don't have to go deep in the ground to search for water, so you develop a shallow root structure, which leaves the grass more vulnerable. if you only water 1 or 2 x a week, the roots grow deeper into the ground in search of water. This also helps the grass compete with the weeds (I forget why)

    Second, when you cut the grass apparently you want to cut it not too short, because longer blades help it do something else to be more healthy and take over the weeded areas.

  5. Looks gorg! Such a good transformation! How fun!


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