Some ‘Scaping

Holey landscaping.  That’s what we had.  Not holy (I know some of you may think that is just my horrable speling at work again)…but hole-y.  As in, we were left with holes.  And we knew from experience in the last house that if you need something to look good outside, plant sooner rather than later.  So we decided to do it this year.  That way we would reep the rewards of bigger plants (that cost more if you plant big) so we bought early and bought small.

But first – let’s recap where we started.  Back in December, we snapped some photos of the holey ground, the overgrown rose bushes and the random bulbs.     

Then in February, we decided it was warming up enough to start pruning the roses.  These rose bushes were the bane of my life for three solid weeks.  Most of them were so poorly neglected and overgrown, I decided that I would just cut them down by a third (instead of chopping them down to only a couple feet high) to see if they would even remain alive after such a shock.  Seriously these bushes were like teenagers.   I swear at one point the plant held up a branch, flipped me the middle stem and gave me a look that said ‘eat thorns and die!’   

After the month-long-pruning marathon, they were finally taken down to a more reasonable height.

and after only one month, the new growth started and the plants….LIVED! 

We also took one of the rose bushes out and put it on the spot on the side where there was no bush.  But pruning isn’t the only thing this yard needed.

The landscaping on the sides of the steps was so ugly that it made poop paint color look good.

and there is still the matter of the center section…it was overgrown and full of grass.  You may remember that it hardly resembled an actual garden bed.  This photo is actually after Jeremy cleared out some of the grass and started defining the border.

And this is what the entire front beds look like prior to the main landscaping push. 

Holey.  Moley.

So after some planning (yup, I sketched out what to do on a post-it note minutes before heading to the nursery so technically there was a plan.  sortof.), we went to buy some plants.  Here’s the plant lowdown:

1.  I wanted some hedges on either side of the steps – full sun with a thick habit.  Japanese Clyera fit the bill.

2.  I love azaleas and the neighbors said the roses were red.  False.  They are pink.  So we exchanged the red azaleas for white ones.  I think I would have exchanged them even if the roses were red.

3.  On either side of the steps I wanted something that looked like mini christmas trees.  Not dwarf spruces…because they hate me and I kill them.  Fast growing and taller than 3 feet.  Hollys were the answer.

All that other junk that was on either side of the steps….

we dug it up and moved them around the two trees that flanked the house. 

We also defined all the beds and spread some pine straw.  We did mulch at the other house…and we had issues with wash-away.  We had that mulch so freakin’ thick and it still ended up going down the hills.  So long moolah nice knowing ya. 

So this time we decided that pine straw was a better fit financially.  And I think it looks good if you can define your beds well.

Also, between the house and the left hand tree, we put in a couple gardenias.  I love gardenias.  They smell lovely…and grow pretty fast and did I mention that they smell lovely.

Now do you want to see it and what it currently looks like? No?

It greened up.  and it bloomed. and it looks purty. 

Now?  Whoa.  don’t all jump at once.  Here it is.   

The landscaping I think makes it look so much better.  I can even handle the horrible trim color for a little longer now that the holes are gone.

Everything is still small but the infusion of color is just what the house needed.

Do you see those rose bushes?  Crazy.  Like my 16 year old face….except my mug was red with something ready to pop…and it wasn’t no flower bloom, if you know what I mean.

We still are waiting for the Georgia heat to green up our bermuda grass and then I’m hoping it will look really good.

Oh and for you detail people…we added some stones between the gardenias…because I am that lazy and ten more steps really is harder.  The stones were from the old house.  I’m sentimental like that….begging Jeremy to haul some big old fat rocks from the old house to the new one…just because we dug them out of the ground together.

The landscaping is still far from finished…the center section is cleared…and we decided to put bricks around the border…to help keep the sod from creeping in even more than it already does.  But we are still deciding on the landscaping part.  It’s gonna involve some big rocks….and some medium shrubs. 

And yes, one day the trim color and the front doors will change and it will rock the world with awesomeness.  But for now, the landscaping does wonders for the morale of this puppy.

Especially the bloomin’ wonders on either side.  I’ve never seen knockout roses that have so many blooms…

and the funny thing is, there are more buds about to burst. 

Of course, not all the rose bushes are quite so amazing.  The ones on the side of the house are just simply on the wrong side…and don’t get enough sun.  Plus, they were so neglected and it took me so long to get to them pruned that I fear they will take many years (and possible transplanting) to produce  some substantial growth.

The worst two are these little guys.  The one on the left was transplanted from the front (it was too close to the garage wall and other rose bushes) and the other one…well…it’s just a sad little plant.  Simple as that.   

Now for side by sides…because I love em….







So there you have it…the what-we-did outside.  Thank goodness.  I feel like for the most part it’s outta our hands and now we are just leaving it up to Mother Nature to do her job and keep these things alive.  And yes…she gets the blame if they die :)

Anyone else getting outside these days?  Whatcha up to?



  1. says

    I am soooooo jealous!! I have big plans for the flower beds in the front of our house this year too, but it is still too cold in Minnesota to start working on it  Winter is really hanging on this year, we got snow yesterday… I am so ready for spring planting I can barely stand it!!!

  2. says

    WOW!! The difference is amazing! If we could only get some rain out here in West Texas, I know my plants would finally green up more. I have just started landscaping myself at our new house.

  3. says

    WOW! I’m shocked by how fast the trees got leaves, just a month ago they were bare. Y’all did a great job! It makes such a huge difference.

  4. Heather says

    It looks great! And actually, I think the roses are “red.” Why they call it that, when they are clearly a darker pink, I don’t know. But, if I am looking at them right in the pictures, they look like the red variety of the knockout roses.

  5. says

    Wow- I’m so impressed! Up here in Minnesota things still look dead and gray. We just moved into our brand new project house and can’t wait to see what landscaping pops up once things green up around here. We are hearing from the neighbors that the outside is much better than the inside, thank the Lord, because the inside can’t get much worse!

  6. Laura Guenzel says

    Gotta say, I’m lovin’ your blog! I liked to it from YHL, which I recently discovered from BabyCenter. Oh, boy, there’s a lot of time wasted just reading about other peoples’ lives! haha

    Question about the pine straw: Does it stay in place when you mow next to it? Does the nice straight edge require maintenance? Do you have to keep picking pine needles out of your grass and grass out of your pine needles? It looks SO nice and we hadn’t considered it before seeing it here. Thanks in advance for the help and the inspiration!

    • says

      We’ve hadn’t had any issues with it moving…we just layered it on pretty thick…and it stayed put. Hope this helps!
      xo – kb

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