Front Runner

Who’s ready to be done with blogging about the landscaping near our mailbox?!

(shoots hand into air while emphatically nodding head)

Who’s ready to eat something porky?

(sustained enthusiasm to previous action)

Who’s gonna stop asking stupid questions that everyone knows the answer to?

(oh right – it’s retorical)


We live in a culdesac…and it’s perfect for us because I feel like Will is safe to roam the yard (within eyeshot) and the chances of him getting hit by a car are slim (since most of our neighbors are retired and rarely leave home)…plus, the house is really far from the street…so even getting to our mailbox is quite the hike for 12 inch toddler legs.  Opposite our mailbox is a light pillar…and surrounding it all was a whole bunch of nothing.  Nothing and lots of utility stuff…so something…but nothing pretty.

So the entrance into our yard wasn’t really a priority because we didn’t spend a whole lotta time up there.  It was like a really bad combover to a guy that didn’t own a mirror….doesn’t really matter to you if you don’t see it.  But since last year (aka ‘the year of the wedding’) was going to be epic in that all our family and friends would be descending upon our house, we knew that first impressions can last…so we wanted to spruce it all up before the nuptials began.

I’ll spare you the recap on how we did it all – you can read all about that here, here, and here.

Let’s get to the after photos…

On the right hand side (the ‘light pillar side’) we had a weird canvas to work with…a telephone utility box, a water meter box, an outdoor spigot, a bunch of hidden rocks, and a palm tree stump (??)…

Afterward, we are still dealing with the utility items but the drainage ditch is clearly defined and much more functional with new landscaping fabric and appropriately laid rocks.  The entire bed itself was also defined and extended so that it made for easier mowing (no more tight turns) and blends in seamlessly with the tree bed beyond it.

Here’s where you can see ole stumpy…

And now we have plants that will hopefully grow into a large border shrub in the back with some ornamental grass for viewing on the backside.  In front of the border shrubs, we put in some red knockout roses and some contrasting lorepetalum.

On the mailbox side, we were dealing with even more ‘functional’ eyesores…a drainage ditch that begged for a better system, a half-completed drain for street water, and a fire hydrant.

After a little collaboration with the neighbor, we have a proper paver area for drainage, a new buried drain pipe, and a proper landscaping bed with plants.

Since it’s necessary for fire hydrants to be accessible…you know…for FIRES…we wanted to be sure to make safety a priority.  I expect our neighbors to thank us the day that their house doesn’t burn down…not really.  I’m sure they’ll overlook that for at least a few days.  Seriously though –  it was really vital to us to obey the rules and not paint or obstruct the fire hydrant – and to make sure that the plants were not going to encroach within three feet of the life-saving water source.

After some careful planning, we put in the same plans on this side to match the opposite side.  In the back are more hedge shrubs – we plan on making sure they never get too outta control – and in front of that are more red knockouts and lorepetalum – and up front are some small hollies.

All in all, the pavers work great – and we’ve enjoyed heavy rains going down the drain – and not washing any pine straw or plants away…(yes, I still wince a little when I see that transition to the neighbors property line – but it was their call since it’s their yard and all…although who knows – maybe I could get Will to beg them to make it more aesthetically pleasing.  What kinda person could say no to a baby with hardscaping advice!)

Oh and in case you were wondering about the opposite side…we also put the hollies in on that side too…just far enough back from the street so that we can one day install some matching pavers for a parking spot for trash and recycling pickup.

Of course, like everything else in a home – this is still in transition – I still wanna paint the spigot that sticks outta the ground…and our mailbox since it is the crazy hunter green – and I’d also like to come up with a little way to display the house numbers – something classier than Audrey Hepburn & Frank Sinatra’s lovechild.

But overall – I’m uber pleased with how it came out.

ESPECIALLY since my sister’s wedding photographer decided to use that area as a photo opportunity.

It’s even in the background of some of Nornie & Boot’s portraits!

So whew!  Mission accomplished.

And the best part is that the area is pretty low maintenance…since the shrubs just need time (and water and the occasional fertilizer) to fill out….and the landscaping fabric blocks 90% of the weeding I would end up doing…and drainage situation is free and clear – it looks like the only thing I’ll be doing up there is checking for love letters in my mailbox :)  That and waiting impatiently for my Pottery Barn catalog.  Why does it take forever?!  I mean, don’t they know that I put my life on hold for that thing?!



  1. says

    The wedding related posts are always a good reminder to go print out some of our wedding photos. It was only 8 months or so ago. Oops.
    Also, loripedilum is one of my favorites. Can’t wait for ours to fill out a little more.

    • Allison says

      Don’t feel bad – My wedding was 1.5 years ago and I still haven’t finalized the photos for the album. Must get on that pronto :)

  2. Ashley says

    What a great finished product! It looks so good in the wedding pictures. Its funny you say that about the Pottery Barn catalogue, I could easily go online and look around but the catalogue just makes my day!

  3. Lesley says

    you did an awesome job. I love the pine needle mulch and how that one bed just blends in with the tree bed. Looks great!

  4. says

    You guys did a great job! I wish I had a long driveway to pretty up like that! I have to say, I wouldn’t have the guts to cut that much lawn out but I think it looks so much better (and I get you have a ton more yard to have to worry about). Also, LOVE the wedding photos! They look like they were taken at a venue made for this kind of thing! Kudos!


  5. Lruski says

    My Pottery Barn catalogue came yesterday…. Much lusting was done by me, but no dinner-cooking or kid-feeding until after I looked at it (and decided we don’t, in fact, need a grocery budget so much as some fabulous new stuff…)

  6. Kaity says

    Oh Katie, as usual you make me laugh. Reading your posts is always a nice break in the day. The entrance looks great. I’m looking forward to see how things look as they grow in more.

  7. says

    I know absolutely zero about landscaping/gardening, etc (as in I didn’t know how to weed until I watched my mother in law do it in a flower bush of ours during a random visit last summer) so mostly I have no idea what you’re talking about… BUT the finished product looks great :) Maybe I should learn about some bushes and try to plant some??? But again, your landscaping looks great :-D

  8. Stephanie N~ says

    I can hardly tell if the baby on the left or the middle is Will!!!
    They look like they could be brothers!

    (pic of the three kiddos)

    • says

      We totally joked about how Will and Noah look more alike than the real twins :) In fact, we were even asked at one point if they were triplets – ha! Like anyone would be awake and walking around sober if they were :)
      xo – kb

  9. Liz says


    I am in LOOOOVE with your sister’s wedding dress. The bodice is amazing. Do you happen to know where she got it/who made it?

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