Before & After of our Front Yard Garden

The big reveal of our front yard is HERE! Finally! When we bought our house, there was still snow on the ground, so we really had no idea what we were in for when it came to the yard. The previous owners told us there was grass in the back and, as it turns out, it was actually all dirt. Womp womp. Sooo, that's our next project. First, we wanted to get the front yard looking presentable (gotta make a good impression on the neighbors ;)) 
Since my parents were in town a couple weeks ago, they offered to help us pick out and get all the new plants in the ground. We were so thankful! Truly, none of this could have been done without their help because while I know what to do on the inside of a house, I have no clue when it comes to landscaping. I know what flowers I like and can tell you what I'd want in my yard, but before this project, I had no idea how to accomplish that or know what would actually grow well in our yard. I feel way more confident now. Thankfully, I have a couple friends who are pro-gardeners and they gave me some tips on varieties to plant, how to lay weed fabric (didn't know this was a thing!) and what to do to cut them back in the fall.
So anyways, once the snow melted in the spring, we were left with this. A whole ton of weeds, a bunch of completely dead plants, leaves everywhere that weren't raked in the was such a mess.

You can see we have two huge flower beds that needed a ton of help. The left flower bed is twice the size as the right one and it had double the weeds, too! Notice the completely overgrown tree to the left.

One of my friends was over one day and she noticed there was a peony plant in the right flower bed. I hadn't even noticed it because at the time, it was very small and honestly, it looked like a weed haha! I was SO excited! (Spoiler: it didn't end up blooming this year, so I'm assuming it was just planted last year...fingers crossed for next year!)

Before my parent's arrived our tasks were to rip up everything that was dead and take out all weeds. I borrowed this cool weeding tool from a friend that made things a little easier, because every square inch of these flower beds were covered in weeds. I had no idea there were so many varieties of weeds-- ha!! After they were out, we raked up the soil to make sure it was all good dirt. Thankfully we have really great dirt! Next, we had to lay landscape fabric so that the dang weeds wouldn't pop back up (I know some still will, but at least it will cut down on the issue). Apparently the weeds are such a problem in the midwest because of how much rain we get here. I've never heard of landscape fabric before when living in California ;)

After ALL that prep (probably 10-20 hours working in the yard), my parent's arrived, we went to the nurseries to pick out our plants, got them in, then put wood chips on top of everything to finish it off!


I wanted the back row to have taller plants and gradually get shorter in the front so we could see all of them well. The front row are all annuals (impatiens) that I will replant each year for some color and the back rows consist of a couple hosta, a type of boxwood (3 were already there, so we left them since they were in good shape), a rhododendron to cover our AC unit, hydrangea (1 white and 2 purple/pink depending on soil), a bleeding heart, a day lily (there were about 10 before, so we just kept a couple) and a peach rose bush. You can also see here that my dad totally cleaned up that tree to the left!

We had to keep in mind that a lot of the plants we got will grow taller and wider with time, like Hydrangeas and Hostas, so we had to space them out accordingly.

We also got some cute little planters for the window ledges. They are only 4" deep, so not a ton of room to work with! We found these metal planters that fit well, so we got a couple of taller plants to fill them with.

These white fuchsia are some of my favorite flowers!

My mom suggested we get some plants that drape down a little and I loved the suggestion. 

Now for the other side of the house under the bay window! We took out two dead plants on either side of the window, so I wanted to replace them with large white hydrangea. I'm hoping the bloom shortly! We also got an additional peony bush, a peach rose bush to match the other side, and a couple of hostas. What used to be a long row of all day lilies in the front there is now a colorful row of cute little impatiens. 

We kept two day lilies on this side and I'm glad we did because the pop of yellow is cute! Initially I wanted to rip them all out.

I just LOVE our rose bushes! They smell heavenly and remind me of California! I don't see many here. 

Our peony plants:

In the fall when these annuals die, I will take them out and plant tulip bulbs so that they'll sprout next spring. I can't wait for this!!

 I'm not a huge fan of rocks in landscaping, but they were already there and they do take up a lot of area space, so we kept them to save money.

I wanted our hydrangea to flower pink, but it looks like they're going purple! Apparently they change due to your soil (if it's acidic or not).

One of my white hydrangeas-- bloom baby, bloom!

This green plant to the right is a citronella plant, so I put it right by our front door. I'm hoping it keeps some mosquitos away from the entrance. 

Our hostas are blooming a lavender flower right now!

I had some leftover plants I needed to get into some dirt, so I went to Lowes and got a tall planter for the right side of our door. Since the left side has a huge tree (which truthfully I'd like to remove, but won't for the sake of how much it'd cost to replace it with something of the same size) I needed something a little taller to balance it out. I went with an oil rubbed bronze look to match our front door.

In the pot is a fern, peach dahlia to tie in our peach roses and an impatiens. I knew I wanted a dahlia in here because they were in my wedding bouquet, so they always make me happy and remind me of that day!

In case you wondered, Lincoln is getting more used to our new neighborhood. He's used to being on a second floor apartment, so being on ground level he sees a lot more dogs, people and squirrels. He gets a little too excited about all these things (read: barks a lot!) but he's getting better. He loves his neighborhood walks and already has some friends!

On the side of our house along the driveway we had another huge section of weeds. We ripped those up and to save money, we replanted the day lilies here. As much as I don't love them, it saved probably $100, so we went with it and you know what?! I actually really like them here. In between each one, I planted Cosmo seeds. They're already starting to sprout and I can't wait to see some more color in this area when they bloom.

I can't believe the transformation! HUGE thanks to my mom and dad who spent almost their entire trip helping us with the yard. They're such good sports and really great at gardening (their backyard in California is unbelievably gorgeous!) We're so happy with how it turned out. Now....onto the backyard which is currently a pile of dirt. Stay tuned...hoping to have that done in August.
Now, to keep this all alive!
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  1. So, so pretty! Those peach dahlia are to die for! And love the brick on your house. I'm a huge fan of classic brick. :)

  2. So gorgeous!! Love the transformation y'all did. Lots of hard work, but so worth it - bet your neighbors love seeing those flower beds. :) Thank you for sharing the fun before and after pictures!


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