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Vision for the front yard

April 8, 2011

Now that it’s spring, everything around our house is budding and blooming.  We had no idea we purchased a piece of property with so many hidden flower gems in it.  We also bought lots of ivy and weeds that need to be carefully plucked out, but we haven’t had time for that yet. Here’s one pretty flower that sprang up from the dirt without any TLC…

Pretty isn’t it?  It seems at some point the previous owners of the now Spivey Manor had a green thumb and enjoyed a variety of beautiful flowers.  The only problem is that before we bought this house, it was vacant for over a year, and we all know how quickly an untamed yard can go from well-groomed to exotic jungle.  I had a chance to clean out the front flower bed leaving two box woods and the Azalea bushes that are in full bloom.  The hubs also hug our Gamecock flag recently to help it appear that yes, someone is now occupying this house (we’re proud to be one of the few Gamecocks in the upstate, and no, we’re not afraid to show it!) because without any front porch furniture our house still appears to be empty.  Anyway, here is a picture I snapped last night of the front of our house.

Quickly I’d just like to say that I took this picture at around 7:30 p.m. and it just thrills me that it was still this bright out.  So Scott and I know we need to jazz this yard up, but neither of us knows anything about shrubs or flowers or landscape design.  We’ve been taking notes from our neighbor’s yards and driving around the “rich” neighborhoods to see what they do.  So after gathering a few ideas from others, and a trip to the library to pick up some books about shrubs and landscaping, I thought I’d Photoshop a picture plan for us to follow.  We don’t want anything that requires a lot of maintenance.  We’re out-of-town what feels like every weekend, so we need some hearty plants that are okay with not being watered for a few days but we still wanted it to be colorful.  Here’s what I came up with:

First things first, I “painted” the brick of our house.  I’m not particularly fond of the color of our brick, and I think a soft grey-blue would be awesome to help update it, but Scott hates the idea of painting brick.  A gal can dream.  I was hoping by showing what it would look like, that he’ll change his mind, but I doubt it.  So here’s what we’d need to buy for this “plan.”

1. New mulch

The mulch we have looks very dried out and gross and half of it is missing now that I’ve raked all the leaves and foreign debris that lived in this front bed for over a year. It certainly helps set a good base for the bright shrubs.

2. Variegated Hosta

I love the look of these around the front tree we have, but in past experiences I know it’s difficult to plant anything around tree roots, so I’ll have to research if these have shallow roots, but I’ve seen them planted around trees before, so I’m thinking this will work.  I’m guessing we’ll need at least eight to surround the tree.

3. Purple Diamond or Loropetalum

My parent’s neighborhood has tons of these and I love their deep purple sort of magenta color.  We’d need 6 or 7 (2 or 3 for the other side of the house that I didn’t include in the photo).

4. Juniper Lime-Glow

I adore the color of this plant, and as most magazines say, there’s no better color combination than purple and lime green for your garden.  The best part is these plants sound like they’re pretty hard to kill, which is great for me because I don’t have much of a green thumb.  I’m guessing we’ll get 5 of these.

5. Sago Palm

I used to babysit for a family who had a pair of these flanking their front door, and I loved it!  I like the idea of putting them in pots to help give some height and you’d less likely step on the frawns.  3 of these are on our shopping list (though Scott believed these to be expensive so we may wait to get these next year).

So there you have our plan.  If you see a problem that we’re unaware of (these plants don’t live well together, or require different soil or sunlight from one another etc.) please let me know!  Or if you have ideas for other low maintenance plants – I’d love some recommendations.  Not sure when we’ll actually get to buy and plant these, but when I do, I’ll be sure to share!

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Teen Bailey permalink
    April 8, 2011 9:28 am

    I have one of the Sago Palms and they love sunlight but do not do well when it freezes. I keep mine in a pot too. Just remember to bring them inside when it gets too cold. 🙂

  2. Adrienne permalink
    April 8, 2011 10:03 am

    that looks awesome Mel! I think the painted brick would look good- David LOVES that style. Still house shopping down here in Charleston… I hope to have your advice soon! 🙂

    • April 8, 2011 12:49 pm

      How exciting! I have a few trips to Charleston this summer so I’ll have to come see!! Miss you!

  3. April 8, 2011 2:36 pm

    Wow, what a transformation! Some of my favorite low-maintenance plants are tea olives. They are evergreen shrubs that “bloom” in the spring — the blooms aren’t showy but they smell really sweet.

    • April 8, 2011 2:47 pm

      I love tea olives! I don’t know how big they get though – where would you suggest me put them?

  4. Anna permalink
    April 14, 2011 8:29 pm

    I’m so jealous you have photoshop! So have you thought about pulling the bed out so it is rounded instead of straight across? Then you could layer the color and plants so it has alot of depth. Just a thought. Also, tea olives are great as mentioned above. They smell great! Of course I also love camelias as anchors (an alternative to the palm beside the stairs) because they bloom but are evergreen.


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