Taming Our Garden Beds

I loved the curb appeal we had at our house before, well groomed lawn and pretty flower beds, along with a bright cheery red front door and spot to sit on our petite front porch. After being displaced from our home for close to a year due to a fire in July 2012, and recently moving back home late June 2013, we we were left with a front and backyard in terrible shape. We've made HUGE progress on our front yard landscaping, having broken sprinklers replaced, getting sod installed and having our tree cut back in the fall.  Read more about the progress from  here. Over the weekend we finally started working on our upping our curb appeal by working on our flower beds. Below is a picture I took of one of our garden beds on Saturday, the other one looked same but with less rocks. 

Here's our starting point of our yard in June 2013. I considered this a progress picture, because this picture was taken after three yards of debris were finally removed from our front yard. 

We visited a local Nursery and picked out a variety shrubs and perennials that are water-wise once established. Meaning they'll need little water once they start to grow in. We really want maintenance free plants, that as they mature only need little watering and pruning. I also avoided annuals in favor of evergreen shrubs that bloom from Spring to late Fall to add bursts of color in our garden beds. In our large bed to the right of our front door, we added water wise flowering ground cover. I used to buy annuals throughout the year and plant them, but I've over that. Going forward, I most likely won't buy any annuals, and if I do they'll only be used in containers.

Our garden beds are still rough around the edges. we need to clean up pour sidewalk, front porch and tame our wild garden hoses in the font of our house and the back. Here's a few pictures of our garden beds now, don't they look pretty! The varying shades of green with bursts of color from the flowers make me so happy. 

We choose plants that would create various layers of height as they grow in.

I love these pretty sweet pea bushes and hope they grow in nice and round over time. In the past I had them in containers, I'm hoping these are happier in the ground. 

We had several garden stones that we decided to move to our other garden bed, to help create a nice edge border between our grass and garden bed. I'm so happy we added the extra stone from the other garden bed to this spot, it really helps define the pretty curves we established in this area. 

Right now our garden beds don't have irrigation, so we're using a hose with a doughnut sprinkler attachment. We plan on adding irrigation in our garden beds in the future by tapping into the existing sprinkler system and adding an additional valve.   

As I mentioned earlier, we wanted to add some vertical height to both garden beds, so we opted to add  a few Purple Emperor Butterfly bushes. I'm excited that they attract both butterflies and humming birds. They're also know to get pretty huge! I love how the pretty purple blooms look against our grey exterior. 

We used leftover cedar mulch from our backyard for our front garden beds. We're still short about 1/2 yard of mulch, we'll pick up more this weekend for our favorite local spot for soil, mulch etc. We also need to buy three more border stones, to complete the new border we created using extra stones we had on hand. 

Due to the placement of our sprinkler system PVC pies, we can't plant anything in this area. To help disguise the valves, I'm thinking of adding a few containers or those large faux rocks? If you have any ideas to help make this area prettier please let me know.  

I love my little home, and I'm happy to see all the progress we've made so far on our homes curb appeal. Here's a little list of things we want to add down the line. 

Curb Appeal Plans

Add Modern House Numbers // Black Shutters // Modern Doorbell // Garden hose Holder // Pergola over Garage? // Seating on front Porch // Plants in Containers // Irrigation for Garden beds // Welcome Mat 

What do you think so far? Are you working any curb appeal projects for your home? What's on your list?