Monday, August 29, 2011

Front Yard Design and Implementation (REVEAL)

Hello everyone!  I thought it was about time to share my "new" front yard.

My husband and I are the gardeners (a rarity in Orange County-doing your own yard, that is) and we were having great difficulty getting our front yard grass to look nice.  We considered replacing all of it, but then decided to go with a low water, low maintenance front yard instead.  This required help, as well as approval from our neighborhood association (I wonder what they think now since our yard is very different from that of all the other track homes...). 

Right now the yard it is in a "baby" state.  Since we live in SoCal and nothing ceases to grow EVER, my hope is that it will all fill in nicely and soon. 

Honestly, at times I miss my grassy front yard, but we were always struggling with it to look nice.  This new yard is more cottage-y in feel.  To view the old front yard, you may click here.

We had a pretty but too large ficus tree in the front that needed to be taken out.  That was the hardest decision for me...taking out a large tree that provided a canopy for many hydrangeas.  We even consulted an arborist just to make sure it needed to come out.  In it's place, we planted an Olive tree, which looks awfully wimpy at this stage...but it is what it is and I know it will be beautiful one day!  It's just hard to wait!  With interior design, there is instant gratification once the elements are all in place...but with a garden even more patience is required.

Here is where we started:

The yard is tiny (it's SoCal...) so a cottage garden works okay. 

First the existing yard was completely dug up...

(note the tiny space and how close we are to our neighbor, all for a crazy price tag!!!)

And then plants began arriving (yay)...pictured here is a red Crepe Myrtle...

white roses, agapanthus, mexican sage, liriope...

The first stage...

The second stage...

I do like the Crepe Myrtle and it's look against the exterior of my house...

The final (time to grow!) can click any photo to enlarge them if you wish...

Here are a few photos of some of the plant material...

lambs ears and hydrangea...

Mondo grass in between the newly painted pavers...

purple verbena...

New lights....the yard looks fabulous now at night with low voltage uplights on the trees and a few lights to the front door.  Lights had been a big issue for me-I have always wanted a grown up yard with real lighting!

This new urn sits in the yard. For now, I have planted it with white kalanchoe, sweet alyssum and some ivy...

Here is a look at the Olive tree....

The groundcover is rosemary, which I am hoping fills in soon!

Front door (basically the same!)

I added some new pillows to my bench near the Olive tree...and nearby planted about 4 lavendar plants (not pictured)...they do very well here and smell wonderful.

Here is another look.  I will update as it continues to grow.  :) 

Thanks for reading!

I will be sharing this project at the following sites:


  1. Gorgeous and way to go on doing it yourself. Gardening is a lot of work, but very rewarding isn't it. I love the colour of your crepe myrtle with the house.

  2. Wow! It's so beautiful! Great job.

  3. Beautiful! And, once everything fills out, you will have one stunning front yard! Found you via Debbiedoos party. Pop on over for a visit when you get a moment. Tootles, Kathryn

  4. Your yard is breath taking! I would love to have my yard landscaped, can you come do mine? Love it!

  5. The front yard was worth every drop of sweat. It is not only gorgeous but quite inviting. I love it!


  6. The front yard was worth every drop of sweat. It is not only gorgeous but quite inviting. I love it!


  7. Thank you all so much for your kind words! Honestly, it has a long way to go in terms of filling in and I am anxious to get there! Blessings, Steph.

  8. Awesome! I love gardening and I think that it is fun to do your own gardening AND it keeps you healthy and toned too! Great job! Love your back door too!

  9. Absolutely gorgeous. A lot of work, however well worth it. Curb appeal is everything in a have it going on now. Thanks for sharing with the newbie party.

  10. When we lived in Laguna Niguel that pesky association wouldn't even let us park a third car in the driveway while it was for sale! And they hated it when our garage door was open longer than 5 minutes at a time. sheesh

    Your garden is looking wonderful! It's hard work (I know this from first hand experience) but so very satisfying, watching it grow.


  11. I bet you have the prettiest yard in the neighborhood now. I am so happy to be a new follower from White Wednesday.

  12. I love your crepe mrytle! We planted one last summer!

  13. It looks must be thrilled with how it has turned out x

  14. It looks wonderful already and when it fills in it'll be even better! We have lots of Crepe Myrtles and they are wonderful trees.

  15. Everything is so pretty- I love the bench and your choice of plants! Thanks for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday! :)


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