March 2, 2011

Lessons in Landscaping

March is here which means spring is right around the corner...well, at least my fingers are crossed that this is the case (In reality, March in Virginia Beach can tend to be very bipolar with days as warm as 80 and as cold as 40 still).  Anyhow, spring in this house means it is finally time to conquer one of our most pressing projects: landscaping our front yard.  Ever since we moved in, the front's lackluster appearance has really bothered me.  See?

I think it has good basics, but needs a lot more volume and color to meet my standards.  The only problem?  I know absolutely nothing about landscaping.  Plus, I suck at it.  I  kill anything green and have a hard time figuring out where and how everything should be planted.  But this spring I am determined to conquer my deamons and make our front yard attractive. 
So, like any project I take on, I have started off by doing a little research (seriously, how did people live before the internet?).  I have learned that an attractive landscape has four things: 1. shrubs, 2. color (flowers usually), 3. groundcover, and 4. hardscapes (the stuff that's not alive like the lining and lighthing). 
Now obviously, the most cost effective way to tackle this project is to work with what we have, and that's exactly what I intend to do.  That means we already have shrubs (although I'm not crazy about the holly bushes, oh well) and the liner (which I do like). We are in desperate need of some groundcover.  I'm thinking this is where we bring in some texture and mabye even some color.  Here are a couple options I've found:
Purple Heart, also known as the Wandering Jew (bonus points!)

Along with the groundcover, I am also thinking we are going to need to add some more shrubs.  Because color is seriously lacking, I would like to add some flowering shrubs.  Azaleas are everywhere around here, so they are always an option, but we had knockout rose bushes at the townhouse, and I really liked those, mainly because they were pretty maintenance free.  I'm thinking of these in between the existing holly bushes:
Lastly, we will add some solar lighting along the path to cover some more hardscaping.  So, that's the plan, at least for now.  But, unfortunately, I just can't "see" this like I can with my other home projects.  Anyone out there good with landscaping?  Any and all suggestions are welcomed and much, much appreciated.  Please help!!!


  1. My mom and dad are amazing at landscaping. People used to stop by our house as a kid and be like wow, that is beautiful. He is really good with ideas and knows what kind of plants do well in this area and produce the most color and are hardy. He also has a grass seed planting schedule that I am sure he would be happy to share with you. When I was little, I used to love the patterns he would put in the yard with the lawnmower. Let me know if you want to talk to him.

  2. Hahaha - Bipolar, I like it! I'm from MA so I totally understand what you're saying about the weather - one day it will be close to 65 and then 4 days later it's snowing. I look forward to seeing updates on your pretty spring landscape =)


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