Saturday, February 21, 2009

Front Yard Planning

When I hear about curb appeal, the thought that comes to mind is not our home. Our house has little curb appeal - the old toilet flower planter doesn't help - nor does the extra tires...attached to that broke down Buick. When we bought the house the previous owners told us that the yard was used as a joke. So in preparation of the listing of the house, they decided to rip out everything.

Last spring we had a 75 foot pine cut down and the root ground out. And that is where we stopped. So obviously this is the right time to plan to get some plants in and some curb appeal out there. Let's get to the plan.

(Sorry about the ghetto "yard map") We have a small front porch that has a long set of brick front steps. Currently our yard slopes from the right side to the left - due to being located on the side of a small hill. We hope to level out the area surrounding the front porch in the coming month. Topsoil would need to be added so that the depth from the porch to the ground is even on both sides. We also want to add actually plants. I know...this may be asking too much or being greedy - wanting grass and shrubs and all...that just goes to show how high maintenance I am :)

The trees I decided on were the following (pictured from left clockwise):
Dwarf spruce
Crape Myrtle (not really a tree but has a high profile)
Flowering Dogwood

Shrubs (from top left clockwise):
Gold Privet
Crape Myrtle

Perennials (pictured from top left clockwise):
Moss Phlox
Bluebeard (actually a shrub but low growing)

So we definitely need to take this challenge one step at a time. But the key is to get a plan written down, right?! First up - get our landscaping expert friend to take a look at our situation and let us know how much topsoil would be required. I am really looking forward to this transformation. I am also looking forward to Jeff Foxworthy no longer making fun of our yard.

Helpful Hint -Georgia flowering perennials link


kari said...

I really like what you have come up with so far. I can't wait to see the finished product.

Freckles Chick said...

OK, when you're done w/ your house, can you help me w/ mine? Our house is so scary on the outside that trick or treaters won't even come by on Halloween.

Tiffany Lynn said...

I need to start thinking about this stuff too! Our yard is a hot mess with "evil" soil in one area that kills every plant we put in the ground. Last year I managed to do two planters but that was it!

USANDCO said...

That's going to put you right up there for "yard of the month"! So glad you included dogwoods, azaleas and Southern yard would be complete, nay, respectable without them ;-) Can't wait to see it!

20-Something Superhero said...

Wow. Looks like it's going to be very vibrant when everything is in bloom if you get all the plants you want.

Our house probably won't be finished until the end of summer.... so we'll probably forgo landscaping this year and I will be relegated to planters again this year :(

Emily said...

We're rethinking our curb appeal, too, since we have to have our steep front steps torn out and replaced anyway. Can't wait to see what you come up with.

Are your front steps just regular straight steep steps, or do they have some dimension, curves or different sizes to them? We're on the lookout for interesting front steps.

mrs.leah.maria said...

You're making me sad again. I think my garden will truly be neglected this year.

Elizabeth said...

Hi, I am a fellow GA resident and love reading your blog. This last post was pretty distressing, so I had to de-lurk.

Your garden plans are lovely, and I can't wait to see the results; however, planting any type of privet is a REALLY, REALLY bad idea! Privet is a seriously invasive plant (as bad as kudzu), and it will spread way beyond your cute little yard and wreak ecological havok. Birds eat the berries, poop the seeds, and it ends up sprouting everywhere (especially around streams and wetlands). The stuff is crazy tough to kill, so getting rid of it is really difficult.

So basically, I'm begging you not to plant privet and to look at some native shrubs (or at least something that's not invasive) as an alternative. Heck, I'll even come over and help you dig holes to plant if you agree to avoid privet!

Michael said...

Great plan...I love absolute favorite!

Bayjb said...

Wow your drawing, when implemented, will look great! My stepmom is the queen of perfect curb appeal. People stop to admire our garden

Katie said...

Elizabeth - I am so glad you spoke up! I did a little digging (pun intended) for different kinds of invasive plants like the privet you mentioned and found that you are right - chinese and european privet are completely outta control! But don't fret my pet - I fully plan on planting only California Gold Privet which is much less crazy about world domination. Thank you so much for mentioning it though - the plants we plan to use must be noninvasive and this is definitely something we will have to keep in mind when the time comes to visit the nursery.

XO - Katie

Anonymous said...

YOU GO GIRL!! That is one thing I can NOT do! Gardening. Blech! Hate it and I'm horrible at it. Hahaha. I'm jealous of yo' skilzzz!

Kristina said...

We bought our first house over a year ago and the flowerbeds were completely overgrown. So we riped everything out and replanted. I am very familiar with trying to draw this stuff out. I am completely retarded when it comes to dimensions. I even went as far as to Photoshop the plants into the picture of our house. Needless to say, looks nothing like the picture. Can wait to see what you've done when you're finished!

Elizabeth said...

You are right, California Gold privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium) is not on the list of invasives for Georgia yet. It is listed by the USDA Plant Database as invasive and noxious in several states. Here is a link to information on it:
It is already listed as invasive in Fl and NC. There is also a list of native alternatives at the bottom of the page.

Katie said...

Thanks Elizabeth for looking into this...heaven knows I would have no idea where to look up invasive plants so it is nice to have someone knowledgable on my side! I will definitely have to do some more research...thankfully I have time (and lots of it) before any plants hit the holes.

XO - Katie