Since last week, I have busy with our front yard re-do, or I guess I should say do-over. We bought this house a little over a year ago and like any new homeowner, you like to make changes to make it your own. I knew that a curb appeal Re-do is just what this house needed. I am a “ZEN” kind of gal and think less is more. I hate clutter outside and inside my home. The front of our house was an overgrown jungle! Wasps loved these bushes and dive bombed me each day I came out the front door.
The first picture is what the front section of our house looked like before the previous owner’s bushes were yanked out. There were approximately 11 bushes in this one area! On top of that, the pruning was time consuming and a pain. The bushes were so crowded that they could not breathe in this hot, humid climate of Pensacola, Florida. My solution… remove them!
We hired a tree removal company to yank all the bushes in the front yard and there were tons of them. There are 6 separate planting areas in our front yard. These two up close to the front door are the only ones I have partially completed so far. As I complete each area I will share the transformation. At the far left of the photo below where the rocks and border jut out – I am planting a Japanese Maple. Hopefully that will be completed by this weekend.
I love living in the Southern United States because of the selection of plants that you have available to plant in our area. I planted 3 gardenia bushes in the back of this bed. Gardenias have glorious white flowers that show up against the deep, rich emerald green of the leaves. In fact, this morning I discovered my first gardenia bloom! I wish I could insert how lovely the smell of gardenias are, however, there are limits to the capability of my blog, so this photo will have to suffice.
My First Gardenia Bloom!
Gardenias are heat loving evergreen bushes that evoke images to me of southern verandas with comfy rocking chairs, while mint juleps are served in the shade. Gardenias are also known as Cape Jasmine. I found a fabulous website called, The National Gardening Association, at http://www.garden.org/plantguide/?q=show&id=2135 who give you all the planting basics for gardenias. I was careful to only plant 3 bushes on this side garden as gardenias do spread into brilliant green mounds most times, as high as they are wide.
The bushes at the front of the flower bed are called Liriope. They are a ground cover that stays green throughout the winter. In the summer, delicate purple flowers on a long stem grow from the center of the plant. I have talked about these before in one of my past blogs, so I won’t cover them again. I like the simplicity of Liriope and like the gardenias, it can stand the morning shade and late afternoon sun quite well.
On the other side of the front door, the area is much smaller. Just like the other side garden, this garden area was over planted. There was an additional red bush at the far right corner I did not get in this picture, but in the bottom “after” shot I planted a Liriope where the red bush used to be. The previous owners had 6 bushes in this area! I planted only one gardenia in this area so that it has sufficient room to grow. The gardenias look quite tiny right now, but in no time we will have beautiful green mounds filled with the sweet smelling gardenias that I love so much.
I planted Red Sensation Cordyline in the two cement urns on each side of the porch. This plant is from New Zealand and can stand the hot afternoon sun that my front receives. The leaves are almost a purple/brown shade even though it is said to be red. The leaves give a nice tropical flair to any container. The Proven Winners website at http://www.provenwinners.com/plants/cordyline/red-sensation-false-dracaena-cordyline-species will provide you with any additional information on growing this lush plant.
I have completed surrounding the other garden areas with paving blocks and hope to have trees delivered for planting soon in 3 of the other areas. Our fantastic next door neighbor, has been helping me clean our sidewalk and driveway with his power washer. In the South, because of the humidity and the amount of rainfall, our cement tends to get a mildewed appearance about it. You can see the difference in the cement in the picture below.
Amazing difference don’t you think. So those days that you don’t see me on my blog, you know what I am doing. Working on my front yard re-do! I am off to enjoy a glass of iced tea!
(Image found on Pintrest, 8/6/14)
Until next time,
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