We managed to take on the front-of-house landscaping project back in December. We worked with an amazing landscape designer and everything came out beautifully. Originally, we had plans worked up for all of the beds on the property. As it turned out, executing half the plans fit into our budget so the backyard beds remain enthusiastically overgrown and chaotically unkept (though bursting with blooms and wild southern greenery). We're so glad that we didn't skimp on the details or the scale in order to address all of the beds "a little bit." Instead, we chose to fully undertake half of the project at the time and look forward to completing the plans for the back-of-the-house at another time. It's remarkable how much more the house looks like a home now that we've added all the plantings.
I've gone back through some of our photos to find a couple that show the front beds BEFORE.
The beds had always been neatly weeded and there was a little greenery planted throughout. I actually didn't notice how bare they looked for the longest time--focusing instead on the interior of the house, like the entryway, living room, and dining room. The most flattering picture of the front yard that's been posted here was in the New Southern Porch blog post from this time last year.
When everything had been planted, it already looked so much better. And yes, the skies really are bright blue here some of the time in December--though our "regional" grass (Zoysia) does go brown and dormant through the winter. In fact, many of the plants were dormant when they went in. The Weeping Japanese Maple had no leaves (out of the frame below--far left) and neither did the European Hornbeams (which you can barely make out in the photo below, flanking the outer columns).
While the plants were big and beautiful, the only thing getting ready to bloom in December were the Yuletide Camellias and some brightly colored pansies in the "annual beds" that hug the walkway. However, the Pink Drift Rose bushes had promising new growth and the Big Leaf Hydrangeas boasted many buds, hinting at what was to come.
And finally, it's SPRING!
The hydrangeas are really coming along. We have 5 of the Big Leaf variety at the right side of the front beds. We also have a large Limelight in the bed that lines the driveway (not pictured). I can't wait to see the big-headed flowers they produce.
The Pink Drift Roses are in full bloom right now, bursting with blossoms.
Our Weeping Maple has come in with beautiful red leaves. The Creeping Jenny survived the snow and is beginning to reach its arms out toward the giant boulder that serves to mark the far left edge of the bed.
And most impressive, are the giant Hornbeams that have begun to fill out with an abundance of green leaves.
Oh yeah… our grass is coming back too! Everything is looking green, fresh, and loved. The sweet tea tastes even sweeter now from the front porch rocking chairs--I kid. I've not quite embraced the south to that extent yet. No sweet tea for this girl. I'll stick to Vermont Vixen sipping (recipe at the bottom of the linked post) on the front porch for now.