Landscaping ~ Spring 2016

When we moved into our house last Fall, we got too busy doing a million other things that we just decided to leave the yard alone and not mess with it since the cold Winter weather would kill everything anyway. And it did, as you’ll see in the pictures. But once Spring came around, we got ourselves out there and started working as hard as we could to make things presentable. I’m not someone who likes being outside very much at all, but I love the yard we have so I figured if we made it nice and pretty I’d be more likely to get out. After over two months of hard work, everything is finally finished, bloomed, and beautiful.
Landscaping - Spring 2016 -.jpg
Before: Everything was overgrown and dead. The pool needed to be emptied and scrubbed because the magnolia leaves had made rust marks. The pool ladder had to be thrown away because it was rusted, which we had already done before this picture was taken. And obviously there was tons of weeds that needed to be pulled.
After: We got a new ladder, the bushes got cut down completely and are beginning to regrow. The grass is getting greener. There’s no more weeds and the pool is almost as good as new. I’ll be spending a lot of time here this summer!
Before: Monkey grass and bushes were overgrown. The two rose bushes and grass were almost completely dead. You can barely even see the mulch or the bricks lining the garden and the mulch that you can see has lost its color.
After: The monkey grass is trimmed up, the colorless mulch was replaced, the bushes are trimmed, and the roses and grass are coming back to life. You can’t really tell in this picture because we’ve been having a lot of hot sunshine lately which roasted all the blooms, but you can see in my April Favorites just how big they had gotten! When the bloomed roses died, I had to trim the branches down again because it was getting out of control.
Before: This just looked too bare on the right side and weeds were overgrowing around the stones. Again, the monkey grass was overgrown, the grass and rose bush were dead, the mulch had lost its color and the big bush needed to be trimmed desperately. Also, I should probably mention that we don’t have sprinklers. Usually that’s not a problem with our daily Florida rainshowers, but apparently we had been having really dry weather that killed it all.
After: The monkey grass and big bush are trimmed up, the grass and rose bush are coming back to life, and we added some planters filled with lemongrass. I knew I wanted to put something on those stones, I just wasn’t sure what. And when I was on Pinterest looking at gardening, I had read that lemongrass was a good mosquito repellent. So far, that’s not really working out but I do love the way they look in these pots. This rose bush isn’t growing quite as big as the others, but it’s getting there. My boyfriend got a hammock as a present from his parents and we decided to set it up right in front of this section. We’ve been loving it!! But if you follow me on Instagram, you’d know it’s dangerous too.
We also added two hanging baskets on the side of the fence because it was something inspired by Pinterest, again. The tree that’s there is called a Japanese Maple and it’s really interesting. I don’t remember the name of the red flowers we picked for the baskets, but I love them!! They called for full sun and need to be watered daily or they start to shrivel up, but so far these have been doing the best as far as things we planted ourselves, aside from the lemongrass. They did have ones that were pre-made, but we opted for the ones you make yourself. I think they add the cutest touch and are one of my favorite parts of the yard!
Before: I can’t even look at this picture of this bush. How in the world did we ever let it get to this point?? I mean, what could possibly be growing out of the middle like that? Obviously, much trimming needed to be done here. As well as some TLC to this grass. And I'm sure it doesn't help that it was overcast during all of these before pictures.
After: The bush is nice and trimmed up, it’s no longer a pain to look at and the grass is actually green instead of brown. What killed me about the before picture is that this was such an easy fix. Definitely never going to let it get to that point again. Embarrassing!!
Before: Not too much needed to be done here. The bushes are a little overgrown and the grass needs some love, but the mulch doesn’t look as bad as the others. You can still see the brick lining, which is a plus! Don’t mind the wood pieces, those are for boarding up the windows for hurricanes.
After: I think it kinda looks the same, honestly. The bushes are trimmed, the grass is looking better, and we replaced all the mulch which is unfortunately already losing a bit of color. I think that will be our goal next year, to change out all the mulch for rocks.
Also in the backyard, we needed to do something along the fence because our dog likes to run up and down the fence with the neighbor’s dog. That needed to be stopped immediately because we no longer had any grass there and it was rather annoying to deal with. So we added a garden to grow some vegetables in with a planter on each side that we filled with peach colored hibiscus plants. Unfortunately, every time we’ve gotten a hibiscus bloom it shrivels back up within a day or two. We’re really working hard on those because they’re so beautiful! So far in the garden, we’ve planted tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeños, bell peppers, basil, rosemary, and cantaloupe which are all slowly making their way along.
Before: Gross, gross, gross. You can’t even tell what is what, where one plant ends and another begins. Good luck trying to find the brick lining in this section! When we moved on to the front yard, I did forget to take immediate before pictures so you’ll see some branches on the ground already and pile of leaves. Apparently, the rusty ladder wanted to make an appearance anyway. Goodbye, you disgusting thing!
After: The bushes and monkey grass are trimmed, the mulch was replaced, the ladder was thrown in the trash, the weeds were pulled, and you can now see the brick lining. So much better than what it looked like before we tackled it.
Before: Where’s the curb appeal in these next two before pictures?? Everything is so overgrown, dead, unmaintained, and lacking color. So many things needed to be taken care of!
After: We trimmed the bushes, monkey grass, sago palms, and pulled up the entire green piece from that front corner section. I’m not even sure what that was, I just knew it looked ugly and I wanted it gone! We replaced it with some red and yellow flowers, but not long after those were planted Easter Lilies began to sprout out of the ground. I was so pleasantly surprised! They’re one of my favorite flowers and we had no idea there were bulbs under there. They haven’t bloomed yet, though, and I’m not sure if they will since it’s getting so late in the season. But I’m happy to know they’re there.
Before: Dead, overgrown monkey grass, tons of weeds, and colorless mulch. You can barely see the brick lining on this section anymore and it’s getting hard to tell which monkey grass plant is which.
After: The weeds are pulled, the monkey grass is trimmed, the tree is blooming, the grass is green, and you can even see the bricks. We also replaced all the mulch in this front section as well as added some red and yellow flowers to brighten things up. The red flowers seem to be doing fine, but I don’t think the yellow flowers appreciated the mulch very much and have died off.
Since this is the first home that we’ve owned, this is the first time we’ve had the personal responsibility to maintain the yard and do landscaping. Of course, it’d be easy to hire someone, but I wanted to be able to look at it once we were all done and feel good about how much we accomplished. Which, looking back at all the before pictures, was a lot of work that we did! I love the way it looks now. Of course, there’s always something that I want to change and improve on, but for now I think we did a pretty good job. I also know now how much I truly hate monkey grass and how tender my hands are!

~Mani Monday~
This week I chose one of my favorite colors, specifically for Spring and Summer because it goes great with a tan but I really love it all year long. It’s the Julie G polish in Bikini. It’s the perfect neon, pastel creamy orange that I just can’t get enough of. However, although the color is my favorite I do think the formula could be improved. I know bright colors like this can be difficult to formulate (they are usually thin and chip super fast), but with such an amazing color like this a better formula would make it the perfect polish ever!
What’s on your nails this week?


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