head diy Design Fanatic: DIY Your Landscape

Friday, April 20, 2018

DIY Your Landscape

Hello friends!

Those of you who’ve been following for awhile, know our last house had beautiful landscaping.
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We planted every shrub and tree ourselves. The builder of our last house gave us 22 shrubs (for a big house on a wooded, almost an acre lot) and we replanted those too. The soil in all the flowerbeds, except the wooded areas, was tilled and amended.

One of our neighbors had their front and backyards professionally landscaped for around $18k and that was 16 years ago, so you can imagine how much that would be now.
We tackled an area or two every season at our last house because we didn’t have the time or the money to do it all at once. I think it took us 5 years to finish the basic landscaping, not counting the raised beds in our North and South gardensSpring landscape, mulch, gardening, organic garden, landscape, diy landscape, backyard, beautiful garden, make gardening easier


This is what our landscape looked like when we bought our last house. There were large vines all twisted way up in those trees that had to be pulled out with Mr. DIY’s minivan.
Spring landscape, mulch, gardening, organic garden, landscape, diy landscape, backyard, beautiful garden, make gardening easier





At our new place we have less to do, but since we don’t have the time or the money to do it all at once, we’re doing a little at a time.


The house we live in now is smaller and is only on a little less than 1/4 acre. The front yard is landscaped, and except for planting a few herbs, annuals and taking a few plants out, it’s
finished. We might and I mean might, plant a small tree on the side of the garage.
Spring landscape, mulch, gardening, organic garden, landscape, diy landscape, backyard, beautiful garden, make gardening easier




Spring landscape, mulch, gardening, organic garden, landscape, diy landscape, backyard, beautiful garden, make gardening easier


Our backyard was another story.

The previous owners planted a couple of tall, thin Japanese Cedars between our screened porch and the neighbors.
They also planted a Maple tree and two tall, bushy Japanese Cedars in front of a large and beautiful Holly (which is blocked by the Japanese Cedars) in the far corner of the yard.20160806_114534 (1)


The rest of the yard was one big natural area, with Pine trees, weeds and  a variety of brush.
Spring landscape, mulch, gardening, organic garden, landscape, diy landscape, backyard, beautiful garden, make gardening easier







Spring landscape, mulch, gardening, organic garden, landscape, diy landscape, backyard, beautiful garden, make gardening easier
Some people would be happy just the way it is, but the trees were encroaching on the grass, making it difficult to mow the lawn, plus it made the backyard seem very small.

We’re not getting any younger and we’re still in the middle of a diy reno at the mountain cottage, so much of our weekends are already spoken for and we don’t have a lot of time to devote to landscaping.

Here are some tips to diy your own landscape:

Always start with a plan
I penciled out a plan and as you can tell by all the wrinkles, I bring it out to the backyard with me.
Spring landscape, mulch, gardening, organic garden, landscape, diy landscape, backyard, beautiful garden, make gardening easier
Our backyard is small and we don’t want to do as much seasonal landscape as our last house, so our plan is pretty simple.
The first time of our plan was to cut down some pine trees, clear out the weeds, brush and spread mulch to make a curving flower bed along the back.

The first thing we did was add some fill dirt in a few areas, giving us a larger useable flower bed and so it wouldn’t be so steep. We did this last year and then
Spring landscape, mulch, gardening, organic garden, landscape, diy landscape, backyard, beautiful garden, make gardening easier


Spring landscape, mulch, gardening, organic garden, landscape, diy landscape, backyard, beautiful garden, make gardening easier
If you don’t need to add dirt, the next thing you should do after making a plan is:
Break your landscape into sections and plan to do one section at a time.
We chose the far corner, since it already had some plants in it and only 1 Pine tree needed to be cut down.
After that:
Clear out the section you’re going to landscape
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Mr. DIY cleared out a little at a time. It was so nice to be able to see the Maple and Japanese Cedars after the Pine tree was cut down. After the Pine tree, he cut down the woody scrub, and then another time, he weed wacked the tall grasses and vines.
Remember. Do a little at a time.
We did all the clearing last Fall and planted a new lawn. That kept us busy with outdoor projects for Fall.

After clearing out all the brush,
Mark out your flower beds and  amend the soil
We did this last Fall, so the section we wanted to plant was all ready in the Spring. I just added large bags of inexpensive dirt that’s available at Lowes.  Black Kow manure is a great product to use to amend the soil. (it’s composted so it doesn’t smell)
And finally:
Mulch your flower beds
If you’re ready to plant your shrubs and flowers, do so, before putting the mulch down. If you’re not ready to plant, be sure to mulch your beds with a thick layer of mulch, so the weeds don’t grow through.For future reference,  in the Fall, be sure your layer of mulch is thick enough, so it will protect your plants through the Winter.
We always buy the dyed mulch when it’s on sale at Lowes in April for $2 a bag. (not so fun fact: the landscape at our last house required 360 bags of mulch)
Tip: Be sure to write down how many bags you used- it will be a good reference for the following year!
So here are the before and after photos:

Before:
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After:
Spring landscape, mulch, gardening, organic garden, landscape, diy landscape, backyard, beautiful garden, make gardening easier


Spring landscape, mulch, gardening, organic garden, landscape, diy landscape, backyard, beautiful garden, make gardening easier



Before:
Spring landscape, mulch, gardening, organic garden, landscape, diy landscape, backyard, beautiful garden, make gardening easier

After Clearing:Spring landscape, mulch, gardening, organic garden, landscape, diy landscape, backyard, beautiful garden, make gardening easier

We plan to cut that ugly small tree looking plant and add some large flowering shrubs that don't need pruning or tending down the hill a little bit, behind the mulched area. That way, we won't have to look at the unsightly brush.



Before:Spring landscape, mulch, gardening, organic garden, landscape, diy landscape, backyard, beautiful garden, make gardening easier


After clearing some brush and a few small trees:
We’re going to clear out these Pine trees once the Pine trees behind them grow up a bit, so that we still have privacy. We’re leaving this side of the yard until next year. Spring landscape, mulch, gardening, organic garden, landscape, diy landscape, backyard, beautiful garden, make gardening easier


Before:
Spring landscape, mulch, gardening, organic garden, landscape, diy landscape, backyard, beautiful garden, make gardening easier


After clearing some trees:
Spring landscape, mulch, gardening, organic garden, landscape, diy landscape, backyard, beautiful garden, make gardening easier


More After Photos:
Spring landscape, mulch, gardening, organic garden, landscape, diy landscape, backyard, beautiful garden, make gardening easier


These two front Pine trees might be cut in the next year or two. They’re fine now, but in a few years, they’ll be growing into the lawn and too close to the screened porch. I’m planning on putting a Japanese Maple behind the rock. It’s a much smaller tree and very slow growing.
Spring landscape, mulch, gardening, organic garden, landscape, diy landscape, backyard, beautiful garden, make gardening easier


The rocks lined up along the edge of the flower beds in the photo below  are temporarily keeping the mulch from being washed out when it rains.  The rocks were dug up from the flower beds! Our soil is really rocky!
Extending pipes from the downspouts to the back of the flower beds is another project for another time.
Spring landscape, mulch, gardening, organic garden, landscape, diy landscape, backyard, beautiful garden, make gardening easier
We’ve planted a few things and want to pick up some pretty flowering perennials to plant this soon. Here in the South, we have until about the middle of May to plant things and get their roots established before the hot summer sets in.
We’d better get busy – April is going by quickly and the middle of May will be here before you know it.


What will you be planting in your garden this Spring?

Pam

If you'd like to see more of the garden at our last home, you can see a Spring garden tour HERE and HERE



3 comments:

  1. You and your husband are really good at landscaping---I followed along when you worked at your last home. Your new place is looking gorgeous!

    I've been doing the same here in Chicago. Everything I had was maintenance free and boring, as we spend summers at the lake. I've added more perennials and shrubs for color. Edging and bark makes for a neat look, I see a lot of that in both of your homes.

    Keep up the good work!

    Jane

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow that is looking wonderful. I know how much work is involved in projects like this so I definitely appreciate it.
    I’m part of a group hosting a garden party once a month starting this coming Friday. I hope you’ll stop by and link up.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Landscaping is kind of work that must do only if you know what you are doing otherwise spare it for the landscaping company. Thanks for sharing this beautiful landscaping DIY, it really looks good.

    Landscape Design Company

    ReplyDelete

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