Front yard improvements

I recently explained how my yard looks like it’s been through the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Well, the embarrassment finally became too much for me and I got to work on some baby steps last week that will, hopefully, help improve the look of the landscape around here.

We have a lamppost in our front yard that is supposed to have some beautiful shrubs surrounding it. This is what it looked like:

Before-of-front-yardFirst I removed the ornamental grass because it gets huge and out of control every year and blocks the light from the lamppost. In its place, I planted a green, leafy evergreen shrub that was growing all by its lonesome in our backyard. Then I cleaned out the leaves and debris from around the rocks, did some trimming and this is what it looks like now:

Closeup-front-yard-landscapingThe blue evergreen is a Blue Star Juniper. I apologize; I’m not sure about the names of the green leafy evergreen and the red/green plant. If anyone recognizes them, please leave a comment.

I also decided to spruce up the lamppost a little. The middle section was faded from the sun, so I spray-painted the ends in oil-rubbed bronze and hung a garden flag from it.



Total cost of this makeover? Zero dollars! Honestly, there is still so much work to be done in our yard. But at least I’m making small improvements, right? Plus it’s hard to get much done with all the hula dancing going on around here:

Hula-kidsHave you done any landscaping yet this year? Any tips for those of us with brown thumbs?

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24 Responses

  1. Kim R says:

    I think the green leafy plant is an aucuba. I don’t know what the other one is, but I think I have one in my yard, too. Mine has small thorns.

    • Melissa D says:

      The aucuba (green with yellow spots) can grow very large… mine is about 8×8 feet here in Atlanta! But it’s used to benign neglect, which is good.

  2. Gina says:

    That looks great! (I think the green leafy one is Acuba and the red one looks like an Abelia)

  3. Lori says:

    Looks awesome! I love how you were able to transform the area without spending any money. We have a ton of work to do in our front yard and back yard too. I hope we can get it all finished before summer is over!


  4. Lucy says:

    Looks wonderful!!!

  5. Vicki says:

    Looks great! We have yet to get at any yard work here due to rain and cold. Hopefully soon…
    Love the hula skirt!

  6. Linda Rahmeyer says:

    It does look like an Acuba a beautiful plant that gets quite large and can have beautiful big red berries. It LOVES shade so I am concerned about where you have it planted. If the place it is currently isnt shady you should relocate it again. It really is a great plant that you can enjoy for years, easy to take care of and always a show piece!

  7. Michelle says:

    This looks great! I have a lampost that could use some help as well-thanks for the ideas…and the red shrub is crimson barberry. Unless it’s a pygmy, they can get pretty large and wild, but they do well with regular pruning. Love the hula skirt!

  8. Holly Irwin says:

    Congratulations! Looks lovely!


  9. Pam P says:

    Love the hula dancer and the look on the little guys face! You’re off to a great start! I am pretty sure the red bush is a barberry (they have thorns). I am an avid gardener… my dreams. Plants fear me and wilt when I pass them in the store. 😉

  10. Kelly Palmer says:

    That area looks so pretty now! I think the red plant is a type of Barberry. I just removed a big one in our yard that was really old and had huge spiky thorns all over it.

  11. Billie York says:

    What a great job!! Very inspiring for me to get out and do something with my yard on my limited “yard budget”.

  12. Joyce says:

    Your makeover is beautiful. I can see why your time is limited for the yard work. Enjoy your little ones….they are MUST MORE important than a yard, that’s for sure. I agreed with the others about the acuba. I have three and they are lovely in the shade ONLY. I live in North Texas and if I plant any in sun or even partial sun, the leaves will burn into a “black crisp”. I trim them once a year to keep each a 2-3 feet shrub. The big red berries are goregous.

    • Susan says:

      Thanks so much to you and the other lovely ladies who have informed me about my Acuba shade-loving plant. Because of you, my landscaping might stand a chance at survival. 🙂 Looks like I’ve got a replant on the schedule.

  13. Norma Jean says:

    WOW! Such a big change for minimum effort. Since it is the “welcome” point to your yard, it was a great place to start. I too have mostly brown thumbs and hate yard work, but (alas) it is just one of those things that we eventually have to do.

  14. Martha D. says:

    I agree with the previous comments that you have an acuba and a barberry now. You have definitely improved this bed–you should be proud!! 🙂

  15. Diane Bush says:

    Auccuba is the spotted green plant and I believe the other one a split leaf philodendron. Good job.

  16. Terri C says:

    Looks great! We have a lampost just like yours. You have inspired me!

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