Your Yard Calendar
It all starts with standing at your curb and making an honest evaluation. Before the first shrub is planted, take a good look at your home. To add depth to this house, we had homeowners Lynne and Mike Long remove their vinyl shutters and replace them with new wooden ones that they made themselves for about $150. Fresh paint colors on the shutters and door do wonders for updating the look. As for the yard, here's what we did in this Trussville, Alabama, landscape.
photo: 'Purple Pixie' loropetalum is part of the Southern Living Plant Collection debuting this spring. The eight plants chosen by our editors for this initial release offer great solutions for common landscape challenges. Visit www.southernlivingplants.com to see all of the plants and find a dealer near you.
photo: Contractor Joey Bischoff of Bischoff Landscape in Hanceville, Alabama, graded the sitting area prior to installing the flagstone so that it would be level.
photo: 'Chocolate Chip' ajuga is tough enough to be walked on occasionally, making it perfect for areas along a path.
A bleak beginning. It was suggested that we find another yard because this one required too much work.
Garden Assistant Jason Somerville and I sit down to design. It was like starting with a blank slate because nothing in front was salvageable except trees. We started with the bed line, then placed crepe myrtles and shrubs by the driveway and front steps. Homeowners requested color and lots of it. 'Double Knock Out' roses are a good choice--fast growth and plentiful flowers.
Meet Joey at site to spray out bed lines and kill grass with herbicide. We plan to remove sod with a cutter in two days. I'm a little concerned that we may be pushing it. I like to give Roundup at least a week to work prior to removing sod.
Grading looks good. We added 10 cubic yards of good-quality soil to beds.
I think we could have used a bit more, honestly, but trying to keep a tight handle on budget.
Like they don't have enough to do, we also ask them to take down their old shutters and make new ones (cost about $150). Assistant home editor Kiki Titterud suggests a moss color for the shutters and a soft red for the door. The difference is HUGE.