What to expect with easy DIY landscaping – 9 month garden update
Today we take a look at the Hale household landscape and update on the progress of our front yard garden bed. You get a preview of what to expect with a new DIY landscape and how to plan for your new easy landscaping ideas.
Our front entry garden is 9 months old
Landscape design goals for our yard
Add beauty to our home
Reduce maintenance with low maintenance landscaping
Benefit wildlife with native landscaping
Create an educational space for our children
Provide a demonstration for easy DIY landscaping
Curvilinear design – using arcs and interconnecting circular patterns for a flowing organic landcape design
Replace front entry walk – provide improved access and more attractive design
What’s up. I’m Ben Hale and this is the easy living yards podcast. Creating Beautiful Yard should be easy. Let’s let’s jump in and create the Dream Yard. You deserve so you can enjoy more time doing what you love. Welcome to episode eighty four of the easy easy living arts podcast. Today’s going to be a little bit of a different show today. We’re going to be a little bit more fluid little free form. I figured you you guys would love to hear an update on how our yards doing What does the new garden bed look like nine months in so we just created a a beautiful redesign of our front yard at the end of the year in twenty eighteen and so now our garden bed is about nine months old. That’s right here in September number so that means we did web design right at the end of the year in December and so I wanted to share with you what you guys can expect if you’re ready to transformed part of your yard or your whole yard. What do things look like. What how does it look? What work do you have to do all sorts of stuff like that so I I wanted to jump in today and share a little bit of a personal story about how to transform your yard looks in what to expect. Okay okay so before we jump into that. I just wanted to share with you guys how much I appreciate you listening to me here at the easy living yards podcast. I get a lot of energy out of hearing from you guys and and whether or not what I’m doing here makes a difference so thank you for guys. Thank thank you guys for sharing your appreciation for the show and so if you have any questions I would love to help you. It’s all you need to do. If you have a question. This is free thing all you do. is you go over to easy living yards. Dot Com slash pod easy living living yards dot com slash P. O. D. and right at the top of the page. There’s a button to ask a question. You can ask me a question. I’ll do the best I can to help you out to figure figure out what you’re burning question is and what we can do about it in in hopefully an easy way. That gets results okay so let’s jump into today’s show. I just wanted to be kinda short. Show today. Hopefully you never know right and and really just kind of run through some of the things we’ve experienced with our yard things. We like things. We don’t things that have really worked things that maybe haven’t and to really give you a feel for for what to expect right with a new garden once. You’ve established it okay so we’ve got a garden bed. It’s nine months old right so it’s gone through most of the year already ready. We tried to design our yard our front yard garden beds so this isn’t our whole front yard. This is just a start we had time and the money to do you one project and we decided to do one of the most impactful projects that you can do which is to transform the foundation planting the Front Entry Garden. Pardon of your house your home okay. It’s the most noticeable spot for landscaping. It’s also the most impactful for you and your visitors. There’s so that’s why we started. There was for us. We really wanted to make that positive change and to kind of you know in a way a foundation planting is like a painting for the front of Your House. Okay it really makes a difference when you put it wall painting on the wall right an empty room. Even just a painting makes a difference right so that’s kind of what a a front entry garden bed does and so that’s where we started and yes. We’re going to continue with new projects. Unfortunately this year did not work out out with with getting to the next project and that’s okay. That’s part of the learning rate guys. That’s part of what I teach here. Is this stuff takes time and so you take it out in in sizable chunks chunks that you can tackle that don’t overwhelm you. Okay so that’s part of it. Right is that’s part of the avoiding. The overwhelm is take sizable pieces and tackle them when you can both based on your time your availability in in what you can afford as well because let’s face it. Sometimes uh-huh landscaping can be expensive. Some these changes can be expensive but but when you bite it off and tackle it bit by bit you can make a big difference and so that’s what we did. We did our front entry garden and here. We are designed goals first. We wanted to add beauty to our home. We didn’t have any landscaping it all centrally there was essentially a whole expansive lawn across our front yard and there was a remnant planting remnant landscape planting at our front entry.
00:05:02 – 00:10:30
There was some old overgrown you bushes you couldn’t hardly even walk into the Front front porch in front door from the sidewalk because the obstruction of the U. Bush’s see almost head to walk on the lawn to the right of where you’re supposed to walk the so we wanted to beautify the front of the House. We wanted to reduce the amount of maintenance because those you Bush’s came out and in place we didn’t really put much coach and so we had a lot of weed problems we wanted to benefit wildlife so that was kind of a you know a secondary goal. Oh yeah one more primary goal was to improve improve access to our home as well. We had this tiny little restrictive front walkway. You probably know what I’m talking about. Because ninety percent of US had these I like to narrow walkway going into our front door in what it does is it really visually and kind of subtly restrict access to our home so it’s a not welcoming design and sew unwelcoming design. I guess is the right word right. So so what we did is we wanted to improve that access so again who as far as secondary benefits we wanted to benefit wildlife so we wanted to actually attract attract pollinators to our front garden. We wanted to attract a little birds that maybe eat the seeds right. We wanted to welcome that into our landscape into feel like like we’re making a positive impact on the world around us as well with our beautiful garden. Okay we also wanted to who educate our children. We wanted stuff in our garden that our children could interact with and to feel like they’re they can be part of it that it’s safe place as for them so yes. It’s a beautiful garden bed right. Now I am a little timid with them like stepping on stuff and pulling it out right but but they still get to Kinda just trample around around in our garden a little bit pick stuff and that sort of thing and to learn about it as well learn about what’s a seed what’s a flower about insects that visit Dan how birds that visit so it’s an educational opportunity. We also wanted to be an affordable designed for two reasons one. We didn’t want to break the bank on it right secondly. We also wanted to make this design. Something that can showcase how you you can do this too in an affordable way that can really look beautiful so that was a secondary goals and likewise that kind of segues always into my last goal. which is we want this to be demonstration of Garden? We want it to be a demonstration to you and to everybody who comes to our guard to see see that you can do this. You can create a beautiful garden doesn’t take a lot of work and it and it had so much beauty and and actual monetary Harry value to your home as well so those were our goals for the guard. So how did we really stack up to that well. Let’s talk about some of the details Levine and and how long it take ’em how much investment it took and then we’ll start to shake out how successful we were as well and you know of course that’s an ongoing thing right so as far as the design goes what’s our design actually look like how much space take up that sort of thing. I don’t remember off the top of my head. I forgot to look this up before I hit the record but but how much square footage the design actually is but it’s it’s. It’s a decent sized design across her house. We’re talking. Maybe about Oh goodness. It’s been too long since I did the design. I should know these numbers off the top of my head. is probably about maybe thirty foot wide across the front of our home in a little bit out to the side of it on the right and it comes out about ten feet or so from the base of the House and then along the walkways well for another curvy twenty five feet or so. It’s a sizable little garden. Nothing substantial nothing major nothing huge but it did take a decent amount of work worked to establish and a decent amount of plants as well to establish so we’re talking a little bit rate so the design style I use the curve linear design which basically means you know you see like some of those gardens out there. Maybe you have one. It’s like wavy edges kind of more free flowing not a super formal structure design and so I I kinda used a an organic looking king fuel to the garden through a curve linear design and so really most of the ARCS are some form of circle that are inter connecting with each other so it really kind of smooths out some of the hard edges of the home and and kind of brings it into the landscape and that’s kind of what I was going for their there we also we replaced the front entry walk so that was a big chunk of the project work wise and also cost wise as well but it was very important to me to improve that access to our home and so that was something we did we invested in that and really the outcome was pretty amazing amazing.
00:10:31 – 00:15:12
We wanted a variety of plants in the design and we is primarily me but my wife had a certain level of input put especially veto power but I did most of the design but we had twelve different plants most of them were natives so we had ten native plants to non non natives but that were non invasive plants as well was important to me we had mostly dense plantings now for the mature size right now they’re pretty young plants and so there’s a lot of gaps in between them but as they grow they will fill in pretty full but and that was something important from a low maintenance standpoint but also a stylistic standpoint as well as something. I was going for and we also planned end for year round interest so he wanted something that looked great and spring of course looked great in summer and also had some nice pops of fall and input also for winter interests as well and so that was important for us okay now what about timing so the timing of the project addict it was pretty decent. the design process this is important guys the design process to come up with the design something we we both really liked and we are kids Kinda too young to seek input or whatever but my wife and I we we liked the design we thought through some of the different versions that I came up with what what look nice what didn’t and yes. I can make a design. It doesn’t look nice still and came up with something we both light and that process to to figure out the structure of the garden clarifying whatever you wanted what we needed what what scale of change we were going to make and then start getting into so this is a snapshot of the whole design process guys is important stuff so after that we figured out what are some of the physical layouts of the garden bed we wanted and and then moving on what are the the general structure of plants that we want in the garden and followed up with what specific plants are we going to plant what quantities doing and then starting the cost estimates and and that sort of thing so that’s kind of the whole process of the design that process took about two months of working in evenings. Is it here and there and on weekends well here and there and mind you. This is with making a priority to spend time with our kids. I do things with their kids in finding those pockets of time where we can do some of this stuff so that’s Kinda the caveat here so two months of filling in the pockets. The installation process took about three months. I did a pretty extensive removal of some of the sod in the place. That was a choice I made due to some persistent we’d issues in the garden area and so so yeah. That was a big chunk. Also a big chunk was preparing the new walkway in removing the old one for was a sizable amount of work so that’s something to consider in the design here but again this is working on weekends evenings as well and that sort of thing okay okay so what are the results well. I we have color color. Who like a a big thing is is this year we don’t have big mature perennial all garden plants or anything like that but we do have colorful plants that seem to be pretty happy in the space and they’re starting to fill out starting to grow this year and so that was really the test for this year is what made it through the winter and what kind of can actually start growing and doesn’t look too unhappy in this space we have so that was is the big test for this year and most of the plants pass with flying colors literally speaking and so we have beautiful? Hughes of pinks and purples and yellows popping through our garden others most mostly the colors that I chose for our garden design theme we have some young small and sparse plants so it’s you know Kinda here and there but we’ve got beautiful plants there and we have some Nice fixtures well with some grasses that really come through we’ve noticed immediate improvement with our garden so pretty happy happy about that and pretty satisfied so far so immediate improvement over what we previously had there especially with the walkway acquai- the walkway really gives it A.
00:15:12 – 00:20:19
I don’t want to downplay the garden that sounded not cool a specially but also with the walkway. They were also with the walkway. We we really have what we did with the walkway premium look and improved access as well so we improved the function of our home significantly gently just by changing our walkway also I improved the beauty of our home through this hard scape element and so what we did is we put in a stamped concrete walkway like with a flagstone pattern looks really beautiful and really improves the look of our home and it also makes driveway look a lot uglier now so we do have some losses. We’ve had some plants that didn’t make it. I had one primary accent plant which is a shrub as a chartreuse coloured. plant called nine bark you might have heard of nine bark. It’s sold popularly at a big box stores ars as a burgundy colored plant so this has been bred to have different colors of leaves. It is in native derived plant that’s been bred into cultivars avars so the the Cultivar we chose was a short plant that really makes the center of our home pop and it didn’t make it through the winter so we had to replace that it was expensive and that’s the the reality here guys is plant. Warranties can be difficult because it’s really hard for a nursery to guarantee the success of a plant. If you’re buying a lot of plants check out the warranties on the nurseries to to get the best you can the the the nursery we worked through with our nine bar plant covered fifty percent of the cost of the plant which was really nice but we did have to cover shipping because we bought it online which which is very expensive as well so just consider what you’re getting into when you purchase a sizable amount of plants and whether or not the company you’re working working with Wolf. Stand behind those plants okay so yeah. We’ve had that in a few smaller losses as well nothing substantial. It’s always expected that you’re gonNA me some plants and so the the the real question is is the loss due to the poor performance of the plant that you purchased or is it due to just just the plant didn’t really thrive in your landscape and so for the nine we did seek a replacement under warranty because we we did the best we could to put this plant in the ground. It was shipped via Beirut. we gotta in the ground quickly as we could in the spring we actually actually had some leaf out but then it just kind of fizzled out and so it really seemed we did the best we could to get a good plant established and never really saw a successful outcome of that plant and so we thought that I thought that was you know a reasonable cause to seek a a a replacement under warranty okay so we’ve had some losses but nothing major is expected so I wanna give you that expectation. you know we had goodness. I’m trying to think of how many individual plants we had it was a lot a lot of repetition of smaller plants you no. I think we have less than one hundred plants that we put in but adds up quickly right and so how those may just call it fifty fifty out of fifty plants we probably had about five losses so that’s not too bad it’s about ten percent loss right and with the smaller perennials you can kind of go ahead and replace some of those pretty easily and it’s not going to get dent your pocketbook too bad. We’ve had some weeds that have come through much much much less than before and couple annual weeds here in there that seem to pop in top of the march couple younger a younger perennial weeds. We’ve had a few dandelions a few bits of CRABGRASS we’ve stayed on top of it and it seems to have taken care or gun taking care of pretty well well so it’s nothing major that his taken a sizable amount of time. It’s more like walking past the walkway basile. We’d we kinda. pull it out real quick before before it really gets hold which has been pretty easy had a few maple seedlings pop up here and there with maple seeds dropping into the garden the the toughest has been recently. We’ve had some morning morning glory vines that have popped through and they started a ’cause if you I I wouldn’t say problems here and there morning glories can actually be beautiful in their own right but they you know they kinda can strangle some of your plants and that sort of thing so we’ve been trying to stay on top of that and they’ve been persistent but hopefully we can tackle that as it is it comes along so I’m kind of basically every week or two kind of pop in their roku quick and pull out and maybe five morning glory vines that pretty easy to pull out and the toughest thing is trying to keep kids from walking through the garden bed too much when I do that.
00:20:21 – 00:25:03
so yeah. There is some weed pressure but it’s much much less. We had a persistent we’d issue with especially with wild garlic in our previous garden bed and that seems to have been taken care of pretty well. I don’t want to jinx us because those guys are tough little buggers that are tough to handle so we’ll see so so overtime this. Gordon bid will look better will much better. We’ll be much happier with Has it starts to fill out the one thing I’m going to look for is planted a plan it called mountain mint and it it has a tendency to to be a little too happy in gardens sometimes in kind of takeover so I may need to manage manage some of that as it fills wanted it to fill in some the space but I’m actually surprised at how quickly it has done so so we’ll see you know if if only to manage edge it or not or maybe it’ll need to eventually come out and go into a different spot of our yard. I to to be a little bit happier and a little bit for your. We’ll see so for now. it does look really really pretty. It’s a it has these beautiful like dusty green looking flowers. There flowers are very they look like modified leaves where where confectioner’s sugar kind of is sprinkled on top he’s kind of flower so quick but they give this beautiful dusty white look to the garden in late summer and they you just are pollinator magnet and so it’s been fun watching the insects kind of buzz around and have fun so anyway we’ll we’ll keep seeing how it’s doing but overall we are very very happy with our investment of time and money and so for our investment of time. I told you about that the money the this garden bed took about a two thousand dollars to to design and install and of course the design is essentially free right for for for us but the installation about a half that was the the walkway in about half of that was the planting and so that’s something for you to consider as you look into creating a garden bed. The costs may be different for you what I did is. I really kept costs in mind. As I was designing this garden I wanted it to be affordable and really we pass a flying colors now. The caveat here is we did some division of some of the plants to to kind of spread them out a little bit more so we had a perennial grass ass called prairie drop seeds that I planted and it looks beautiful but this the plants are super small right now because we divided them as we planted them so oh one pot made three plants once we divided the root balls and so with a lot of perennials what you can do is you can look up whether or not these plants can propagate by division and you’ll be able to read online whether or not that’s the case and so we did that with some of our plants prayer drop seeing the ECHINACEA that we planted did so go ahead. If you look into it costs you can do that. You will start out with a smaller plant so it won’t look is Fhu and happy at the beginning but over time it will will fill in and so that’s a great way to save costs great little tip there and really cut down the cost on our design and and it’s made us pretty happy so far also if you just start smaller her we have some arbor variety trees that we purchased as well as to frame. Mr Home and those we bought pretty small but we’ve awesome good quality once over the cheaper box store ones that you can also get that maybe aren’t as good quality so we decided to go for quality and smaller in younger and we’ll see how they do but that also caught some significant cut some significant costs as well even though right now they’re only about a foot and a half tall said they look really tiny so that’s the trade off rate is is you decide whether you you want the beauty now and you pay for it or you you decide you want to invest in beauty on the long term and save costs at the same time all right guys. I’m going wrap up here so This has been a fun show for me. I do enjoy looking at the success of our garden. Sometimes I forget about that and so it’s it’s good for me you to sit here and talk about it a little bit. I hopefully I don’t tend to self centered or selfish in the fact that I sometimes forget it. How how how much of a a wonderful job we’ve done with it and and it’s really added to the enjoyment in our life and the feeling of satisfaction as well looking at at this successful garden that we’ve put in and I hope you can do the same with your yard too so again guys. All I wanNA share today is as far as links. Go is if you want a two for one I have no such they show so.
00:25:03 – 00:26:20
If you WANNA just kinda see like a quick voted outline of of today’s show you can go over to easy living yards dot com slash episode eighty four. That’s easy living yards dot com slash episode eight four and there you’ll see all the show notes and a- as well as the link where you can ask me a question so if you have any questions on getting started with your yard and really making a positive change in your life through a yard getting that satisfaction of beautiful garden bed and to really make it where it’s low maintenance you can leave it be and can really provide you a lot of pride in all all those those goals that you have with your garden as well if you’re ready to do that and you just wondering where to get started. Go ahead and ask me a question. I’ll be happy to help so go over to easy living yards dot com slash pot easy living yards dot com slash P. O. D. and along with all the episodes of the show here you’ll also defined at the top of that page but nasmyth question squid and asked me questions. I’d love to hear from you. Let’s get in touch. Let’s make positive change in your landscape all right guys. Thanks thanks for tuning in. Make sure you live with passion and make tomorrow better than today