Before and After: New Landscaping

20 Aug

When we moved into our house a year and a half ago, we didn’t think much of the shrubs. Since we were coming from a townhouse where we didn’t own the outdoor space (and an NYC apartment before that) we knew very little about things that grow.  But after a year of not seeing much life around our house, we knew the shrubs had to go.

Here’s what the landscaping looked like the day we closed on the house. Overgrown in some areas and dead in others. And the only decent shrubs were the prickery ones on either side of the door. It was like saying to our guests, “Welcome to our home. And now we will prick you with our pricker bushes.” And that’s just not my style.

Sure, this picture was taken in the winter but I can assure you, not much popped up in the year that followed. (That is, aside from the huge row of forsythia down the side of the house that blooms beautifully in March each year. You can see them on their way out in the pic below.) So, we decided to rip it all out. And suddenly, it looked better already! You’ll also notice below that we had several of the lower branches on the tree cut off so that we wouldn’t have them hanging down in front of the house.

We worked with a landscaper who recommended trees, shrubs, and flowers based on our laundry list of requests. Even though we knew so little about this stuff, we highly considered DIYing it but I’m really glad we hired a pro.  I found that his price was not much more than the shrubs alone would have cost us and if I had added in the truck rental and mulch and the shovels and edgers, it would have been pretty comparable. And I’m sure we would have screwed it up somehow! (Local readers: We used First Class Landscaping right here in town and I highly recommend them. Just ask and I’ll give you Jeremy’s number.)

When they arrived to install everything, it was the morning after my 40th birthday so Pablo and I were in no state to supervise. But luckily, Jeremy and his team did a great job on their own. Here’s everything  in place getting ready to be planted. (There were also a few small perennials that were added in around the ones pictured below.)

They did such a great job with everything.

We were just smitten with the edging. (What is it about that? It’s so simple but it just looks so crisp!)

 Let’s take one last look at that scary overgrown and half dead “before” shot.

And now – TA DA! – the “after”!

There are still quite a few things I’d like to do to the exterior, like painting the door (glossy black? red? yellow? blue?), installing some new lighting and I might want to paint the shutters too. (They’re charcoal grey now and I think it would look much more better if they were black.) Suggestions welcome!

Have you done any landscaping lately? If  so, I want to hear all about it! Let me know in the comments.

XO

Sue at Home

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5 Responses to “Before and After: New Landscaping”

  1. Jennifer Sciera August 20, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    Sue – I don’t recommend a black door. We had ours painted black (the house is gray) but it just was dull and uninviting. I reprinted it red and love it. We have black shutters too. Also if it is black and gets any sun, it gets really hot to the touch. I love your posts – keep up the good work!! Love, Aunt Jen

  2. Ernest B. August 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    Love the new greenery! Looks like the house is coming together – slowly but surely!

  3. Katie August 27, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    Nice! They say your property value increases when you add landscaping, so way to go!! I love the house!!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Lily’s Rainbow Birthday Party « sue at home - February 16, 2013

    […] We kept the decor simple – just some latex balloons in rainbow colors. (Update: Excuse the lack of shrubs in this pic. We were in between a shrub overhaul. Check out the “after” here.) […]

  2. Landscape Before and After Update | Sue At Home - June 28, 2013

    […] then in June of last year, we had lots of beauties installed. (Read all about it here.) And as you can see, it was a huge improvement from the overgrown stuff we had before. To think, I […]

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