Before and After, Home, My house

Landscape Before and After Update

It’s been a year since we had our brand new shrubs installed so I figured it was a good time for an update, especially since it’s all looking so damn good. Before we look at the leafy prettyness, let’s see how far we’ve come. Here’s the half overgrown, half dead landscaping that we inherited on closing day.

December 2010

Closing day

Then we ripped everything out.

May 2012

removed shrubs

And 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 was so thrilled with that one blue hydrangea blossom!

June 2012

shrubs after

This spring, I took a few pictures as the shrubs began to wake up from the winter freeze.

April 2013

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And finally, let’s take a look at how the whole thing is filling in. (Note: there are pink rose bushes in the middle of each side but some recent storms knocked most of the petals off. I hope we get more soon!)

June 2013

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This was the first year (of many, I hope!) that I got to enjoy all the splendor of my weeping cherry in it’s pinktastic glory. (This pic was taken a couple months ago. )

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During the spring months, I had a couple pots of ranunculus on the front steps and I was thrilled with them! They just kept blooming and blooming…until one day they just didn’t bloom anymore. It was a quick and sudden death but they were so beautiful up to that point, I would certainly get them again next spring.

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You got a sneak peak at the current landscape when I shared Lily’s party with you. It all began with a couple potted hibiscus plants.

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I didn’t think they’d last very long but they’re still blooming and it’s like a rainbow of colors around here.

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The best part of the rainbow is the amazing blue hydrangeas. I’m so thrilled with how they’re blooming. They just keep getting bigger and brighter every day.

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And it would be wrong if I didn’t mention that beautiful lawn. It’s like Pablo’s third child. He takes of care of it obsessively.

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I’ll give you an update on the backyard soon but just so you can get an idea of how well his efforts have paid off, check out this comparison on the backyard during our first spring here and the backyard this month.

backyard collage dates

More on that green carpet goodness soon!

XO

Sue at Home

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Before and After, Home, My house

Before and After: New Landscaping

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