When I started day dreaming about this house, I knew I wanted to update the curb appeal. I LOVE gardening/landscaping, so this has been a really fun project for me to work on throughout this spring and summer. The first two pictures below are before we moved in and before fall came and blew the leaves away.
Below is the day we moved in. I knew I wanted to be able to see the porch and beautiful brick more clearly!
So, the first thing that we did was open up the front porch. It felt very closed in with the high bushes and I wanted a larger variety of plants to keep the eyes interested. We found some neighbors that went in with us to rent the stump grinder and the next thing we knew....we were here :) We hung our porch swing (which I absolutely love having on a front porch and we regularly drink our tea/people watch)! It felt so much more open/welcoming and less secluded.
I pulled out all of the plants (except for the trees) and started from scratch. The first plants I added were the foundation bushes, which are named Grey Owl Junipers. They have blue green foliage and will eventually grow 3 feet tall and spread between 4-6 feet across. I LOVE them! The bushes in front of the grey owl junipers are ones that I found on clearance at Lowe's and these are called Kramer's Rote Heather. They are a type of evergreen that blooms purple flowers late winter through the spring. You can see just the leftovers of their blooms in the picture below...they were dark purple/brown and dried out by this point in late spring. I will have to post a picture of them when they are in full bloom :)
I Absolutely LOVE the 4 redbud trees here in the front. They are amazing in full bloom and I am so thankful that the previous owners planted them in our backyard as well! The small bunches of green succulent type ground cover in the picture above was also on sale at lowes and I have been filling in the spaces over the summer and I think I am finally done....for now ;) The next thing I did required a lot of help from Johnny. I found free limestone out in the boondocks on some farm property in Oklahoma. We just had to be willing to get it out. So, we took Johnny's work van and loaded up what we could manage between the two of us and here we are now. These rocks were very heavy and awkward to manuever UP into Johnny's van. We didn't have any special equipment to move it, so we just relied on our own man power. I was pretty motivated, because I REALLY wanted rocks in our landscaping and it was FREE, so I guess the determination helped a little! Plus, I am crazy stubborn, so it just had to happen. Also, that mulch had already lightened up quite a bit within a very short time period...it's a "black" mulch and supposed to stay dark for up to a year. Oh well!
Then it was time to fill in... my favorite part. It's like rearranging furniture ALL the time. I get a little crazy...constantly tweaking almost every day, finding more and more plants on sale AND not on sale.
Sorry these pictures are not the best. They were all taken on my phone, mainly because I was too lazy to get the camera out. I need to stop relying on my phone for so many pictures. It is just so convenient, but the quality is definitely not as good. I planted bits of rosemary, russian sage, hostas (not sure how they will do in their spots yet), 1 yellow rose bush from mother's day, one plant of esperanza from my mother in law I saved from our last house (another yellow flower bloomer), a 3-clump of blue star junipers, and a few other ground covers with white flowers and some with purple flowers. I am learning to clump colors together to get the most visual impact. I am also learning that I LOVE yellow and purple flowers for this house. We are planning to build a pergola style cedar frame surrounding the garage and grow wysteria, which will also produce more purple flowers.
I added 4 Oakleaf Hydrangeas to go below the big living room window. These are going to get very large and will eventually be covered in big white cone shaped flowers in the spring. I bought these ones at our Southwood Nursery, which is dangerously close (like between 5-10 minutes close) now that we live in South Tulsa. Haha! I am sure that my hubby LOVES that ;)
And one last thing that will be a game changer. I have always LOVED dark painted houses, especially for the 70's and 80's styles. It modernizes it, keeps it dark, mysterious, peaks your interest and allows our brick and green plants to pop out visually. I bought one gallon of our paint and went to town on our front porch and the living room window casing. I absolutely LOVE the color. Our inspiration was "Soot" by Benjamin Moore, which turned out to have more royal blue undertones and wasn't really doing it for me, so we had it color matched at Kelly Moore and it became a dark blue/grey with navy blue undertones. It is exactly what I imagine and hoped for. Here she is...with a new to us/free light fixture :)
We have all the rest of the siding to paint, but it will have to wait until Johnny can get to it with his paint sprayer...hoping we can do it this fall. This section alone took hours for me to do with a paint brush...don't even ask why I didn't use a roller! It was a rather stupid moment for me ;) We are planning on making cedar shutters for the rest of the house. I painted the shutters on the porch, because I wanted them to disappear. I didn't want the focus to be on that window. Also, there would be too many wood tones if we did the cedar shutters on the porch. So, there you have it...some plants and paint I've been having a lot of fun with over our summer break!