June 15, 2016

DIY Landscaping: Getting Started

If you follow me on any of my social media accounts, you've heard that we are redoing all the landscaping in our yard. It's a DIY project. A and I are doing it all ourselves, from cleaning out every bed, ripping down big trees and bushes, planning each garden, selecting plants, to buying plants, planting them in the beds and rocking in two big gardens. A veggie garden also got built and planted this year. Finally, after years of wanting one. In all, there are 16 gardens in our yard of various sizes. It's a complete yard overhaul.

It's all still a work in progress. Some won't even be finished until next spring since it's starting to get too hot to plant, plus we have a budget to stick with. We're about two months into working on this, with much more left to go. Having super rainy days when we can't get out to work, plus other life things to take care of, kids to spend time with and life in general makes this a longer process.

One of the big reasons we are doing the project ourselves is cost. When you hire someone, landscaping is so, so expensive. We are saving thousands of dollars doing it ourselves. Plus, it's great exercise, a learning experience, stress relief and something I am really enjoying. (I can't say that A is enjoying it as much, but he's working hard!)

I've taken the lead on clearing out, deciding what stays and what goes, planning the gardens and picking what goes in. A offers advice when asked and is the muscle for jobs I can't do or that would take me forever. He's not as much into gardening as I am, so it's more something I enjoy and spearhead.

The entire project includes three front gardens, a side garden, four trellis gardens, the veggie garden, two rock gardens, two trellis gardens, plus four back gardens. I've also got a container garden for herbs that I have put together on the deck. Some gardens I'm simply cleaning up, others everything is being ripped out to start from the ground up. (See what I did there?) You can see in the pictures in the post some of what we started out with. Mess, mess and weeds galore.

I've wanted to redo everything since we moved in a few years ago. Once we'd put in an offer on the house, the previous owner let everything go. By the time we moved in, it was a giant, overgrown, wild mess. Before now, there's never been the time to redo it all as other projects around the house were more important (and sucked up all the funds).

Gardening isn't something I've done much of previously because we never had much of a yard before and were renting. As I'm going along, I keep planning out ideas then changing them. I've lost track of how many versions each garden has gone through as it changes and evolves into the final product.

Colonial, Southern and English gardens have always interested me so I'm aiming for that type of look. Mainly, though, I want plants and flowers that I enjoy.  I start out with a rough idea of what I want in my mind, color and size-wise. Then, I use nurseries as my inspiration, wandering around to find what it is I like, taking pictures of plants I am drawn too, checking tags for info and looking up each plant online to see if it'll work where I want it.

My overall goal is to have a blend of plants blooming at different times, along with evergreens to keep interest all year long, that are easy to take care of without a ton of upkeep, look nice together and have a range of colors and textures. I've always wanted to have gardens that I love to look at and get me to want to be out in the yard as much as possible to enjoy them.

More to come on this project as it continues, starting with the second part. For regular updates (and plenty of pics), follow me over on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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