Our Landscape Before and After {2015}

posted by Andrea | 10/2/2015
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landscaping 2015

For the past 3 summers, Dave and I have done massive amounts of yard work in an effort to completely overhaul our 1-acre property. We have spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on our yard — and while I realize that might sound completely wasteful to some of you, it is (for the most part) something we enjoy doing together.

With 3 little kids, going on vacation (or really going anywhere) is not super relaxing for us. We’d both prefer to stay home most of the time — and since Dave is home all summer long, we enjoy spending lots of time in our yard. The kids play on the swingset, jump on the tramp, ride bikes and scooters up and down our long driveway, and splash in the kiddie pool.

We also really enjoy having friends and family over for backyard parties throughout the spring, summer, and fall months. Thankfully, our yard is now a really great “hosting spot”. In fact, we use our yard for entertaining more than our house!

I suppose that instead of going on vacation, going out to eat, and going shopping, we have chosen to spend our money on house and yard projects — at least at this point in our lives!

At least now we have a nice backdrop for family pictures 🙂

After 3 springs and summers of hard work, we are so close to being finished (if it weren’t for having a baby this summer, we probably would be finished!)

You can catch up (or refresh your memory) on the yard work we’ve already done via the links below…

Summer 1 :: 2013

Summer 2 :: 2014

Here is what we accomplished this spring and summer:

  • Remove 9 ugly, dying pine trees and have stumps ground out (we had a company do this for us)
  • Finish the last section of our fence along our driveway
  • Finish the landscaping along the East side of our house and along the new fence area
  • Add a few lines of underground sprinkling
  • Spread 35+ yards of mulch
  • Plant 500+ annuals
  • Level a huge mound of dirt behind our driveway in preparation for a vegetable garden
  • Transplant a bunch of plants to different areas of our yard

Here’s what we still need/want to do this fall or next spring: 

  • Build another shed by the back of our driveway
  • Plan out the vegetable garden for next year
  • Cut down 11 more pine trees by our playground area
  • Fix/update the underground sprinkling in a few areas
  • Figure out what we’re going to do with our mailbox area (this is taking longer than we planned as we share a mailbox area with our neighbors and are trying to work with them on this so we are both happy)

We might still try to tackle these projects yet this fall… but I wouldn’t be surprised if most of them wait until spring. Either way, we are 95% finished with our yard work, and wow, has it been a LOT of work!

The Before & After Photos!!

From the middle of our driveway, looking towards the front of our house.

front of house from turnaround

A little bit closer up.

From the front walkway, looking to the west.

From the front walkway, looking to the East.

From the end of the driveway, looking over the front yard towards the house.

From the sidewalk looking out over the entire front yard.

From the side yard, looking back towards the shed and our kid’s play area.

From the turnaround part of our driveway, looking back towards the new shed.

From the side of our outbuilding, looking out over the backyard.

From the swing set area, looking out towards the side/front yard.

From the swing set area, looking back towards the house.

The same view — but with Nora (before and after!)

From our side yard, looking back towards our outbuilding.

From the garage area, looking towards the kids’ play area.

From our outbuilding, looking at the back of our house and deck.

A similar view.

From the back yard, looking towards the back of our garage.

From the mudroom, looking out towards the back yard.

From the back deck, looking towards the outbuilding.

From the path to the outbuilding, looking back towards the deck and mudroom.

From the driveway, looking towards the back of our property (along the East side).

From the back of our driveway, looking towards the back of our house & mudroom area.

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From the driveway, looking towards the side of our house and garage.

Another similar angle, a little further out.

That’s all for the tour this year!

I’m sure I’ll have more landscaping pictures to come in future years. I can’t wait to see how everything fills in, how the vegetable garden comes along, what we end up doing with the shed we’re hoping to build, and if we put more planting beds in our front yard.

We’ll see how ambitious we feel next summer 🙂

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24 comments

  1. Debby

    10/07/2015

    Wow!! Great job. I love before and afters. Just love everything feels like home 🙂

    [Reply]

  2. Paulette

    10/06/2015

    Holy cow!! Serious work!

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  3. Hannah

    10/04/2015

    Andrea, your before and after photos are amazing. Your yard is beautiful! All the time, energy, and money that you and Dave have put into your property is totally paying off. 🙂

    [Reply]

  4. Vanessa

    10/04/2015

    I can see why you would rather stay home than go on vacation. Your place is so beautiful! So much green, it’s lovely.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much Vanessa! Hopefully we’ll do a few more vacations when the kids are older — but it’s just too much work right now!

    [Reply]

  5. Katherine

    10/02/2015

    As someone who has very little landscaping interest or ability, I am very very impressed! I would like to use our outdoor space better but am thwarted by a complete lack of desire to work on it. I would rather fix up the inside of our house all day long! Pulling weeds and mulching and all of the work for the outdoors- bleh. I wish I enjoyed it more.

    Your space looks incredible! These pictures must be so gratifying!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Katherine! I know LOTS of people who would be in the same boat as you! Pulling weeds isn’t necessarily fun for me, but it isn’t my least favorite chore either 🙂

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  6. Debbie

    10/02/2015

    I like everything you’ve done! The fence helps define your property from the neighbor’s. The flowering plants as opposed to the prior green bushes makes your house look more inviting. The added grassy areas also open up the spaces. I’m curious if the hydrangeas that are now in the front of the house are transplants or new plantings. You both did a great job overall!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Debbie, We have LOADS of hydrangeas around our property… and the reason the ones on the right side of our front porch are so much smaller than the ones on the left side is because we just planted the ones on the right side this year. The ones on the left were planted 2 years ago. We changed our minds and pulled out a tree on the right side this spring — give it another year or so and they’ll be all caught up with the hydrangeas on the left 🙂

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  7. Jo

    10/02/2015

    Stunning before and after photos!!

    [Reply]

  8. Erin

    10/02/2015

    You have such a good landscaping eye! Bought a house last summer and the planning has been the difficult part. It takes a good eye, want to plan out my yard?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Erin, I actually had someone else draw up the plans for us — otherwise I space everything WAY too close together!

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  9. Leslie

    10/02/2015

    Beautiful! You have done a wonderful job!

    [Reply]

  10. Christie

    10/02/2015

    It’s gorgeous!!!

    [Reply]

  11. Amber Woods

    10/02/2015

    Andrea,
    I noticed you guys have a lot of asphalt. Do you find it to be super hot reflecting the heat back up/ on your house in the summer? We live in TN and have a lot of driveway around our house. I would love for the kids to have a better place to ride their bikes (we have gravel now) but concrete is so expensive. I’m wondering about asphalt.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, we have a very long asphalt driveway — and it is pretty hot when the sun hits it. I’m certain it’s hotter than concrete, but I assume it is much less expensive. Our kids have so much fun on our driveway — riding bikes, scooters, sidewalk chalk, etc.

    [Reply]

  12. Jody

    10/02/2015

    It looks amazing!!

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  13. Shelly

    10/02/2015

    Your landscaping looks amazing. Great job!

    [Reply]

  14. Organize 365

    10/02/2015

    WOW! I am speechless!

    I can’t even fathom the hours of sweat equity you have there, but the results are just stunning!

    🙂
    Lisa

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Lisa 😉

    [Reply]

  15. Ann

    10/02/2015

    WOW! There are some stunning changes in here! That is a lot of sweat equity as well as brain drain with all the planning and decisions!
    I wonder if, now that it is “finished”, you would have done anything differently. It seems when I tackle big projects, there is always something at the end that I wish I would have thought of earlier. Something that I removed and miss, something that I left and wish were gone, something that I wish had been done a little differently. Part of that is because I have trouble envisioning the final “product” until it is done and part of it is just because I couldn’t anticipate something.

    Is there anything you would have changed if you had to do it again? I think it is a vast improvement and can tell how much joy you must get from your yard now. Kudos to both of you! I stand in awe!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Ann. I suppose we’re never fully “finished”. We’ll keep plugging away at different parts of it each year… and I’m certain we’ll want to change things eventually.

    Right now, there are 2 things we kind of wish we would have done differently — we wish we would have removed all the old pine trees behind the swingset before we put the fence up and before we put the swingset up. We will most likely be removing them in the spring — which means we’ll need to take down the swingset and possibly take down part of the fence. Also, if we did it all over again, we might have pushed the spruce tree line in our front yard more towards the sidewalk to give us a bit more room behind the trees.

    Neither of these are huge deals, but since you asked, I shared 🙂

    [Reply]

    Ann Reply:

    Thanks for the feedback. The only thing I would have thought was that ornamental tree in front. I miss it in the after pictures although the rest of that area looks so much better! I’d say you are doing great if your biggest change would have just been the order you did things in!
    LOVE your vision for this house!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, a lot of people were surprised the we removed that tree — but it was WAY too big for the space. It was totally overtaking everything and blocking most of our views from the dining room window. The hydrangeas look pretty small right now, but I think once they fill in and the rose bushes get larger, it will really look great.

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