Category Archives: Outdoors

May 31, 2013

Landscaping Our Front Yard: Extras

Aside from the flower beds against the front of the house, we also landscaped around the new light post and mailbox. We replaced the mailbox months ago, and I’ve been eager to get my hands on it for a few final touches. A pair of Daylilies and a Clematis did the trick!

Landscaping around a Mailbox | Cape27Blog.com

It wasn’t ten minutes before the Clematis had found the mailbox post and was already climbing away. I can’t wait to see this guy all full and lush with purple flowers!

Landscaping around a Mailbox | Cape27Blog.com

Since the house and mailbox will have so much color we opted to do white at the post light, not to distract from it.

Landscaping around a Post Light | Cape27Blog.com

We planted a trio of tall Delphinium Summer Starts to surround the post and compliment it’s height.

Landscaping around a Post Light | Cape27Blog.com

It seriously is beginning to feel like a completely different house around here :)

Enjoy the weekend!

May 30, 2013

Landscaping Our Front Yard: Reveal

Check out our process on choosing a plant color scheme and layout and how we planted and care for them.

It’s sooooo close. I can taste it. The mulch is in, putting us one step closer to knocking out our summer to-do list. Just to recap, here’s what we’re hoping to accomplish (with those we’ve completed, crossed off).

• Replace the rotting header above the garage
• Give the porch column a smooth coat
• Add a railing to the side of the porch
• Build new window shutters
• Paint the exterior of the house
• Paint the roof (yes, we’re doing that)
Remove ALL landscaping in the front yard and replace it with something more modern
• Landscape around the mailbox and post light
• Build window boxes for the front of the house
• Do something about that driveaway
• Hire someone to remove the FIVE trees that have fallen over during wind storms
• Replace damaged wood and paint the swing set
• Repair and paint the backyard shed

And as promised, here are few final progress and reveal photos :)

We’ve always bought mulch by the bag in the past. Never again. Unless of course we need, say, one bag. My dad lent us his trailer (with free labor) and we scored this entire mound of black mulch from a local store (Hafner & Sons) for $40. I think that’s a good deal. It really seems like a good deal. That’s a lot of mulch.

Landscaping Reveal | Cape27Blog.com

We were able to cover the entire front bed and side of the house with about three inches of mulch. And we still have this much leftover. Crazy.

Landscaping Reveal | Cape27Blog.com

I could hardly contain my excitement!

Landscaping Reveal | Cape27Blog.com

I want to curl up inside this corner.

Landscaping Reveal | Cape27Blog.com

(Don’t you worry about that shutter… )

Landscaping Reveal | Cape27Blog.com

Check out a full plant source list here and details on our color scheme here.

Landscaping Reveal | Cape27Blog.com

Landscaping Reveal | Cape27Blog.com

You’ve come a long way little house :)

before

We’ve been jumping all over the place with projects throughout this week, so I’m hoping to have some really fun updates for you guys next week!

May 29, 2013

Landscaping Our Front Yard: Planting & Care

Yesterday I shared our thoughts on landscaping color schemes and how we work through a plant layout. Today, I’m back to share everything officially in the ground, and a few extra steps we’re taking to ensure that these beauties are still with us this time next year. We’ve had more than a handful of plants die on us throughout the past few years, so we’re highly motivated to prevent that, at all costs, this go-round. Of course, sometimes a plant just isn’t meant to be and we fully anticipate that, but we’re hoping not to be the one’s at blame this time.

Don’t miss the plant layout at the end of the post for more info!

First, let’s take a look!

Landscaping Tips on Plant Layout & Care | Cape27Blog.com

Landscaping Tips on Plant Layout & Care | Cape27Blog.com

You’ll probably notice the black hose weaving in and out of all the beds. We picked up two soaker hoses from Lowe’s for around $17 a piece. They basically just attach to a spout and lie beneath the mulch, steadily seeping water out to reach the plant roots. We’ll see how it goes, but the idea is you can leave the water on, hook it to a timer, and your plants are watered as often as you’d like with piece of mind. Aka – I can water the plants and change diapers at the same time. Heck yes.

Landscaping Tips on Plant Layout & Care | Cape27Blog.com

We didn’t wrap each and every plant entirely, just in good range.

Landscaping Tips on Plant Layout & Care | Cape27Blog.com

My dad has actually had a lot of success with these at his house, so we’re hoping to do the same. We gave it a test run before the mulch was down and we’re noticing that it’ll take about an hour for the plants to get a good soak.

Now, back to the landscape. I’m a little surprised at how happy we are with the results. I’m still in awe at the color combination.

Landscaping Tips on Plant Layout & Care | Cape27Blog.com

Only about one-third of the plants are in bloom right now, which is great because that should leave us with a handful of plants in bloom throughout summer and fall as well. Nearly everything we choose has color at some point, with the exception of the tall grasses (which are technically still a color, duh).

Landscaping Tips on Plant Layout & Care | Cape27Blog.com

I’m loving the yellow lilies, which I must credit completely to Ricky. They’re actually Asiatic Lilies and then we have about a dozen Daylilies mixed in along the front and right corner of the house. I can not wait to see all of this yellow in bloom!

Landscaping Tips on Plant Layout & Care | Cape27Blog.com

My favorite, a popular flower (at least in our area), are the deep purple Salvias. You can see them in a few places, with the tall spikes. They’re super vibrant against the dark brick. Loving how they play off the purple/pink Spirea.

Landscaping Tips on Plant Layout & Care | Cape27Blog.com

Oh, and see all of those squatty, bushy plants in the very front (above, bottom left)? They’re in just about every area of the landscape. Those are phlox, with either white or light purple flowering. We have them in the backyard as well, and they spread like blankets! I think they get up to something like 2-3 feet wide. We’re hoping they take over. You know, in a good way

Landscaping Tips on Plant Layout & Care | Cape27Blog.com

One other thing I forgot to mention are the boulders. The previous owner had them placed with the old landscaping and we were super excited to inherit them. With a LOT of rolling and scooting, we managed to reposition the one of the right side of the house to better work with everything.

Landscaping Tips on Plant Layout & Care | Cape27Blog.com

 The second one near the porch was a different story. It would NOT budge. So, we just worked around it and… I kind of love it.

Landscaping Tips on Plant Layout & Care | Cape27Blog.com

The photo below shows some of the curves that we were left with around the corner of the house. We debated taking down the larger purple bush that I mentioned here, but after trimming it back significantly we decided it just wasn’t flowing well with everything else. Such a shame, the colors were perfect. But in it’s place we’ll have a beautiful amethyst Azalea surrounded by plenty of yellow Daylilies!

Landscaping Tips on Plant Layout & Care | Cape27Blog.com

We’re hoping to tackle the sides of the house this summer as well, but we’ll have to see if things can fall into place. It needs some serious love. The two trees that are nearly growing out of the house have to go. We’re going to swap out the gutter with a rain chain and install a rain barrel. So pumped about that project! We’d also love to build one of those wood AC covers that floating all over Pinterest to disguise that madness. We’re just debating the entire thought though, since the addition would stem off the back of the house and create even more landscaping needs. It may be better just to wait.

Landscaping Tips on Plant Layout & Care | Cape27Blog.com

 All in all, we’re so excited with how things are shaping up!

Landscaping Tips on Plant Layout & Care | Cape27Blog.com

Now, as I mentioned yesterday, to keep track and care for everything I whipped up a diagram that illustrates what plant is where. And while it’s really for our own personal use, I thought it could be super helpful for those of you that are tackling your own landscaping or maybe just want to know the specific name of something we used. Look no further!

The “plant key” should help identify everything.

Plant by Plant Landscaping Layout | Cape27Blog.com

 If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments for me :)

May 28, 2013

Landscaping Our Front Yard: Color Palette & Layout

This past weekend we made some major progress landscaping the front yard. Thankfully, we had squeezed in as much prep work as possible throughout the previous week, so we were a little ahead of the game. We had a pretty good idea of what we wanted to flower beds to look like shape-wise, and everything had already been tilled, so all that was left to do was shop and plant. Which, sounds a little less intimidating than it proved to be. But, spoiler alert, we made it out alive.

Now, we’re far from experts here, so what worked for us is no guarantee, but if it makes the process any easier for just one person I think it’s worth sharing. I feel fairly confident about decorating inside our home, but when it comes to outdoors I’m a little more hesitant to pull the trigger, so I can totally relate. The good news, I’m head over heals in love with how everything turned out (and hope you guys are too!) so I’m going to do my best to share the important details.

First, let’s take a look back. Before we started laying out plants, we had to shape the flower bed. The old bed was just a simple rectangle, running the entire length of the front of the house. Bleh.

Oh look, we have windows. | Cape27Blog.com

We added a few curves and framed out the sidewalk to spice it up just a bit.

Adding Curves to Soften a Flower Bed | Cape27Blog.com

The center of the bed we kept pretty skinny, while the “ends” we beefed up to allow for some serious plant layering. The previous owner had already shaped the right side of the bed with a nice curve around to the side, so we just bought  more of the same black edging and linked right up to it. The curves really help break up the extra long bed and they give the flat facade of the house a little more dimension. We’re hoping the window boxes on our original summer to-do list will really help with that too.

Adding Curves to Soften a Flower Bed | Cape27Blog.com

When it came to shopping, one thing we were certain of was a color palette – a great place to start if you’re feeling a little lost. Our house is dark with red brick, charcoal trim, and black accents, so we knew in order to really make a statement we’d have to go bright with the landscaping. I shared this photo as one of our main inspirations, leading us to a color palette of bright yellows, a few shades of purple, and lime greens. Sticking with two to three colors, and then branching off into various tints and shades of those colors is the easiest way to keep from going overboard into color chaos. Then you just want to spread those colors somewhat evenly throughout the space, just like an interior.

Landscaping Tips on Plant Layout | Cape27Blog.com

My parents watched the girls for us on Sunday so we were able to shop in peace (planning/selecting an enormous amount of plants is enough of a headache without whiny children in tow). Good thing too, because while we only ended up making an appearance at three stores, we somehow managed six stops. Lowes (KY and OH), Home Depot (KY & OH), and two stops at the same local nursery, Burger Farm & Garden. I thought this was worth mentioning since we saw such a difference in variety from Lowe’s to Lowe’s, Home Depot to Home Depot, etc. We actually passed on a few plants on our first stop to Lowe’s in Kentucky (by my parent’s house), assuming we could just grab them at our local store in Ohio. No luck. Just something to keep in mind if you’re shopping around :)

How to Choose A Landscaping Color Palette | Cape27Blog.com

In our fist house, our landscaping layout was nice, but a little on the traditional side. We really wanted to branch off this time and give things more of a true garden feel. Something lush, dense, and compact. Of course, gardens like these take time, but we tried to get a head start by grouping several smaller plants together and condensing the spacing between larger plants more than we would have in our previous house. And while I did keep some repetition in the layout for consistency, we also threw in plenty of random plants to throw things of a bit. I’m hoping this will really make the space feel more organic and less.. “we just planted all of these yesterday”.

Landscaping Tips on Plant Layout | Cape27Blog.com

 This is my happy corner.

Landscaping Tips on Plant Layout | Cape27Blog.com

Something I found that really helped me from getting overwhelmed with the layout, was placing all the plants in the grass nearby first, and grouping them by size and then color. That way when it came time to fill a spot it was more, “ok, what size do I need and what color am I missing?” and I could just head over to the piles and grab something. It helped keep things random, yet controlled. If that makes any sense.

Landscaping Tips on Plant Layout | Cape27Blog.com

 Another tip that kept me sane with such a large space was placing a few of the larger, staple plants in first, like the tall grasses and the azaleas. I knew I wanted to place plants with height in between the windows to fill some dead space, so those went in right away, along with a few other medium sized plants on the corners to round things out. Then I just worked left to right filling things in. Larger plants in the back, a few medium to small plants in the middle, and squat plants like Phlox in front to spread and fill out the ground space. Layers, layers, layers!

Landscaping Tips on Plant Layout | Cape27Blog.com

And, just like styling interiors, odd numbers and triangles are your best friend. Grouping plants in threes was my go-to choice.

Landscaping Tips on Plant Layout | Cape27Blog.com

After we were happy with the layout of everything, I took down the names of each plant and where it was planted to make a diagram for reference down the road.. For instance, next spring when half the plants don’t come back and I’m fuming mad. Now, I’ll know what we’re missing, and I can just take the tag and receipt back to the store for a replacement (crossing our fingers that doesn’t happen).

We’ll be busy mulching and planting new grass seed tonight, so I’m shooting have a full before and after post along with a diagram to help identify each plant we used throughout this week!