It ain’t all roses…Fall planting 2013

OK well it is actually mostly roses with some pansies and apple tree thrown in for good measure.  As I’d mentioned before, driving up to a house everyday that looks worn down has been grating on me for some time, but the extensive amount of renovations we have going on inside combined with the high temperatures outside had me putting the brakes on any plans until the Fall rolled around. Well here we are finally in Fall where beautiful temperatures and light breezes abound, so I got my thinking cap on and started planning the front gardens. Of coarse the weekend I finally decide to start planting the temperatures skyrocketed back to 90. Got to love good ole Virginia weather. The garden to the right of our front door already had some nice foundation bushes in it, but otherwise it was a sea of crab grass and a large sea at that. Not long after we moved in I started spraying it with Round-up so it was already good and dead by time I got around to it this weekend. It took the better part of Saturday with a combination of raking and hand pulling to get most of the weeds out.

garden before

At our first house we put a lot of large gardens in and I spent the last 5 years trying to maintain them, so my goal with this house was to create gardens that were less high maintenance. I wanted to fill in the garden with perennials that would provide year round color. I decided on knock out roses for three reasons: 1) They bloom bright red floors for 3 seasons of the year, 2) they require almost no maintenance once established, and 3) they are very popular in our neighborhood so they would help tie in our yard with the neighboring landscape.  I planted 5 knock out roses in front of the existing bushes making sure to follow the curve of the bed. I also transplanted some of the existing hostas to create a border around the bed. In the Spring I have plans to add liriope between the hostas.

curb appeal

Even though the plants are still so immature the garden looks 100% better already. You can see below that I also added a row of purple pansies (Sophie’s choice) between the roses and hostas. I’ll probably keep planting a row of annuals in this spot until the perennials mature.

hostas, knock out roses, and pansies

We also planted a new apple tree in our front yard. The left side of our house gets really nice shade but the ride side is blasted by intense sun all day (so much so that it actually melted our front door). I’ve been wanting another tree to help with shade but also to provide more balance to the yard. You may be wondering why we picked an apple tree and the short answer is: It’s a tradition. 25 years ago my dad and I planted our first apple tree at my parent’s house after moving to the states. When Cody and I bought our first house my dad bought me a new apple tree as a house warming gift. You may remember we built it a nice little garden in the middle of the yard surrounded by a rock retaining wall.

apple tree

I was really sad we couldn’t bring the tree with us, but not long after we moved into our 2nd house a check arrived in the mail from dad for a new apple tree. Since we were already talking about planting another tree in the front yard it seemed like fate. He’s not providing much shade yet, but hopefully with some babying he will soon. I have plans in the next year or so to build out a garden around him much like we did with the last tree. We choose a Gala apple because it’s mine and Sophie’s favorite variety to eat.

apple tree in front yard

The front stoop also got a little love with some new yellow mums and a fall wreath to make it seem a little more jolly. The girl’s are going pumpkin picking tomorrow and I can’t wait to line the steps with their finds.

front door fall

And here is where we are today. Looking a lot more alive than we did before the weekend. Next up is tackling the left side garden and painting all the trim. Our mailbox finally got some TLC too and it looks amazing! Look for that post later this week.

exterior fall

And here’s a reminder of where we started:

exterior before

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xoxo Stephanie

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