Our Front Yard Makeover! It Was a HOT MESS!

This is a significant upgrade for our house.  You SEE what it looked like before.  Actually it looked MUCH, MUCH, MUCH worse before that!  There were 3 layers of rock & weed barrier that had to be dug up and there was grass and weeds growing all in between.  Like I said, a HOT MESS.  These are the best of the worst pictures of our yard!  lol


Here’s my mint bush growing out of control.  It had taken over half of the sidewalk leading to the front door.img_20160629_095315.jpgimg_20160629_095444.jpg

If you take a closer look you can see my daughter’s little birdhouse is even run down & condemned!img_20160629_095434.jpg

This pile of bricks (graciously left by the builder & sitting in the garage forever) had been moved to the front porch to be used, then inspiration must have left.  They sat there for almost a year!  You can see the remnants of the pea gravel, pebbles & egg rock I mentioned earlier.


This is how the tree looked after its update.  It had those same white pebbles & egg rock as the front of the house.  They were dug out and replaced with this rich, black mulch.  img_20160629_095421.jpg

But it will have to be redone again because the weed barrier wasn’t put down first. Doh!  Or we could opt to spray it forever with grass/weed killer.  Nah, we’ll put the barrier down.  At some point…   So we did put down an unorthodox barrier for the front porch area.  I saw some renditions of this on Pinterest.  They said to use 2 layers of overlapping cardboard to block the weeds & grass.  Well, in times past we had enough cardboard.  But with our recent arts & crafts revolution, we came up short.  An entire layer short.  Instead of going to get more (my energy was high, the weather was finally cooperating so there wasn’t any stopping me now), I decided to use an old faithful trick.  Black trash bags.  Yup!  They block the sun, superheat what’s underneath & kill it, provide a weed barrier and make a nice complement to the black mulch I planned on adding.  Now you may laugh, think it’s ghetto or just not work, but we’d used this method without the cardboard & never saw a weed, grass, tree or anything.  The only thing that had succeeded was the mint bush.  But it didn’t grow where we put the liner.  It grew over it!  Stupid smart plant…(by the way, if you didn’t know, mint is super aggressive.  It’ll grow through and under your sidewalk.  Pluck it out by the root if you want to get rid of it.  Also, it’s best in a container so it doesn’t take over your yard.

Here’s how it looked after we put down the cardboard, soaked it with the lawn sprinkler (the kind that sways back in forth like a rainbow).  While that was happening, I was cutting lawn bags in half.  It took about 8 if I remember correctly.  We had to work fast because it was CRAZY hot!  We had to wet it 2 or 3 times just to keep the cardboard soaked.


The water also aided in laying down the bags.  They literally stuck to them!  We just made sure the edger bricks sat on top of the bags to seal the edge.


We had our little hands & little feet helping, too!  Our daughter repotted some new plants I got on clearance from Lowe’s & you can see her watering them.img_20160629_124248.jpg  img_20160629_124259.jpg

Whew!  Finished with the cardboard & trash bags!img_20160629_130244.jpg

Mulch time!  I loved this mulch I got from Home Depot.  It was like threads of wood instead of chunks of bark.  It spreads well and has a great smell!img_20160629_131031.jpg

While my daughter & I worked on the front porch area, my husband & sons did the yard.  Cutting, edging & blowing.  We’d look pitiful on occasion & they’d bring more mulch over to spread.  It was starting to look gooooood!  img_20160629_131109.jpg

I decided I’d use the pavers to make a little design.  Originally, I was going to make a planter out of the pavers (some bright idea from Pinterest that just never happened), but I think they look nice here.img_20160629_131104.jpg

Then it happened.  We were down to the last 3 bags of mulch when my daughter mentioned that the mulch didn’t smell good.  I didn’t pay it too much mind.  She can be a little off the mark sometimes.  I kept going.  Then I noticed it too.  No more lovely smell.  It was a funky, what the world, did someone have tummy issues smell.  Then I looked.  The mulch was a different kind!  img_20160629_132248.jpg

NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! img_20160629_132242.jpg

I almost cried.  It was hot, y’all.  I think my mind wasn’t working right.  The reaction was completely inappropriate for the situation.  But I was so disappointed.  My perfect plan was wisping away before my eyes.  Then I came up with a plan B.  Mix it!  No one had to know that there were 2 different types in there.  So I started mixing it until it looked like it came like that.  Besides, if you are that much of a nutbar that you are critiquing my mulch, you probably aren’t allowed in my house for me to hear your complaint anyway!img_20160629_133643.jpg

So here’s the finished look.  It’s a far cry from how it looked at the beginning of the post, right?


Sorry the photo didn’t turn out better.  The rainy days of summer are upon us and I didn’t want to wait another day and it end up raining…again.  So next I think we’ll repaint the front door to match the mulch & shutters.  We also may repaint the mailbox.

I hope you were inspired.  Now we’re off to the next project!


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