Finished My front Garden (Added Retaining Wall, flowers, trees)

rickstangApril 27, 2010

Hi Everyone,

I just finished my small project I've been working on the past few weeks. I added a small retaining wall (4 bricks high on the right tapering off to a single layer in the front) added fresh mulch, plants, two crabapple trees, painted the front door, added two vases, etc. Total cost for everything was about $700 or so. Keep in mind my hostas or other plants aren't all up yet which is why I have so much mulch.

Also, I'm thinking of taking out the lilac bush in the front. It's not looking to healthy (the one behind the tree) and putting a small azelea bush their. What do you guys think? I have one on the side that's hidden behind my large lilac bush and it really looks nice.

Before:

After:

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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Nice job! Just saw your photochop post. Is the possible-removal lilac the one in the bottom pic beside the walkway? If so I would change it. Lilacs aren't a year-round pretty specimen shrub. Your crepe myrtle would be attractive here.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 4:29PM
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tulipsmiles(6 South of Boston)

Oh what a nice job you did! How hard was the retaining wall? I am about to conquer a similar wall and haven't started yet because I'm intimidated! LOL
Great job

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 5:22PM
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hellokitty

Looks great!! I would suggest filling in w/ annuals each year until the shrubs get bigger. They look a bit lost they are so small.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 8:46PM
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rickstang

iris_gal: Thanks! We actually removed the lilac bush and put in a rose azalea bush. It's over a year old so it's about 2 feet by 2 feet. It fills the circle area really nice. By the time it gets to maturity, it'll fill the circle completely.

tulipsmiles: Thanks! I had plans to do that retaining wall all winter. I couldn't take not knowing if I would be able to do something like this so I actually started the wall while we still had a little snow on the ground lol. The hardest part was digging the trench for the wall. You'll want to get it at least a foot deep and a foot wide. Then fill the bottom with small compacted limestone. Backfill the wall with larger gravel. I did it by myself... the wall is around 60 feet long. 4 bricks high on the right tapering off to a single brick in the front. I'd say it took me about 3-4 days to get it completed working most of the day each day.

hellokitty: Thanks! Everything is slowly coming up. Since the pics were taken above, we've had a lot of the other plants come up. The hostas are around 2 1/2 feet I think as of today. In the pics above, I think they were just starting to poke through the ground.

Anyhow, We started to do around the back of our house today... I'll take pics the next nice day we have and post those in this thread. I think the back of our house turned out just as nice as the front if not a little nicer lol.

Here's an upclose picture of the front door I painted this year along with the new flower planters and front door mat:

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 9:48PM
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ramblinrosez7b(JerseyShore)

Very nice! Everything is so neat and tidy, I like it. Is that a little baby kitty in the first picture?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 6:35PM
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rickstang

Thanks a lot! Yep, that's a little kitty in the 1st picture... was taken about a year. There is another black kitten behind the lilac bush in the 2nd pic... they love the flowers lol.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 7:03PM
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sharbear50(6a Bella Vista)

Very pretty. Will look even better as the plants fill out. Nice job.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 11:18AM
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rickstang

Thanks... the 8 hostas are up in front and they got huge this year. They are around 2 1/2 feet dia each. It really filled in the bare spots.

Almost have the back of the house completed... I've been working every weekend on that. Going today to get more plants.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 11:41AM
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rickstang

UPDATED PICS:

Front (Hostas Are Up, New Azalea Bush In Front,)

Started the backyard. I installed Heavy Duty 5" Plastic Lawn Edging, mulched, added bushes and flowers. I still have to do the right side of the deck and across the back of the house.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 7:11PM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

What type of mulch are you using? It looks so nice and neat. Does that stay that color all summer? My niece had some red mulch near her waterfall feature, then on opposite side used rubber mulch and you couldn't tell the difference from afar. She said the rubber mulch is kind of pricy. How well does the red cedar mulch decompose? Pros and cons of using the cedar mulch, assuming that is what it called?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 10:26AM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

What a super job you're doing, You said you painted the front door area yourself. What brand of paint and what color did you use? At our former home, we saw this beautiful chinese red color on a house in an elite neighborhood. Tried to copy it's shutters and front door. I found out the owner's name and called and asked or maybe I wrote to them and asked if they knew the paint brand/paint color they used. The owner said it had been on for a long time but she had saved the can in case they wanted to redo the paint job. I took the information, went to that brand of paint store and had them to mix up the same formula and it was so thin. We always used Duron paints for about 25 yrs. but that wasn't Duron, so I took it to my friendly Duron Paint Store Mgr. and asked her if she could match that color. She asked me if I had added water to the paint, but I hadn't done nothing but stir it and try it on the front door. She worked for way over an hour trying to match that paint and when we paid up, she told me to tell the painter that she had recommended highly to use a black or navy blue primer before applying the red paint. Said red is the hardest color to cover over or blend in. The painter had never used those dark colors before and was skeptical but used a battleship grey instead(what he had in his stock probably)and his employee put 3 coats of the Duron paint on and it still didn't cover. You could see the brush steaks. Finally, I accepted it but wished I had agreed so easily. We kind of ran in similar situation when we painted the front door here a burgundy color.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 6:08PM
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rickstang

Thanks for the comments... I appriciate it!

For the Mulch:
We're using Scott's NatureScape Mulch. The mulch you see in the 4 pics above have been on the ground for about 2 months and it's still red. I like this mulch because it's very fine shreaded. The stuff we bought last year wasn't shreaded that good and it didn't have the neat appearance.

For the Paint:
We ran into a bad situation when we built this house back in 2008. They painted the door standard white. We had them come back out in 2008 and 2009 to repaint the front door because whatever they were using kept peeling. After the 2nd time, we decided to paint it ourselves the redish color and it worked out great. I think of all the things we've done to our outside this year, painting the front door red was my favorite and least expensive lol.

The color is Cinnamon Cherry By Behr (Exterior semi gloss enamel). We bought this paint at The Home Depot.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 11:58AM
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frannie_belle(6b)

i love it! what a great accomplishment. am quite amazed at how you did the reatining wall. i was thinking of doing ours in our frontyad this year. I watched the lowes instructional video as to how they do it. am quite intimidated. am not really a diy kind of person. so i just put stone borders tha were used to be plastic borders. but am amazed and encouraged after looking at this pic. i might watch that video again. what brand of "heavy duty plastic border" did you use on your back yard?? we have a deck on our back yard too and am considering of putting plants around it.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 11:12AM
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rickstang

Thanks! I was worried about how it was going to turn out, too. I couldn't wait till spring so I actually started in February while their was still a little snow on the ground lol. If you do this, make sure to get a ton of very small limestone instead of using their "paverbase". I started using this and it took me 20 bags. In order to finish I would have needed another 50+ bags. So I stopped and ordered a ton of limestone for $20 and that was all I needed. So instead of buying each bag of paverbase at $4/bag, just get a ton of limestone for $20.

The edging we used in the back is called "Royal Diamond Edging" from HomeDepot. You can buy it in 60 foot lengths for $32 and it has a 20 year warranty.

A few updated pics: (we replaced the perinials in front of the walkway with annuals). Also, updated pics of the back yard. We did the other side of our deck and the back of the house. We're going to put limestone under our deck so we don't see any of the dirt.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 11:47AM
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