Front Yard Projects

Front Yard Projects

Find The Frog!

I love frogs.  The camouflage is perfect! Here he is on one of our Chinese fan  palm leaves.



Front Yard Side House Project

Gordon had just built this retaining wall when we decided to further the project by extending the curb appeal to the garage door entryway on the side of the house.  We added a large pot with tropical plants, edging around some pea gravel, and some of our new slates stones we bought for a decorative touch.

    The finished Results


We really do have a beautiful area here.

The slate stones with the pea gravel and the outstanding pot full of  bromeliad tropicals, is just gorgeous!

Here is how the project began……………..

I first had to figure out how big the areal was going to be with respect to the pot we bought. Side_left_of_house._small

I drilled some holes in the pot’s base to allow drainage for the plants.


Gordon_planning_the_landscape._smallI measured the area setting the curve with the landscape edging.  This is somewhat flexible material which will keep the grass out and the small stones in.  I cut away the grass from the area.

Removing_the_grass._smallNow, I have my pattern for the space ready for the next phase of the project.  Ensure the ground slopes away from the house so the rain won’t cause you any moisture issues

These are two electrical covers which I will have to work around.

Laying_the_weed_block._smallPlace the weed block material down over the space and cut what you don’t need.  To get around the water pipe simply cut a straight line in the fabric and slip the material around the pipe.

For these covers, cut an X over the covers and fold the material back.  Doing this will give you a tight fit. Cutting_around._small

Adding_the_sand._smallNow, pour the leveling sand in the space spreading it smooth and evenly.


Now, take your landscape edging starting at one end of your cleared area and hammer into place using the stakes provided.  Keep the frilled plastic stake holes towards the inside of your project as shown.

This landscape edging will bend some, but be sure not to kink it by bending it too much.  When you get to the end of your project space, cut the edging for a nice close fit.  Space out your stakes evenly so the edging will hold and remain in your desired pattern.



My_favorite_slate_stone._smallPlace your large stones down first being sure to leave space for your large pot.

Push the stones down into the sand seating them snugly.


Now you can place the pot where you wanted it using a level to ensure the pot is level and looks good.  I then place our decorative hose holder in place.



Pour your small stones withing your area and smooth them into place.  For this project we used about 10 bags of stones.

Looking GOOD!


To create space in the planter and to allow for drainage, I placed some glass bottles in the base with some rocks.  Doing this will ensure the excess water will drain out of the pot and the rocks will filter it, keeping the dirt within the pot.

This area gets some good sun so we felt some nice dark red anthuriums would look great.  These are a different variety then the ones located in the flower bed within the retaining wall.  I also planted some Ape’s around them for a nice contrast in color.  We then places some small bromeliads to fill the front spaces of the pot making what we felt a beautiful arrangement.




      Adding the Slate Stepping Stones


Doing this will protect the grass from normal wear and tear as well as bringing interest to the side of the house.

Place the stones as far apart as your natural step in a left right pattern.

You can remove some of the dirt beneath the stones to ensue they  seat well into the ground.

This is a quick and easy project which I feel makes the yard look great.


Have fun creating your own front yard projects!

Gordon and Julie


What a Weekend!

A Car Full of Goodies

Julie at Lowe’s

Car full of plants, urns, soil and paver sand equals a Happy Julie!

 Gordon and I worked round the clock on our many projects and we actually made quite a bit of progress. 

We can pack a lot into a weekend.

This is my Mother’s Day gift from Gordon (2014), a white bird-of-paradise tree with some lovely green spider plants for a border, white hydrangeas, white bulb solar lights and cedar ground cover.  Oh, and a new hose.  🙂

What a great gift!  Something that will hopefully live on for many years that I can look at and admire.

So what do you think? 

Although this photo does not do it justice.  We wanted something nice on this side of the house.

So while Gordon was making me this, I was taking pictures of our front and backyard. 

Thought I would share a few of them with you.

A few weekends ago we painted the fascia and the gutters. 

I love spring in Florida. 

Everything looks so nice and green.

Everything all power washed and pretty and clean.

All angles nice and crisp.


Bonsai Koi Ponds
Of Pinellas County, Florida

Although a Koi pond is in our backyard future, here Gordon is consulting with the owner about some slate stones for one of our other projects.


Beautiful Slate Stones

Gordon picking through an assortment looking for exactly what we need.


This is a very eclectic business.  The kind of place that I love to come shop and visit.

Here Gordon is looking for slate stones that have more of a ‘sunset’ of colors to them.  Not the basic grays.


A beautiful Koi Pond on the establishment.

When we do put in out Koi pond this is the place where we will come to buy them. 

Here the Koi are being raised.  They are protected by nets that are placed over the ponds, so the birds don’t eat them.

We also found some statuary we were interested in.

  Our New Mermaid


Because we ended up buying several of the slate stones pieces, the owner gave us this mermaid.  She has many cracks, but we don’t care.  It only makes her look old, precious, and museum quality.

Gordon inspecting the larger Koi in the back.

Love the Chinese lanterns inside.

      Beautiful Koi


Some large, some small, all beautiful!


It was a great day of buying plants at local nurseries, visiting this beautiful business, and finding so many lovely things.


I love this contraption.  Just look at the weights!  Kewl, huh?

Weighing our slate stones.

See the little piece of coral beside it?  I found that among the rubble and was given it for free.  🙂


Gordon loading the car with our slate stones and our lovely mermaid that will go into our future Koi pond.












One of my most favorite Hibiscus.


Wildflowers in our front yard.

A wheelbarrow comes in handy for lugging our projects around the yard.

A side yard full of plants for these projects.


Front Yard Corner Project

We wanted to spruce up this side of the house.  It looked very blah, so it was Julie’s idea to add a nice big pot and have an area in the middle of the pot where a clinging vine could crawl upwards.  Hence the wooden board.

This photo and the one above are the finished results. 

Some lovely succulents were added as a border around the pot.

Gordon ready to start the project.

Before he even began to start the project, he cleared the area of an old tree and some bushes and weeds.

Gordon and I then picked out a very large pot for this project.

Gordon first drilled some holes into the pot to allow for drainage.

In the photo below you will see we have added some plastic recyclables to the bottom of the pot.  Some of the DIY shows have suggested doing this.  In theory it is a good idea.  But these plastics contain toxins that will then leak into the soil. So if you are growing herbs or vegetables then those toxins will

then leak into your food.  So forgo the plastics in favor of glass.


Don’t use plastic!

We prefer glass.  It’s safer and heavier.

Now that the pot is ready for it’s spot, Gordon is preparing the area.

Because Gordon will be placing the pot directly onto the ground here he is placing some bricks to support the pot, so it doesn’t sink or shift into the dirt.

Ready for the pot.

Gordon did level the ground first, so the pot would sit straight.

Now, Gordon has added some broken pieces of brick and other stones from our past projects that we had leftover.

Adding these items aids in the drainage.  Top it all off with a large bag of rocks.

Not only is the pot now perfect for drainage, but it is also very heavy and what with our Florida storms it helps to have things very weighty.  It will also help to prevent a theft.  No one can just come and carry it off.  🙂

Once the drainage is in place it’s time to add the potting soil.

Next comes the fun part.  Adding all the beautiful plants!  I first placed them inside of the pot, so I could see how I wanted them arranged.

Once I decided where I wanted the plants to go, we then removed them and started with the middle planting.

Gordon placed the board in the middle of the pot.  (Even though we have the rocks and other things in the bottom it wasn’t hard to wedge the board in place).  We then chose one of our clinging vines and wrapped the plant around the bottom of the board in the soil and planted it.

Like so.

Gordon used various rubber bands and twist ties to help the vine begin to adhere to the board.

Here he is using rubber bands.


Next you just want to add the other plants that you bought for the pot.  Here we used several varieties as we wanted an assortment. We have caladiums and succulents.

We then wanted a row of caladiums planted around the pot to make a nice accent.

We also added some other plants to this area as well.


Looks good!

We planted some really nice white bird-of-paradise in back of our large pot.  It will take awhile for them to grow upwards, so we added a very large potted Boston fern to the back as a backdrop for this grand display.

Here Gordon is finishing up the area by adding some Eucalyptus mulch as a ground cover.

Then topping off with some bark to add even more texture.

Looks very nice.  You can see here the caladiums we planted around the pot are helping to hide the stones the pot is sitting on.

Next project:

  Sprucing up this area.

With our front door to the left of this and our new ‘pot project’ to the right of this, we knew this would be the next area to do some ‘sprucing up.’

We have the lovely Chinese fan palm here, but we just wanted to clean out this area and add just a few plantings, some mulch and wood chips.

Nothing grand, just nice.

We even planted two Guacamole hostas in this area as well.  Can’t wait to see them emerge soon.

Here we used some uncommon varieties of plants which we haven’t seen throughout the neighborhood and had the great colors to compliment the surrounding area.

The Eucalyptus mulch naturally keeps the bugs away while the pine bark keep weeds out.

The mulch needs to be spread by hand, pushing it up and around the plants.

We cut back the Chinese Fan plant giving/allowing new growth to come up.

Cutting the Chinese Fan back also allowed the sun to hit the smaller plants.


Front Yard Visitors

The Sand Hill Crane

A very hazy morning.  

They always seem to travel in 3’s whenever I see them.  We see them quite often in our front yard.