This weekend’s project was to give our front yard a little TLC. Living in California makes keeping the grass green a little difficult, especially during a drought. To save water (and money) we are trying to slowly get rid of our grass (or most of it) and switch over to low maintenance, drought tolerant landscaping.
Not having done a ton of landscaping before, we wanted to keep it simple, add some color and blend with what was already there. Last summer, we put some wood chips down around the existing palms, so we decided to keep with the same look and extend it up the side of the yard, as well as pull it out about 4 feet into the existing grass area.
Here is a picture of the front yard before we moved in. You probably remember this picture from the first post. All the large palms were already there (thank goodness)…but look how much they have grown!
The pictures above are the way our yard looked on Saturday morning. The picture on the left is the front of the house, you can see the small amount of wood chips that are down from last summer’s “quick fix”. The photo on the right is the side of the yard, there were two dead bushes that we pulled out and dirt. Luckily since that part of the yard was empty, we didn’t really have to tear out much grass. We were able to lay the barrier right over top of the dirt/grass.
Here is what we did to extend our landscaping and add a border to protect the remaining grass from wood chip overflow.
We started on the side and marked off the area we wanted to tear out. Its easiest to mark it off if you use a hose or extension cord that way you can make it curve the way you want.
We purchased some edging from Home Depot which you can see in the photo above. We then mowed the grass on the area we were taking out as low as possible to kill it off and help mark the area.
Using a shovel or edger, cut a line along the area you want your border to go and then rip out the grass from there.
Once we got the majority of the live grass out, we dug our plant holes. Tip: if the dirt is hard where you want your plants to go, fill the holes with water, it helps loosen the soil so it can be more easily shoveled out.
After we dug the plant holes, we laid down the barrier. We purchased this from Costco on sale, but they also sell it at Home Depot, Lowes and most home improvement stores. The barrier is important for preventing weeds from growing up through the wood chips/rocks/other landscaping you lay. Once the barrier was down, we fit the edger into place and secured them with edging stakes.
Go back and cut holes in the barrier where the plants go. Then start adding soil to each hole to prep for planting. (I love that I got an action shot of Brian pouring soil!)
Next we put down the wood chips. We bought the all natural bark nuggets from Home Depot, it’s always nice when you find them on sale, which is usually Memorial Day, Labor Day or 4th of July weekends!
Here is how it turned out! I think the hard work paid off 🙂