Sunday, September 21, 2014

Front Yard Accent Garden DIY

Do you have an unsightly area in your front yard? Have you considered doing a low-maintenance accent garden? Let me show you how relatively easy and inexpensive it can be. Add some curb appeal and value to your home! I should know as I have been doing it yourself - or should I say MYSELF - for the 3.5 years I have lived in my house. I am one of the blondes that DIY; you know?

front yard accent garden diy completed
Front Yard Accent Garden DIY - Complete
Photo Taken : August 4, 2014
There is a photo of the front yard accent garden upon completion on August 4, 2014. From that view, it doesn't look like that large of an area. It is a bit of an optical illusion. We'll show you some other views so that you get a good idea of the space we used for this DIY accent garden.


front yard accent garden area before photo

What is particularly interesting about that area of the yard? Behind the neighbor's fence is a vegetable garden. For the most part of the year, it is a barren ground that drains and leeches into my side yard and my front yard, as you can see in that last photo!

This year, I was further challenged when the neighbor in the pink house next to them came over one night with his pressure washer. He washed their fence for them. Not sure whose idea it was to pressure wash the fence; probably not my next door neighbors! The next morning when I came out to check my front yard, I found a mushy wet area where the grass was already being challenged. In a few days, the grass was no longer green! Thanks to my neighbor(s)' actions! Wow! How about all that dead grass? I had already put down sod once. I wasn't going to try sod again.


front yard accent garden plot area with sod

In August-September 2012, I put down sod in that very area! When I moved into my home in June 2011, the next door neighbor was waving his arms at me that I needed to water that area of the yard. "Yeah, Yeah! I am just moving in ... I'll take care of it." Hey, you know water isn't free???

I had previously dealt with the same type of grass issues in my side yard next to the neighbor's fence. You might have seen my side yard project with my mexican petunia garden. So, I was up to doing another accent garden out of necessity!


front yard accent garden dug plot

It is important when you are doing any digging in your yard, to know where the cable and any other utility lines are placed. When I had my privacy fence installed, they had contacted the company that comes out and marks the location. However, my fence installer did take out my AT&T cable! So, I know where it has been relocated in my yard -- at the very bottom of the photo!

Digging up that area of the yard wasn't too difficult since the grass had been challenged. I think I might have filled 4-5 black yard bags with the dead grass pieces. I've dug up a lot of yard for my gardens, so I don't mind this activity. I always were my Playtex Handsaver Gloves! Oh boy, but I have gone through a lot of gloves in the past 3.5 years! Every kind you can think of too. It seemed even the heavy duty gloves didn't always protect my acrylic nails. So, I ended up relying on the Playtex Handsaver Gloves.

I found a handy technique for clearing the plot. After I would use my shovel to dig into a rectangular patch of grass, I'd sit down on the inverted blue plastic bucket. Then, wearing my rubber gloves, I'd separate the dead grass [and some weeds] from the soil. When I'd fill a black yard bag, I'd move that to the other side yard behind the fence until yard waste pickup day.


front yard accent garden diy materials list and cost

My materials list for this do-it-yourself project included:

  • One - 1.5 CF tree and shrub soil @ $7.67
  • One - Fulton 15.6" red square patio stone @ $3.99
  • Twenty-two - Fulton 15.6" red scalloped edging @ $1.78 = $39.16
  • Five - 1.25 qt Liriope Aztec grass @ $1.89 = $9.45
  • Two - 2 gal. Bottlebrush plants @ $10.98 = $21.96
  • Five - 2 CF Preen russet red mulch @ $4.49 = $22.45
The total cost of materials, with tax, was $112.01. The total time spent on this DIY project was under 6 hours. I figured I spent about 2 hours preparing the plot; less than 2 hours back and forth to Lowe's to pick up the materials; and less than 2 hours to install the DIY garden.

If you were to contract to have this DIY project installed, I estimate it would cost 2x the materials list = $225.00 plus 6 x $50/hour manual labor for a total of $525.00.


Selecting the plants was a no-brainer for me since I already had two Bottlebrush plants in front of the privacy fence gate. I've also got the Liriope Aztec grass also in my other side yard on the left side of the house; it makes a nice accent!

In my DeerCreek Country Club home, we had a Bottlebrush plant at the front entrance. My now ex-hubby let me prune that plant a couple of times. Ouch!! I do believe he might have finally moved it to the back yard.

I actually found that you can buy the plant, Bottlebrush Tree Plant Red Cluster Callistemon Rigidus Starter Size through Amazon! It was because of the red flowering pinecone-like clusters that I selected this plant for my front yard. I have a red front door along with Holland red and gray brick. Plus, the plant complements the patio stone and scalloped edgers.


To get an idea on the measurement of that triangular garden, there are ten 15.6 inch red scalloped edging stone down the property borderline. That's 156 inches of stone across a distance of some 163 inches. At the bottom left of the layout, there are seven 15.6 inch edgers in the 110 inches. You can see that there is a 36 inch open area for access to the privacy fence [for mowing the back yard]. I placed the one Fulton 15.6" red square patio stone there as a stepping stone to the four such stones directly behind it. On the top left of the area, are two of the 15.6 edgers.


front yard accent garden diy completed
Front Yard Accent Garden DIY - Complete
Photo Taken : August 4, 2014


That's what my mom keeps telling me. I've not officially written a book, but I have written lots of blog posts and other online content. I've not yet charged anything for my DIY tips. I'd love to hear if I have inspired you to try your own DIY project.

So, here is another resourceful gal's gardening tips. In Easy Front Yard Gardening: Basics of Front Yard Garden Design, the author, Shirley Dianne Lise, delivers her self-help guidebook.

Get over 85 pages of instructions to design and complete your very own front yard garden. The bottom line is curb appeal!

I designed my front yard accent garden in such a manner that I could carry it down the property line to the curb. I've not gotten to that point yet, but it is a consideration. The other benefit, aside from the curb appeal, is the low maintenance.

How does your garden grow? My bottlebrush plants are starting to flourish! And the Aztec grass is looking pretty good too.

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