I swear my biceps grew last week. Suddenly I have guns.
Our current total: 60!
And I'm not talking about little rinky dinky plants, I'm talking bushes, trees and blooming flowers!
True story.
Let me tell you about it.

You've seen this a few times, our little plan that could.

This year, we focused on the front of the home (the left side of the picture above).
However, our plan changed a bit from this original. We added some plants, changed a few areas around and exchanged one tree for another. But, the general principals remained. From beginning (when we received the initial drawing) to now (with everything planted), we've learned a lot!
I'll share a few of our lessons later in the week (and hopefully they'll help you if you enjoy landscaping!), but for today, I'm going to stick with how we divided up the plan.

Boy, do I have a WHOLE new appreciation for this. It's funny how when I go for a walk or drive, I now notice different homes landscaping- what plants they've used, what hardscape, how they positioned certain things, the colors that are blooming, on and on. It's easy to see how people LOVE this stuff!

Then, there's the less romantic version that looks a little like this:

That's what we all looked like for a few days as we planted and spread our mulch. I tippie-toed around our home so as not to spread mud everywhere I went. Should have just slept outside!

Here's what we did ourselves:

- Ordered top soil from a nearby company, so delivery was about $50.00 less. We needed 5 yards of top soil, so getting it dropped off dumped off was much easier than hauling bags from the store.

- Cut out all of the sod around each of the original trees in our yard and put in mulch. Not one tree had this done before, and some were really struggling! We did this over memorial day weekend, and it took five of us and several hours to complete 5 large trees.

- We removed every ounce of the plant bed that was originally in front of the house - that included using the bricks to build a firepit out back, and cutting down a tree that wasn't going to survive (so I didn't feel as guilty!) Remember that? It's no more.

- Planted all but one of our plants. SIXTY, to be exact.
I don't mean to gloss over this so nonchalantly, it was a HUGE project...but I'll share all about it in Part 2.

- Spreading the new topsoil. Which, we actually didn't end up doing ourselves because the crew had more time allotted on their contract, so they did it for us! Boy was that a nice surprise to receive a text : "Top soil is already finished!"


What we hired out:

- Cutting out the sod. This may not sound like a huge ordeal, but it would have taken us about a day and our sanity to do ourselves. As you'll see later this week, they cut one huge section, and two additional smaller ones. After I saw how many trucks and trailers were stationed at our house, I was confident we made the right decision!

- Planting the largest tree, a 7 foot red bud. Considering they had these sweet little rides (I really wanted to play with them, but to no avail), to carry the tree, I highly doubt that our muscles could have planted this baby.

- Replacing the old soil in the front bed, which included digging 4 feet deep and removing the clay first.
Originally, we planned on doing this ourselves. I'm SOSOSO thankful that we changed our minds (the day before they arrived, no less) and the crew was able to fit into their schedule. Thank a busy work schedule and a 95 degree day which quickly defeated me. I had pulled out all of the weeds weeks ago, but that was easy compared to trying to dig 4 feet down. Bless those machines!

In one morning, the amazing crew finished all of their work, and Kyle, my mom, his dad, my sister and myself spend the whole late afternoon and evening digging, planting, digging, planting, repeat.
It looked a little something like this:

Never underestimate the power of two motivated woman who share a gene pool.
Part 2 coming soon :)


  1. I have a question: Is your husband still in residency? Do you have to move again? I am just wondering, because you put so much work in the house, which looks great by the way. :-)

    1. Hi! Yes, my husband is still in residency, with many years to go :)
      We were intentional about only renovating a home (it wasn't our original plan)if it would be a promising return if/when we sold it down the road. We always assumed it wouldn't be our "forever" home. I wouldn't encourage everyone to do that unless the market and the neighborhood supports the updates. It has been a lot of work (so glad that all of the big projects are done!), but we're really happy with it.

  2. WOW!

    Looks amazing - and I'm truly impressed with your biceps!


    Ray Doc Wife

  3. Looking great!!!! Can't wait to see the finished product!!! :)


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