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My Landscaping Plan Of Action For This Year

Matt and I have lived in this house since 2013, and to date, I have not done a single bit of landscaping. I haven’t put a single plant in the ground the whole time we’ve been here. I really want that to change this year. I want this to be the year that I actually finish those lingering projects on the front porch, and then at the very least, get some planting beds started around the porch and the front of the house.

As a reminder, this is the current view of the front of our house around the front porch.

It’s come a long way since the day we bought the house! On the day we bought the house, the front looked like this…

I love the changes I’ve made so far, but I know that even if I get all of those unfinished projects done this year, the front is still going to look unfinished without some planting beds around the front.

So this weekend, I got out the landscape design plan that Matt bought for my birthday a couple of years ago. I studied it, and put together a little mockup of what that landscape designer suggested for the area just around the front of the house. Here is a close up view of the actual plan I received…

That’s a whole lot of plants!! Here are the main plants featured in those areas:

In order, those are (1) asparagus fern, (2) pink skullcap, (3) gulf stream nandina, (4) giant liriope, (5) oak leaf hydrangea, and (6) Japanese boxwood.

On my mockup, I focused just on the areas around the front porch and the front of the guest bedroom, although I would hope to do all of the areas around the front of the house. But since I know nothing about plants by their names, I just wanted to look up these plants and get a visual of what the landscape designer suggested.

I didn’t add nearly as many plants as are shown on the plan, but here’s what those plants look like together.

And I don’t think the walkway bordering the beds will be a solid concrete walkway, but that was the easiest thing to mock up. Just imagine something with a little more character, although I’m not sure what that will be just yet.

So I need the input of you plant people, and especially those of you who know about our central Texas climate. What say you about this grouping of plants? I’m concerned that a comment I saw on the Home Depot website about the gulf stream nandina said that it’s an invasive plant that kills birds. WHAT? But I have no idea if that’s true or not. I’m not going to make a decision based on one random comment left on a product listing on the Home Depot website. But obviously, I’d want to avoid any invasive plants and plants that are going to harm wildlife.

EDIT: I just did a little reading on nandina, and the University of Florida website was the first result in my “is nandina invasive” search. It says that the Gulf Stream Nandina has “high invasive potential,” but that Firepower and Harbour Dwarf are considered safe. The Firepower is beautiful!

I just feel so completely out of my element when it comes to plants. This is so far from my area of expertise that I feel so ill-equipped to even go to the nursery and purchase a shrub. I know that can help me, and will guide me, but this whole process seems very overwhelming to me.

But I want to be prepared to get some plants in the ground this spring! I’ve heard time and again not to plant before Easter because we often get one last surprise freeze around that time. So I’d love to have a plan, have my shopping list in hand, and be ready to purchase and get some plants in the ground soon after that.

Another EDIT: 🙂

We had quite a bit of rain last night, and every time this happens, I’m reminded of just how much work our front yard needs. Any time we get a heavy rain, our front yard turns into a swimming pool.

The whole front yard is basically a wading pool at this point. So that’s another thing that has overwhelmed me in the past. I’m pretty sure that any landscaping I do in our front yard is going to be way more involved than simply purchasing some plants and sticking them in the ground. I don’t even know where or how to start!

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