Garden Transformation

4 summers of gardening work, wrapped up into one blog post!  Check out my front yard garden progress over time in this post.


We moved into our house in November, 2011.  I was pregnant at the time, so all my gardening work was done an and around a couple babies being born and raised to toddler status – which is why it’s slow going!  Life goes so fast though, I can’t believe it’s been so over 5 years since my first daughter was born!

When we moved in, all the vegetation on the property was 35 years old and very overgrown/unkempt.  It did not inspire much.  Here’s a shot from Google Streetview:

Those big bushes (we called them “Grimaces” like the McDonald’s guy!) were mostly dead inside and had lots of bugs in and around them.  They were beasts to remove!  Long sleeves, chainsaws… next time we would get someone to come and do it!

Updating the Gardens

First, we pulled everything out, except one globe cedar that was doing okay.  We dug out a couple of the stumps, then realized how insanely hard that is and got the rest stumped.  We added some triple mix and defined better edging, and got the beds ready to plant.  I researched and chose some plants and spent $800 getting them from a local nursery.  We planted them and have been cultivating them for 4 summers now and they’re so beautiful!

This is 4 summers in a row, from original planting in 2013 to summer 2016.

This main front garden has a purple sandcherry, some hostas, a mountain hydrangea bush (which got moved), a limelinght hydrangea tree, a goldmound spirea, some coreopsis (tickseed), bell flowers and some maidenhair grasses, which I unsuccessfully divided so they did not thrive in 2016!

There’s a lower garden too with a beautiful green Japanese Maple, a weeping mulberry, Veronica Speedwell and a couple barberry bushes.

And a couple more pics when we added our first round of mulch in 2014 – I ended up not liking the colour so the next round of mulch added was in 2016 and it was chocolate brown.

Adding a Garden

In 2015, we decided to add a garden in the front near the road, partially to break up the space and partially to cover a transformer or something that’s on the neighbour’s yard.  It’s a full sun garden, and I spent another $200 on plants, as well as relocating some from the original garden and a couple other spots.  It’s still small and young, but I have high hopes for this garden to really start filling out over the next 2 summers!

Let me tell you – digging out grass by hand was a pain in the you-know-what!  It took me much longer to do that than it did to plan, fill, plant and mulch the entire garden!  I cut grids with a flat shovel and then scraped and ripped out the grass piece by piece.  Ugh!

This garden has shasta daisies, forsythia, rose of sharon (blue marlin colour), mountain hydrangea, a tiger-eye sumac, some phlox and some grasses.  And my daughter, diligently watering! 🙂

First year of Rose of Sharon blooms!

The Sumac looks incredible in the fall!

We saved this Peony plant from a spot where it never bloomed and it is LOVING its new home!!

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