Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Front Landscape Progress

It's been kinda crazy up in here. Some days I feel like I'm being pulled in 47 different directions. (I really don't know how you moms that have full-time jobs pull it off!) Here's what's been goin' down in my world lately: I am trying to start up a mom's Bible study at our church. It starts next week and we have a lot to get ready before then, including figuring out an inexpensive but useful craft project. And for those who know me, I'm not the organized planner type so this is stretching me. Second thing: I just recently discovered a local Facebook vintage site and I've been trying to sell stuff on there. Thirdly: if you follow MLST on FB, you found out that Mitch and I just had an interview with a magazine editor (!) and lastly, OUR FRONT LANDSCAPE PLAN IS IN MOTION. And that's what I'm going to share with you guys today.

So remember way back when I posted about "THE PLAN"? Well I've been itchin' to get started on that thing. But, both Mitch and I drag our feet when it comes to outdoor projects. That's one thing that we both wish we had the money to pay someone else to do. It's not our forte. But alas, we DON'T have the extra money to pay someone to landscape our little white rancher, so we finally broke down and just got to work. Actually, it ended up working out great for us since our local nursery (the same ones who came out and drew up our plan), was having an auction this past Saturday to get rid of some of their stock. Luckily for me, I'm a fan of auctions

Basically there were chairs set up and "the goods" up front waiting to be auctioned off. There are usually several auctioneers who take turns since, as you can imagine, you need breaks being an auctioneer. The rest of the people you see up front were working for the nursery and would either hold up an item being auctioned or run the item to the buyer after the bid was won. The guy in the white shirt up there is the nursery owner and before bidding started on an item, he would spout out what kind of plant/shrub/tree it was along with whether it liked sun, shade, how tall it would grow, etc. He was super impressive. He knows his stuff, for sure!

I came to the auction totally prepared. Earlier in the week, I visited the nursery and priced out all the plants that were in our plan. You need to know your prices when going to an auction. It's very easy to get caught up in the bidding, and sometimes you can even overpay for something if you're not careful. So I had my list, my plan, and my number. This was actually one time when I did feel organized and ready! 

We went into the auction with the mindset that we'll get what we can afford and fill in the rest as we get the money for it. Well, I'm happy to say that I was able to get almost everything on our list! We still need two more groupings of shrubs (3 azaleas, and 3 cherry laurels) then we'll be done with the planting part. Funny story: I had gotten almost everything we needed and only had $35 left so I texted Mitch that they were starting to auction off the trees. I jokingly texted, "We'll see if I can score a tree for $35...ha!" Well wouldn't ya know, I bought the exact tree we needed for $30. I was just a little excited. 

When the nursery owner came out and drew up our plan last fall, he quoted me the approximate cost to do this plan ourselves would be around $900. Now granted, that included some pavers for our walkway (which we're going to use reclaimed bricks instead), and we also modified the plan slightly to not include a row of coral bells on the other side of the walkway, but the total I paid on Saturday for all this stuff was $250. So not only were we going to save money at the outset by doing the work ourselves, but we were able to slash that price significantly by going the auction route. Hey, if there's a cheaper way to do it, we're gonna find it!

Earlier in the week, Bryce and I had dug out all the tulip and daffodil bulbs that were planted in the front...there were hundreds! So the ground was somewhat prepped for the planting of the shrubs. Those bulbs will be going back in there around the new shrubs. (I love me some tulips and daffs!)

The boys joined in on the fun too. So last Saturday we purchased all the plants at the auction and planted them was a good day.

So one side of our front yard is all planted. We have to rip out some more stuff on the other side yet, then the tree will be planted over there along with the two other groups that we need to purchase yet. I'm saving up the money I'm making from the vintage FB page to complete this project.

There's nothing like hard work and seeing progress. This was one project that was just looming over our heads for the longest time. Now that we got started on it, I'm excited to put a nail in that proverbial coffin! 

What's left to do:
  1. Tear out the arborvitae on the right hand side
  2. Purchase and plant the azalea and cherry laurels 
  3. Define the border of the beds
  4. Purchase and lay the weed barrier
  5. Lay the brick walkway
  6. Tile the concrete slab on portico
  7. Replace pendant light
  8. Refinish front door

Have you started something lately that's been looming over your head? Isn't it a great feeling to get crackin' on it finally? Well we'll definitely keep you all posted on the progress of our landscape plan. Now back to that craft project...ugh.


  1. Wow that auction for plants is so cool, you really hit the jackpot. Just think this time next year everything will be grown in and looking good. Are you buying vintage things to sell on fb or selling things you already have?

    1. I'm selling stuff I already have--like my barn lights that were in our kitchen for like 2 seconds. That and a bunch of metal letter signs I have. I should do a post on them...they're pretty cool. Maybe some readers would like 'em. Thanks for the idea, V! ;)

    2. Sale...did you say for sale???? :) More info on your vintage sale please!

  2. Did the nursery charge you to come out and draw up the plan? We desperately need to landscape and I have no idea where to start, so having an expert come out would be perfect, but I don't want to have to pay a lot. :)

    1. Hi there Lindsay. No, there was no charge for the nursery guy to come out and draw up a plan for us. Isn't that great?! We were in the same boat...needed something done but didn't know where to start. If you're local, the nursery was Sauder's Nursery in East Earl. Highly recommend them!

    2. I was going to ask which nursery did your plans & if they charged. lol I get things for my veggie garden from Sauder's. Is that where the auction was at?

    3. Yes, Sauder's has an auction every year around this time. It's THE PLACE to go if you need trees/plants/shrubs!


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