plants/gardening / Trail House Reno

A fresh start for the front yard

If you’ve been around here at all, then you know that the house we currently live in and often refer to as #theTrailHouseReno has undergone a major transformation, both inside and out.

The work to be done on the exterior was so extensive, we had to remove all of the overgrown plantings around the house.

But the great thing about starting a landscape virtually from scratch is the ability to reimagine the first impression of the house and choose quality shrubs and perennials that are specifically designed for our southern climate.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Southern Living Plants. I was compensated and received plants in exchange for my honest opinions and review.  All photos, designs are my own. 

Thankfully, we were able to preserve the large maple tree on the left-hand side of the house despite some aggressive trimming. The deep red almost purple colors of the maple became the jumping point for my color inspiration.  I wanted to play off of the contrast those deep purple hues and mix in softer blues and pinks.

Under the maple tree, and in front of the brick steps, I selected Purple Diamond Semi-Dwarf Loropetalum.

I love that this Loropetalum is smaller than other varieties and can be easily managed. The wispiness of the Loropetalum makes it one of my favorite shrubs. The blooms are in the deep pink range and while not in bloom currently, it blooms several times through the growing season.

A little further back under the maple tree is a couple Dear Dolores hydrangeas.

Of course, they are just coming back to life from the winter hibernation and aren’t blooming just yet. They are a beautiful variety of Hydrangea and will grow to fill this area with showy blooms all summer.

The above photo of the Dear Dolores Hydrangea is from the garden of our previous house.

Also under the maple tree and balanced on the opposite side of the yard are the Mojo Pittosporum

Once they reach the full height of about 3 feet, the variegated foliage will provide a nice evergreen contrast to the Loropetalums. Repeating them on the opposite side of the yard brings balance and a bit of symmetry. They can tolerate shade to part sun.

But one of my favorite varieties of all the Loropetalum family is the Emerald Snow Loropetalum.

These are now in a leaf growing stage so there are fewer blooms, but they are so full of blooms in the spring they look like they are covered in snow.  They are a hardy, evergreen shrub that looks beautiful year round.

Offset in front of the Snow Loropetalums, are a row of Little Blue Fountain Agapanthus.

This summer bloomer is extremely popular in my home state of Louisiana. I couldn’t wait to plant them here in Alabama. They make great cut flowers and will provide the burst of blue in the landscape even in the heat of summer.

The deep red tones of the maple are repeated twice more on the right-hand side of the yard.  We rescued this weeping maple from the backyard after the renovation and planted a smaller variety of maple between the sets of windows. Choosing trees and shrubs that grow to appropriate sizes for front landscapes is an important characteristic to consider when selecting plants.

Since I’ve mentioned it a couple of times, for reference here is what the house looked like before we removed all of the Dryvet and stone.

Without changing the roof line, you can see I took the opportunity to reconfigure the look of the house replacing the dated glass arch with a more timeless look of large iron french doors and a smaller window. You can see we had already removed oversized bushes that had overtaken the house.

The new landscaping will be more varied and both complement and provide contrast to the soft brick color. The varieties I chose will also not overtake the front of the house as the landscaping had before.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my sweet model Tucker, who appears in all of the front elevation photos.

He happily watched me photograph the house and the neighbors walking by.

To read more about our renovation, click here

Special thanks to Southern Living Plants for partnering with me to beautify
our front landscape for years to come!


1 Comment

  • frank
    November 29, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    I have clients that love this exterior! What color is your roofing shingle on your house?



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