Front Yard Transformation

front before

This was the front “yard” when we moved in.  Under the fallen leaves are flower beds filled with either breeze or gravel, with landscape fabric underneath (8 inches or more down).  There were mismatched concrete pavers, painted concrete and nicely weathered old red flagstone.   The only green things in the entire yard are in this photo.  Lovely mature lilacs on the south side, saved by force by the next door neighbor, and the mess of poorly planned, and totally unkempt xeriscape around the tree.  (For the record, in the listing, the yard was aptly described as “zeroscaped”)

We moved from our rental in December, and I spent the only warmish day digging up stuff I had planted while there, and brought it over to the new place.  I advertised the breeze on Craigslist free stuff, and had a lady come several times over the next few months and took a lot of it.  I removed the landscape fabric and filled in with topsoil, creating a few flower beds, and transferred my haul.  After a while, this is what we had.

front in transition

 I felt  better, but felt a bit overwhelmed.  While some of the breeze was gone, there was still quite a bit of it to go. And larger gravel.  The grey pavers, and assorted mismatched themes going on were wearing my brain down.  I didn’t want to wait ten years or more  to get this corrected just in time to sell the house, like we did in Virginia.   Clearly I needed to call in professional help.

We went to Denver Home and Garden show this February, and after talking to several landscapers I finally decided on these guys.  They created a lovely and elaborate design including fountains, benches and arbors, and  gave us a beautiful printout of the entire job.


It turned out to be way more money than we wanted to spend.  And, as beautiful as it was, something kept nagging at me. I wanted to be able to work in the garden. I am a gardener, an artist, I  just wanted  a blank canvas if you will.   I wanted to create my own landscape.  So I went back and forth with the designer, and finally pared it down to the basics —  Clear out junk, replace with topsoil, add sprinkler system, and mulch.

They started clearing out the mess in our front yard on July 15.  Here is some of the work in progress.

IMG_2399   IMG_2400

Gravel, breeze, mismatched pavers, and subterranean landscape fabric all gone!


This guy was a beast, moving those gigantic, heavy flagstones by himself (two of the other guys brought them into the front yard together).


Drip sprinkler system hoses.   And look, the boring, non-flowering ornamental grass is gone.  Hallelujah!


Forming the new flagstone walk.   We had lots of dust for a few days.

And here is the finished project.


I love the now balanced, flagstone walkway.   The  original design had a random broken flagstone walkway.  I thought that looked too modern, and that would involve destroying the nicest part of the front yard.  I really loved the old flagstone that was already there,  I had to be insistent that the flagstones be square, especially since when the new supplemental flagstone delivered was in large random shaped, not square slabs.


I decided to keep the white stepping stones, because I didn’t hate them and it seemed like a good idea to break up the vast expanse of mulched area.  Howard didn’t want any grass in the front, so we will be adding stuff there in the future.


Another view of the flagstone walk.  I think they  did a nice job of mixing the old with the new.  The border on the flower bed in the right side of the photo will be re-done.  (see below)


Howard was concerned that the large bark mulch, that I chose to discourage the cats from thinking our new yard was their new litter box, would spread all over the sidewalk.   He used some of the 1000s of pavers that were removed to create  borders  on either side of the flagstone sidewalk.  I couldn’t watch as he methodically laid each piece, using a tape measure, level and sledgehammer.  It came out really nice though, and he will be doing the borders on all of the flowerbeds on our side of the retaining wall.


To be continued. . .


One thought on “Front Yard Transformation

  1. Evelyne says:

    Thanks for this Heather, I enjoyed the read, the pics and ‘Sheba (and) the gargoyle’. You got my wheels cranking again re: back yard in Englewood. Looks great. You go girl!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s