Hey guys! Jacqueline here. Although I’m currently on vacation, I snapped some photos of a 3 day project we completed over Memorial Day weekend. It has pretty much become a tradition that my husband, Dan, and I spend Memorial Day weekend sprucing up the exterior of our home, giving our landscaping a facelift and getting our outdoor areas ready for summer. We almost didn’t get to this year due to weather, but it ended up being a gorgeous weekend and we were able to get everything crossed off our list in three full days. Having a very active 18-month-old also presented some challenges, but he was happy to help and just enjoyed spending time outside! It felt good to have everything finished before leaving for vacay, and now we’ll be able to return home to a beautiful yard that we can enjoy all summer long! See more of our process below and check out some of my tips for updating your landscaping for summer.
I’ll start by saying the previous homeowners did an amazing job laying the foundation of our exterior landscaping. Much of what you see in these photos originally came from them. They were an older (retired) couple and they loved spending time working in the yard (the curb appeal was a huge selling point when we bought the house). Dan grew up mowing and caring for lawns throughout high school, so he has always loved working in the yard and keeping the outdoor areas of our home looking wonderful.
However, we seriously underestimated just how much work this yard would be to upkeep every year. All of the shrubs and plants are beautiful but man- do they require a lot of trimming and simplifying! Although the previous owners did a great job, they might have gone a little overboard, in my opinion. I think Dan counted once and I want to say we have somewhere around ~35 boxwoods throughout our property. Thirty-five! So many things are overgrown at the beginning of the season and everything starts growing into each other. In many areas, there is no rhyme or reason to the design…it’s just a plant here and a plant there. We always start by clearing out plants and weeds that are overgrown and simplifying what we have before starting on anything else.
After everything has been trimmed back, cleared out, and simplified… we prep for mulch. Dan edges the beds every year before laying mulch down. I know some people only mulch every other year, but we prefer to lay it every year. Our first reason is it helps with weed control and the second reason is, we just like the way it makes our yard look. We always say our yard look the best right after we put mulch down. It always feels so fresh and clean and it’s a great way to kick off the summer season.
Another area I like to spruce up every year is our front door. This year I started by planting some new flowers in our large planters. We used to have hibiscus trees planted in these but sadly, they did not make it through another season. I also ordered a new doormat and outdoor rug for layering, plus- I’m hoping to add a lantern or two around the door vignette. Next up on the list is a fresh coat of paint for the front door, a new porch light, and possibly an updated mailbox. We actually get complaints about our house numbers not being visible from the street, so I would love to swap those out for something newer as well!
I love that our home came with window boxes and updating them season is one of my favorite things to do! If you’re looking for a tutorial on installing them- Sarah shared the process here.
Since our exterior colors are green and grey (not my first choice, but it’s not terrible), I went with simple white & black petunias with some green ivy this year. Plus we have a little pop of pink in the planters! I discovered these “Black Magic” petunias this year and I had to have them. They are so unique and soft to the touch- they almost feel like velvet.
The area above is our sunken patio which will be ready for set up once we return from vacation. I recently painted all of our old patio furniture, so I can’t wait to create our refreshed outdoor oasis! We love entertaining and spending time out here all season long.
I almost didn’t include this image because this fountain gives me nightmares. Ha! I’ve been begging to get rid of her for years and upgrade to something less… creepy. We decided to keep her around for one more year so we can invest in a piece we really like. In the meantime, we removed some of the boxwoods due to overcrowding, trimmed up the remaining bushes and gave her a good power wash. I do love having a fountain outside- it’s very relaxing to listen to (it could just look better, IMO). So if anyone wants her… she may be for sale in the near future!
So there you have it! If you’re looking to give your home’s exterior an instant facelift in 3 short days, try a few of the projects I shared in this post. Whether it’s adding or trimming shrubs, clearing out weeds, planting flowers, laying mulch, or sprucing up your front door- choosing to tackle a few of these projects will instantly enhance your curb appeal and increase the value of your home. Stay tuned to see our patio refresh coming to the blog when we return from vacay!