Hey friends! My family was here this weekend to celebrate my birthday and the first thing on the list was to add a front flower bed. We recently finished the back flower bed and I was itchin’ to get my hands on the front. Does anyone else put landscaping on their birthday lists? I can plant flowers (generally) but adding a flower bed was beyond my expertise. Turns out, it’s super easy and quick to do. Who knew?
Here’s the front of my house prior to the flower bed:
You can probably guess the right spot to place a bed – currently where the security sign is in the ground directly under the large window. I knew I wanted to start simple with the bed, knowing I could always expand later, so we decided on a square bed with an edged border. I used a stone/brick border in the backyard, but for ease of mowing (plus I just like the look) we opted to do a simple border.
I have no pictures of this (my hands were dirty) but it’s easy to explain:
PLAN YOUR BORDER
We used string to lay down a possible border for the bed. Spray paint works too, but string makes it easy to visualize
DIG THE BORDER
Once we figured out the bed, we (and by we I mean my Dad and Julie’s boyfriend) started digging the border. An edged flower bed is created by using a shovel and digging an angled trench so the mulch can sort of sit inside. It’s really a mini moat and the mulch will sit inside the trench lower than the surface of the grass
A finished edged bed looks like this:
PLANT YOUR PLANTS
At this point, we haven’t removed the grass and we actually won’t at all. I’ll explain that soon. Once the trench was laid, we planted my birthday plants. Because my basement has a tall ceiling, the brick on the front of my house doesn’t start for at least two feet. So I needed some height there via plants to balance everything out. The plants we chose were knockout roses and lillies. Knockout roses are typically red/pink but I needed a softer tone to work with all the red brick so I chose the “sunny” variety. They’ll get nice and tall plus I like that they have thorns to keep any weirdos away from my front window The lillies are from my mom’s garden, so I like that I have a little piece of home with me. Awwwww.
PREP FOR MULCH
Because we’re not removing the large patch of grass inside the border before adding mulch, we needed to do some major weed/grass blocking. Landscape fabric is oddly expensive (in my opinion) and newspaper will work just as well, too. Even better, free local papers. I grabbed about 10 from my local Kroger.
I have no idea why we’re in semi-nice clothes doing this. Sometimes you get the urge to garden with no time to change clothes! You can typically find me weeding in my work clothes, too. That’s what the washer is for, right?
I used the same mulch I used the backyard, not that they have to match, but because I knew I liked that kind (black platinum) already. Because we are going over both grass and newspaper, we bought 5 bags (with each bag covering 27 square feet) knowing we’d put putting it on pretty thick to get nice coverage in a 3′ x 7′ bed.
Once the mulch was poured in, we spread it with our hands and filled up our little trench, by raking it in and then stepping on it with our shoes, to create that nice edge.
ENJOY YOUR NEW FLOWER BED!
Ta-da! A little flower bed to spruce up the front of my home. Notice how we did not extend the bed to the end of the house. My reasoning for this was that the 3 rose bushes centered in front of the window was looking pretty sweet and if we would have extended the bed, the spacing of the plants would be all out of whack and not center with that front window. I’m guessing at this point someone is screaming, “Oh my goodness, Emily. They’re just PLANTS!” but hey, I’m visually OCD like that.
The lillies (tall, spiky plants) are mature plants from my mom’s garden so that’s as high as they’ll get. The rose bushes will get much taller and wider (they’re baby plants now) and will grow as tall as the white concrete stripe below the brick. The smaller lillies and the tall rose bushes will create a nice, staggered height.
See how they’re staggered in terms of position as well? The lillies (because they’re shorter) are in the front and the taller plants are in the back.
Why hello little jockey man. One day I will make you pretty but you are really heavy and you make me tired.
Yay flowers! I’ll post an update with how they’re growing at some point.
p/s: If you get a second, please vote for my house in the Apartment Therapy Small Cool Contest. I would SO appreciate it. I would love to be in the top 3 and right now I am 4th!