build me a home: landscaping edition

03 September 2014

We are ready for landscaping! We just hydro-seeded the lawn yesterday, got some rock and the trampoline up over the weekend and we’re going to do a little at a time. The quotes we got for full landscaping were between $30-50,000 and after building the house that made us choke a little (a lot). Just another tip when you’re building -- don’t forget outside costs!  We paid to have the sprinklers installed and are going to tackle the rest bit by bit. We would love to get some trees in this fall, but we’ll see what the budget looks like. I’ve been trying to take advantage of end of season sales, and collecting pictures for ideas. I love clean, simple, not too much going on landscaping, and as you can see from the pictures: boxwoods.
Low Maintenance Front Yard Landscaping | Front Yard Front Yard Makeover Transformation | South Surrey BC

A green lawn with simple landscaping keeps things clean and fresh.

Natural Berm with Boulders and Plantings- this is a nice way to do a slope- i don't want to completely cover our hill, so it will hopefully look similar to this. we even found some good sized stones to plant around the slope!

Boxwoods? with tree. Simple landscaping idea for front yard.
Here are our last 2 homes -- they are pretty simple, but that’s the way we like it.
front of house

Any landscaping pointers or tips? Things you wish you’d known?


  1. Not sure on your area but knockout roses are awesome! They are so hardy and bloom all spring and summer and you have to cut them back to a nub each year or they will go crazy!

  2. I always think less is more, especially with landscaping! And I always go by the rule that the bushes should not ever go over the height of the window sill.

  3. You might also want to consider dwarf shrub roses or fairy roses as they do better in a colder climate ( zone 5 and below) they would give you the same effect as your third photo with the box woods. They come in a variety of colors but I prefer the white with the green personally and the have almost no maintenance. Here is a link.

    Good luck.

  4. Better Homes & Gardens has free landscaping design plans on line that you can use as a starting point. they take into consideration your zone and sun levels. I found them really helpful when planning our front yard!

  5. melissa*320 sycamore9/3/14, 2:41 PM

    Great tip, thank you!

  6. melissa*320 sycamore9/3/14, 2:41 PM

    I will look into them-- thank you!!

  7. melissa*320 sycamore9/3/14, 2:42 PM

    I like more simple landscapes as well. I like your bush rule!

  8. melissa*320 sycamore9/3/14, 2:42 PM

    Our neighbors have them and they are so pretty. I didn't know they were so easy to take care of - yay!

  9. Can you find a landscape architect who will prepare a multi-year plan for you to implement? Paying for a plan may be within your budget. Check out the local tech schools - would you accept a student project? The local ag guys may also have literature about the best trees and plants for your area.
    Since you have been in the house less than a year, are you aware of the impacts of all the seasons? You may want to establish the hardscape plan first - walkways, fencing, terraces, French drains, dry creek beds, etc.
    Think of what you want to do in 5 to 10 years as well as your health in your later years? I have a sloping front yard which was fine when I was younger, but my knee hurts every time I mow. So I am looking at terracing the front with only a small grass area and more bushes in the lower area.
    Do you have some areas that you want to screen such as the gas and water meters? Fencing or plants? Are there areas that you want to keep open, such as the basement window areas where you don't want bushes covering up the openings? Will you want to plant a kitchen garden and so do you have the sunny area for that? I recommend putting in raised beds for a veggie garden and there are some plans available to make them deer proof.
    Did you like the rock around your TX house? I'm in OK and I have a foot wide area of rock going around my house. But I also have an overhang so nothing was growing there. Having the rock made it easier to walk to get to the water and other stuff, to spray insect stuff as well as making sure that the plants don't touch the building, which is also for insect control. I then have variegated boxwoods in front of my kitchen windows, which I keep cut low to make sure the light comes in.
    On plants - check out what looks good in your area all year long. And don't buy anything that needs constant trimming. My boxwoods have a shaggy look to them. Check out how a plant spreads or you might be having constant maintenance issues. I took out a youpon holly and other holly bushes and I am still getting periodic sprouts from deep roots that I missed.
    Finally, remember this about perennials - first they sleep, then they creep and then they leap. So space them according to the recommendations.


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