One thing we didn’t like about our new house was the lack of landscaping in the backyard. That seems to be a common thing in Louisiana. Several houses have a front and back yard full of grass right up to their foundation. Now, I understand some people don’t have a green thumb and hate the thought of having to keep up with plants… but if you buy the right plants for your geographical area then it really isn’t bad at all. It’s pretty AND results with less grass to mow – that a win/win if you ask me.
Here’s what we had to start with:
Before you do any kind of major yard work that involves digging in Louisiana, you need to call LA One Call. They’ll come out and mark your yard for you so you know where all of your underground wiring is. If you hit a wire they didn’t mark, then they are required to pay for the repair costs.
After getting our underground wiring marked, we started by drawing out the shapes of our garden beds with spray paint. If you don’t have the nifty sprayer tool we had, you can always create an outline by shoveling the edge.
After we had the shape we wanted, Kurt skimmed the surface of the dirt (under the grass) with a flat head shovel to remove the grass. This was most extensive part…especially in the Louisiana heat of
late spring summer (lets be honest, LA only has two seasons… summer and winter). We had a section of our yard that was lower than the rest and wasn’t growing the same sod due to the retention of water – we used any dirt and grass we removed from the beds to build up these areas.
He’s so dreamy 🙂
Baxter was a little upset at first to lose some of his precious grass… (don’t mind the workout ball hiding in the corner from overuse…psh.)
Here’s what it looked like once the grass was removed:
After we removed the grass we needed to add more dirt to build up the beds. We cleaned out the supply of Top Soil at Home Depot – they were running a sale so we got them for less than $1 a piece *happy dance*!
That’s alot of dirt (and this was only 1 load)!
We carefully mixed in the Topsoil with the existing dirt being sure not to hit any underground wires. I recommend taking pictures of where your yard is marked before you start. Once you remove the grass your markings will be gone.
After the soil was mixed we headed to Lowes to pick up some plants. Kurt was pushing me to go for evergreen bushes like Camellias that bloom in the Winter, but I wanted flowers NOW. Now that it’s winter, I wish I had listened to him. We went with several flowering plants, Hibiscuses, Hostas, Variegated ginger, Mandevilla (etc…) and two trees, an Eastern Redbud and a Japanese Magnolia. My mom has lived in the garden (not literally, of course) ever since I can remember. She was gracious enough to give us several seeds and baby plants that she harvested from her yard including Butterfly bushes, Mock Oranges, Irises from my grandmothers yard, One Camellia and several others.
We organized the plants as we felt they would best fit in our new beds and began planting. It was so exciting to see it start to come together! Once the plants were in we mulched and watered. Success!
Our new yard is landscaped and as time has gone on it’s even more beautiful AND by doing it ourselves we saved TONS of money!
We plan to add more evergreen plants this spring. I guess I should have listened to Kurt in the beginning. He IS a Landscape Architect after all.