Front Yard Before and Afters!

So, today I’m back with the before and after shots of the house.  This time I’m going way back to when I first bought this house 2 years ago. Those are the true Before shots and will give a totally accurate view of what I was dealing with in the front yard.  A house that had never been landscaped or given any love at all in the front yard.  The only thing I had going for me were 2 cherry trees and a beautiful pink dogwood. The middle cherry tree was half dead and growing into the dogwood, so I opted to just have it cut down so that I’d have a clear view in the middle of the yard and that was the best decision I made.  This created a nice under planting opportunity for all of these blooming shrubs that went into my yard, giving it a cottage feel that I just love.

If you missed yesterday’s post with the in progress shots of the landscaping going in, you will want to catch up on all of that.

Southern plants are wonderful and I have long loved hydrangeas (truly my very favorite flowering shrub) and azaleas are a staple in Southern yards too. I grew up with them and have had them in all my yards since my first house.  My parents have azaleas in their yard too.  Gardening and planting flowers has long been a love of mine too and I’m finally getting back to those roots that I love so much.  I’ll be piddling around in this garden for  a long time to come, I’m sure.  Watching it grow and change will be so much fun in the next year or so!


So, let’s go back to the beginning.  Remember this look?  Ahhhh yes, I sure do!  Here’s a shot from 2 years ago with the middle tree still there.

my house

And this one was after the tree was cut down in the middle, before the front porch was built.  Oh, you poor little plain house.  You need some help!

after landscaping front yard

And here’s the AFTER!   Wow, isn’t that pretty incredible from 2 years ago til now?

another angle on beds

I can hardly believe it either.  Doesn’t look like the same house.

bed under cherry tree

I took lots of pics in different light to give you all a good idea of how it looks.  This was during cloud cover.

after landscape

This was sunny Sunday morning.

front bed

Front yard bed with camelias in the corners and those are gardenias in middle. When the sod goes in, no more dirt will show and that will be nice too.

angyostar vines

These are the Angyostar vines on the trellis, which will eventually cover those trellis forms.  I think this solution is a good one for a floating fireplace like I have. It might take awhile for the vines to cover, but that’s fine, I can wait.  I left the left side open to be able to get to the hose back there.

left bank landscaped

Sunny morning shot of the pink dogwood bed. You can see how great it looks since they removed lots of low growing limbs.

front yard after landscape

Good shot of the front of the house in the sunshine.

front porch landscaped

Front porch with a beautiful view now.

landscape under cherry tree

Right bed under the pink cherry tree.

front yard lanscape

Another view of that bed with pinestraw in place.  It will look so great once the sod gets in over here too.

mailbox bed (2)

Mailbox with 3 Loropetalum Emerald Snow and a clematis.

pink clematis

I just love clematis on the mailbox, so I picked this one up at Lowes.

boxwoods by walkway

Baby Gem boxwoods lining the walkway.

bed by house
Front bed by the house.

bed by front porch

Low growing shrubs by the house and these will only get 2 to 3’ high or so.  One camelia anchors the corner and will get taller.

down the hill

These beds have lots of azaleas and hydrangeas.

retaining wall will go here

And here’s the problem area that is left.  This is where a small retaining wall will go with pea gravel below where our tires will roll by the driveway, coming out of the garage.

curved beds

One more shot of the beds and you can see the curves it has.  Love those curves!  Beds should always have curves for interest.

angyostar vine

Fatshedera Angyo Star on the trellis. This is a beautiful variegated evergreen vine and looks similar to ivy.  Carmen said this should take over these trellis forms in a few years.  It’s not a fast growing plant though.

gardenia jubilation

Gardenia Jubiliation

baby gem boxwood

Baby Gem Boxwood

encore azaleas

Encore Azaleas

dear delores hydrangeas

Dear Delores Hydrangeas

Agapanthus Queen Mum

Agapanthus Queen Mum

Mojo Pittosporum

Pittosporum Mojo

Encore azalea

Encore Azalea white

mountain snow pieris

Pieris Mountain Snow

Loropetalum Emerald Snow

Loropetalum Emerald Snow

delta jazz crepe myrtle

Delta Jazz Crepe Myrtle

spirea little bonnie

Spirea Little Bonnie

crepe myrtle

Early Bird Crepe Myrtle

So, that is most of the plants that went in my yard, I think I covered them all.  I’m sure all of these are tried and true for the South, so you can’t go wrong.  You can find Southern Living plants at Lowes and Home Depot both, so check them out when you get a chance.

And don’t miss my beautiful friend, Carmen over at the Southern Living plant site too. She has lots of fun videos showing her favorite container gardening tips and she is so creative.

You can bet I’ll be sharing updates of my beautiful front yard all along the way.  I can’t wait to watch my garden grow!

- Rhoda


  1. Wow, wow, wow, Rhoda! Such a huge difference! I love how the front bed is curved a bit – so pretty. And I love all the plants you chose – of course, hydrangeas are my favorite! Fab job, girl!

  2. Outstandingly gorgeous!

  3. Diane Taylor says:

    Just amazing – I can hardly believe it is the same house and front yard!

  4. Rhoda, your yard is beautiful! Your new plants are the crowning jewel to your home! You have worked so hard throughout this process! I’m thrilled that Carmen helped you with your yard! Everything looks gorgeous!

  5. What a transformation to your home and yard! Looks absolutely beautiful!!!

  6. Beautiful transformation!!! For those of you that can’t afford to buy all these plants you can do as I do. I go to my local Lowe’s on Wednesday when they are thinning out the plants that look sick. A few weeks ago I brought 3 hydrangea plants for .50 cents each originally $15. They just needed some love and are looking really healthy now. Last week I was able to pick up some tropical plants for the porch for $3 each originally $25 and cut off the bad and they are looking really good. Most of my front yard hostas and bushes I brought this way also.

  7. Barbara Hunnicutt Moore says:

    Ab-so-lute-ly fabulous! God is GOOD!

  8. Carmen did a great job designing this garden for you. Everything is just beautiful and will be a real asset to your home. So glad you have an irrigation line to keep everything watered. Enjoy!

  9. Sandra Kay Hayes says:

    It all looks so wonderful. I can already smell them!! The gardenia’s and all of them will be heavenly!! Enjoy. I just moved into a really small condo(977 sq. feet), and I don’t have any outdoor space. I really hate that. The landscaping though for the condo is very nice. At least I have that to look at. Your whole house is just beautiful!! Thanks for the post. Now get some sweet tea and ENJOY!!!

  10. Just beautiful! Your home looks great, Rhoda!

  11. I love your solution to the floating chimney. That’s a genius way to make it look right. Good for you, Rhoda. It’s all lovely.

  12. Oh my goodness, Rhoda! I’m just catching up from a long absence from your progress because I have been busy doing to other folks’ yards what Carmen has done to yours! Don’t you just love it! Thanks for sharing your plant list. I love seeing the selections of other designers…just so I’m not missing out on some great plant! You are going to love the transformation, especially in the next several weeks. And, great job, Carmen! You have done our profession proud!

  13. Cass, I do the same thing! There are always plants in that section that just need a bit of TLC to rebound. Rhoda, you did an awesome job. I, too, absolutely ADORE hydrangeas and ordered some last spring from a mail order catalog. They didn’t die, but didn’t do much of anything. This year I pulled two of the sickliest ones up and potted them and am just pouring the water on. They are finally growing and looking beautiful. So drown those babies to get them to grow!


  14. Lovely! When I was doing my front & back yards, I made a point of taking a photo (or 20) of the house on the same date for years. It’s fun to look back at those shots now. As any gardner will tell you, plants come and go, some WON’T go and nature has her way with the rest.

  15. Rhoda I have been reading your blog for a while now and have written you a few times. I have watched how you have come from the depths of despair and have been amazed at how you maintained such a humble and positive attitude Your faith in God was evident to everyone and that was a blessing to see in you everyday. I watched as you transformed this house into a beautiful home. I can say that I have been amazed at your energy. Now today you have a lovely home anyone would want to live in. I am blessed to witness how God has blessed you. He IS sovereign and does still bless those who are faithful and this was evident in you every time you gave Him credit. I am so happy for you. Truly you have risen out of the ashes into a wonderful blessed woman. And I say good for you. I’m so happy for ya

    • Thank you, Carole! That really sums up my story so well. Thank you for being a part of my journey, I do feel so incredibly grateful every single day.

  16. aimee coker says:

    Just BEAUTIFUL! So inspiring!

  17. Leah Turner says:

    Halleliujah is all I can say!

  18. Lisa Thamert says:

    It looks wonderful. We are in the process or redoing our front beds. Would you share how they are arranged in the beds against the foundation?

  19. I’m so darn happy for you Rhoda. In two short years you’ve tuned this into a lovely home with a yard you can be so proud of. You’ll be an inspiration to the neighborhood to show ‘owners pride’ and maybe they’ll spruce things up too. You’ll have so much fun puttering in that yard. I can’t wait to see those new windows go into your den….what a great idea!

    I’d like to make a suggestion based on experience. Get you some fat black zip ties at Lowes and tie those trellises to each other so that the pattern stays lined up. It will keep them from getting loose and wonky crooket over time.

  20. How pretty! All my favorite shrubs and flowers, especially hydrangeas! It’s so much fun to watch everything grow. You’re going to love your new yard!

  21. Rhoda, it is amazing to see the before and after pictures, especially the after. Again, I go back and look at all the gardening pictures, getting new ideas each time. Your yard is beautiful! I can only imagine how excited and happy you are each day as you look out the window at this view. As you learn how to care for these plants, hope you will share with us: time to fertilizer, type of fertilize, time to prune and general care for plants. Thanks again for sharing with us. You are a great inspiration to many women. God bless you and family. Tell your father Happy Father’s Day from one of your fans in Georgia.

  22. Beautiful! We’re looking at a house that has a very plain front yard. Should we buy it, I’ll be coming back to your post for ideas. You do a good job explaining and providing photographs.

  23. What a great transformation! Thanks so much for listing all of the plant names!

  24. It looks beautiful. What a blessing this blog has been for you in so many ways. I know for those of us who read it, we get blessed, too. Enjoy!

  25. Oh, Rhoda! I am so happy for you!! What an amazing journey your house has been on. If houses could talk, just imagine what this one would say–from “Oh, thank you, Lord, someone is going to love me again” on the day that you bought it; then “I’m feeling so much better now” on the day you moved in; to “Just look at me now!” today!!

    As I’ve said before, it’s truly a privilege to watch as you go on this journey. All these good things are gifts from God to YOU, a truly deserving woman. Your hard work coupled with God’s many blessings have created a truly beautiful home. I am proud for you and proud of you!!

  26. Beautiful. I just recently found your website & already have found some great ideas to decorate my home & yard. Thanks for the ideas & may God continue to bless you and your family.

  27. Rhoda,
    I am super happy for you, everything looks great. I can only imagine what it will look like in a couple of years after everything grows a bit. I adore boxwoods and love how they line your sidewalk.
    They can come to my house next if they like, I would love a landscape makeover.

  28. Wonderful! So happy for you! Love your uplifting blog!

  29. Rhoda, everything is just lovely…So excited for you! Cass, I really appreciate that great tip!

  30. Truly beautiful! I envy your southern climate that lets you plant agapanthus unprotected, and your acitd soil for the lovely azaleas. The chiney solution is especially nice; the trllis was an amazing find. You did forget some views, however. I really want to see it from INSIDE the house. What do YOU see from the front door and different windows? It must make your heart sing to look out in the morning an see this beauty. congratulations!.

  31. I really like the floating fireplace solution. Such a beautiful yard, and our afternoon thunderstorms are giving it all a good watering.

  32. You get my vote for “Yard of the Month!!”

  33. Deb DelPazzo says:

    Rhoda, it looks amazing!!!! What a transformation! I’m sure it brightens your mood every time you look out a window and see that gorgeous garden and it will only get more beautiful with time. I have one suggestion to spruce things up a bit more and that would be to pressure wash your front walk. It would brighten it up and look practically new, Enjoy your beautiful yard … you deserve it!!!

  34. Magnifient Rhoda…you must be so over the moon happy!!!…

  35. Just beautiful Rhoda!! Love all your plant selections and what I love most is the pine straw! There’s just something about pine straw that is so “Southern!” Can’t wait to see once it starts filling in! I agree you need to be the yard of the month! 🙂 Kathy

  36. Just fabulous, Rhoda! I’m going to look for that evergreen vine because I’d like to disguise the compost bin in our garden. You are an inspiration to me and so many others. Just goes to show that you can’t keep a good woman down!

  37. Patty Lucas says:

    Your yard is beautiful. I have never heard of those vines before. I had a real problem with ivy taking over in my front yard so I am wary of any vines. Unfortunately we have more shade in the front so we are limited to what we can grow. Our Hydrangeas are just getting green (I am in CT) and I can’t wait for them to bloom, they are my favorite too. Isn’t it nice when you have someone help you who really know what they are doing. I’m so glad they helped.

  38. ~Rhoda~
    What a beautiful yard, isn’t it amazing what a little TLC will do !!
    Again just so very happy for you Rhoda 🙂
    ANd enjoy your Sunday with your daddy on Father’s Day,
    Joys of Jesus .
    p.s. thank you for the info on the Preen !!

  39. You have done an amazing job transforming the front of your house into something special. It looks wonderful.

  40. What a difference! Now you just have to add water and LOVE!

    So happy for you girlfriend.


  41. It looks great, Rhoda! I can’t even believe it’s already been two years … time flies! Keep up the great work.

  42. What beautiful plants! I too can not believe it has been two years already. Time flies when you are blessed with such an adventure in life! God has a plan and it is amazing to see his blessings bestowed upon you after all you went thru.

  43. Love your new landscaping. We bought a newish house almost two years ago that had no landscaping and no front steps. While I did not get SL to help me, we are looking much better….and I will be doing a post about my new landscaping too.

  44. It will be a picture when they are established, I must admit, boxwood is my favourite and I have it at the front of my house.

    I have just finished my home office and if all goes well will post the reveal tomorrow or the day after, I am trying to get good shots today, I over did the ISO on my previous photos so re-shooting. Hope you get a chance to come across to my blog and give me your opinion as you put together rooms so wonderfully.

    Lee 🙂

  45. What an amazing “before and after” transformation. I love hydrangeas, and I can only imagine how even more beautiful your landscape will look when they are full grown..

  46. Looks great. I am looking forward to seeing how the plants hid that open chimney area.

  47. Screendoorgirl 3 says:

    So beautiful! What a great job. I happen to enjoy the sound of a car on pea gravel. Sounds like home. Thanks for sharing your lovely garden, Rhoda.

  48. VintageBeachgirl says:

    What a spectacular job you, Carmen, Southern Living Plants and of course the plants themselves have done to make your front yard a showcase for the neighborhood!
    The property value of your home (and maybe the other homes on your street) surely has gone up with the improvements you’ve made. The lanscaping is lovely and will become even more so with time.
    You have been blessed with a gift for design Rhoda and it’s obvious Carmen has as well, the layout compliments the property beautifully and y’all have made great plant choices. You’ll have something blooming almost continuously spring, summer and fall with beautiful foliage in the winter months. I’m so happy for you!!!
    I’m familiar with Southern Living plants except for the Fatshedera Angyo Star vines on your trellis, what an inspiration putting those at the base of your fireplace, it already looks spectacular and I love your choice of trellis. If my husband hadn’t outlawed vines in our yards I’d be looking at those, they’re beautiful.
    I used quite a few Southern Living plants when re-landscaping the beach cottage yard late last summer, they’re looking great this year, very healthy and have bloomed beautifully.
    Like several of your readers, I’m also a shopper of Lowe’s ‘cast off rack’ at times, I bought six of some of the saddest specimens of Texas Sage from our local Lowe’s
    @ $2.00 each in late season last year, they were leggy, one sided and just generally sad looking. With a good bit of selective pruning they’re almost completely renovated now and have been blooming since early spring.
    Thanks so much for sharing yet another transformation of your lovely home Rhoda, the photographs are great and I loved seeing the ‘before and afters’. I’m sure your new landscape will give you much pleasure in the years to come.
    What a thrill, driving up your street, turning into the driveway, knowing that’s YOUR beautifully landscaped home must be now! Bet you walk around admiring all that loveliness and do the ‘dance of joy’ occasionally…… ok, maybe not. Congratulations Rhoda on a job well done!

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