by Cait

Alternate title: The One In Which I Explain Why My Glutes Are Sore.

Yesterday Robert and I took on a spur-of-the-moment free project when we decided to yank the dead&dying bushes out of the front yard. With Robert’s truck. (Well, aside from the 2-3 completely dead ones I yanked out by hand.)

planterSo long, suckers!

Robert was planning on just mowing everything flat (flat and green is how we roll around here), when we started discussing how terrible our bushes looked. Most of them were dead or dying, all of them were poorly spaced & being choked out by annoying weed vines, and the only ones that were even doing semi-well were blocking the (empty) planter. In total we ended up pulling out somewhere around 10-12 bushes, chopping down a small oak tree growing right beside the house, and digging out a few small plants that were in stupid locations.

Only problem? Now we need to decide what to (eventually) do in the bushes’ place, because the bottom of our house looks naked. And kind of trashy. And also? We still have $0 to budget toward landscaping. But at least the dead/dying bushes are gone! So… Please suggest your favorite cheap curb appeal solutions and drought resistant plants!

In other news: the bits and pieces we’ve ordered for the bathroom are starting to come in! And I’m in love. If loving a shower diverter escutcheon or a sink faucet spout is wrong then I don’t want to be right.

Tonight should be a fun evening of bathroom demo. Prior to bush removal we cleared the guest bathroom of all things salvageable. The plan was to work on the yard and then demo the bathroom, but the yard took so long that we ended up collapsing on the couch with pizza instead. to start demo during the evenings this week. Robert promises to bring home a respirator or two so that we are breathing in nastiness while hammering out the stupid cabinet and ugly tile.


20 Responses to “Bushwhacked”

  1. Hmmm, how about some lantana in the planter? I think that it thrives in hot weather….Or find someone selling “ditch lily” bulbs on Craig’s List. They like hot weather too and come up on the side of the road so they can’t be that hard to grow! Oh, and we’ve had luck with rosemary, which smells lovely and can be used in recipes. :)

    • Thanks Leslie! I Googled Lantana and that is pretty much what I was looking for! Also, I really want to try growing herbs outside, maybe they’re do better than my poor basil plants in the kitchen. I’ve heard good things about salad-y type plants (as far as them being pretty and hardy and edible) but I don’t know which ones will grow in the south.

      I love this post on Urban Grace Interiors, and I love her resulting garden. Any idea what that purple leaf-y thing is in the third picture down of that second link? I seem to remember my mom growing some of that and it being pretty hardy.

      • I just asked my mom if she knew the name of it and she said she thinks it’s a type of Wandering Jew.

      • My husband and I have had a LOT of trouble with growing basil, but rosemary has been easy-peasy! Maybe lavender would work for you too, if you want somehting purple.

        • Glad to now I’m not the only one who can’t grow basil! I don’t necessarily want something purple, that plant just seemed to thrive for my mom. I would love to try growing lavendar though, It smells so good! And rosemary would be fun, too.

  2. I am excited to see what you choose. We have some shrubs in the front of our new place that we are about to get rid of. The shrubs are too big and blocking the house. So if we figure out what we are going to replace it with I’ll let you know. We plan to keep the cost very low. Good luck!

    • Thanks Jordan, that would be great! Right now we’re thinking colorful, hardy flowering plants in planters, but low cost bushes would be a great option, too. Good luck to you, too!

  3. One of my favorite things to do is to collapse on the couch with pizza after a long day of house accomplishment :)

    I wish I could help, but I know jack about plants. My method is this.. I go to the local garden center and pick out things I like. Since it’s local, I assume everything there is safe to use (I don’t want any foreign plants messing up my ecosystem!) I know the names of nothing. We have to replace a few bush things that died, that are in groups in our landscaping so I guess I’m going to have to figure out what they actually are this time! Or just take a picture with my phone and run around the garden center trying to match them….

    • Totally agree about the pizza :)

      Haha I’m glad I’m not the only one that doesn’t know the names of anything! I actually texted my mom and asked her about one of her plants by saying “Do you know the name of the purple leafy plant that grows beside the carport under the hose?” Turns out it’s a kind of Wandering Jew. I think the photo method works, too!

  4. You know what makes me crazy about landscaping? I always think, ‘Sure, this looks great now– in season– but what will it look like in the dead of winter?!’ I wish someone would start a photo website of what plants look like in the winter.

    PS: Keep your plant receipts because stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot offer a money back guarantee!

    • Haha so true! Someone needs to have a blog about winter landscaping.

      Thanks for that tip! I think I remember hearing that. I should have kept the receipts for my elephant bush and Robert’s cactus… sigh.

  5. ok Cait… I’ve found THE ONE for you! It’s a Butterfly Bush. Eric and I just bought one for part of our front yard landscaping. They vow to be extremely drought tolerant, and once established hardly ever need to be watered. On top of that, they can handle both the heat and the cold and flower from early spring to late summer! Hard to argue with that- color for months! Also, they come in a huge array of colors. Here’s a quick link for some info, but I also just recommend googling “butterfly bush images”: http://www.greatgardenplants.com/index.php?pageId=602

    Also, I would get these at a nursery since they will have more options- our Lowe’s and Home Depot did not carry them. We also learned a ton about watering and which plants are easiest to care for from the nursery guy since we are first-timers. VERY helpful, and they too offer a money-back guarantee! :)

  6. oh ya… one more thing. We bought the dwarf variety (2-3 ft tall), but they also come in larger varieties and for younger plants, they are around $15. :) Ok… that’s all!

  7. We always check out our local craigslist for plants when we are looking for something to add to our yard (sometimes you can even find some nice indoor plants as well).

    We almost always find something worth bringing home when we do. The best part is that if it isn’t already free, it is waaaaaay closer than Home Depot or a nursery will ever let you get. And as if that weren’t good enough, most of the plants you can find people trying to offload on CL are native species so they should be able to take hold and sink their root-toes in in a jiffy!

    But be careful! (I know this all to well) Make sure you have a plan for your yard before you start looking. It is really easy to go overboard and buy a huge hodgepodge of plants that dont even remotely work together. Haha

    Good luck!! Cant wait to see what you guys come up with because I know FL landscaping is a pain!!

    • Thanks for those tips, B! I hadn’t even thought of buying plants on Craigslist! (Which is kind of silly, because I knew you could get peoplet to remove them for you on CL.)

  8. hey, if you are crafty and can paint you could paint like a mural or something on the front of the planter till you get it planted with herbs or something. just a thought.

    • Thanks Vicki! Funny you should mention that, I’ve been thinking about painting house numbners on the front of it (kind of like this, I don’t think anyone can see out house numbers as they are.


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