4820 Washington Blvd. was a train wreck a year ago.

4820 Washington Blvd. was a train wreck a year ago.

A year ago, the project at 4820 Washington Boulevard was in full swing. The curb appeal of the house was non existent. In fact, a train wreck may be the best way to describe the way the house looked from the street. Just as inside, the outside had to be torn apart before it could be put back together. There was really no landscaping to speak of in the front beds. Large overgrown Juniper, many layers of ground cover and what I call “weed bushes” and “weed trees” grew out front. Once the large trees and bushes were removed, I myself, tackled the gnarly ground cover. Once it was out of the way I could see an opportunity for year round color.

Just a few days ago.

Just a few days ago.

I designed soft curved beds in the front which contain knockout roses, holly, magnolia, and are maxed out with limelight hydrangea. I may be the most patient person I know, but when July 15 rolled around this year and I still had no buds on these promised beauties, I panicked a bit. Sure enough, just a few days later, the buds and then blooms began to appear. Right now, the Limelight are about 2/3 of the way to Full Bloom status. It was amazing to me how in a matter of days, the front of the house was softened and brightened by the large, light green, cone shaped clusters of flowers. The reward of the late bloomers is the color changes of the flowers all the way through October. I look forward to watching the show! image                     20130730-213740.jpg

We kept two trees in the front from the original yard. The smaller pink Dogwood rests in the bed right outside the dining room widow. Next to it sits a bird bath. The birds oscillate from Dogwood branch to bath……..bath to Dogwood Branch. The large white flowered Dogwood was one of the most beautiful in the neighborhood this Spring. Finally, not overshadowed by all the other elements of the old yard, created a lovely canopy of Spring beauty. A Robin chose it as the perfect place to build her nest and lay her eggs. The constant on the left side of the house is the moss covered bench discovered during the excavating. One of the original foundation bases was broken during construction so I got two new ones and placed the unbroken original leg in the center. I found out from the former owner of the house that the bench was there when his parents bought the house in the 50’s. I would love to know just how old it is.

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I have changed the window boxes out four times since the onset of Spring. I started out with Lavender, Heather and Pansies in the early Spring. Once it got warmer I placed New Guinea Impatiens in the large planters in bulk. Realizing the East facing front gets too much sun for the Impatiens, I replaced them with a mix of Geraniums and Calla Lilies. The Lavender will make it’s home in the South facing bed along the back walk and the Heather and Impatiens are living in the beds surrounding the patio right now. I placed the Calla Lily plants in front of a trio of Evergreens which we grouped in the back corner of the yard. For the remaining days of Summer, the window boxes in front are filled with Pink Geraniums and Purple Vinca. In mid-September mums will bring a Fall like feel to the house and in November it all will be replaced by greenery and pinecones for the Holidays. I really could not be happier with how the curb appeal is shaping up a year after we started this project. It makes me smile when I see walkers smile as they glance at the front yard. I imagine they are remembering the train wreck they saw this time last year.

The window boxes filled for the Holidays.

The window boxes filled for the Holidays.

The view out the front door last September.

The view out the front door last September.

The view out the front door today.

The view out the front door today.

Wouldn't you spend time among the hydrangeas if you were this color?

Wouldn’t you spend time among the hydrangeas if you were this color?

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