Our front yard has been getting progressively shabbier these past few months, as our grass was browning blade by blade.  Poor soil and a lack of water had resulted in this patchy, dry mess:

We decided this week that it was time to take action and get rid of our dying grass altogether.  I never realized what a maintenance headache grass can be, and we much prefer the look of plants anyhow, so we went to work yesterday afternoon pulling up all the grass in our front yard.  Shane was resistant to taking this project on this weekend, since we hadn’t done much planning, researching, or budgeting, and things certainly got off to a bumpy start yesterday morning (me dramatically crying “Why don’t you ever want to do anything around the house?!”, Shane accusing me of being impulsive and illogical…), but we eventually re-opened the lines of rational communication and really started to get things done.  Shane did the hardest part, in actually ripping the clumps of grass out.  I assisted by shaking the dirt from them and hauling them around to our yard waste bin out back.  Within a couple of hours, we had our very own little grass-free dirt patch.  We got up this morning and headed straight to Home Depot and our new favorite local nursery to pick up compost, mulch, and plants.  The installation of the plants took some time, as we wanted to dig big enough holes to surround each plant with a decent amount of compost.  We also ran into quite a few rocks and chunks of concrete – with soil quality like this, it’s not surprising that our grass wasn’t doing well.  Anyhow, nine big holes, six bags of compost, and two bags of mulch later, we were the proud owners of this nice little yard:

We’re pretty pleased with the results.  It was tempting to overplant, as things look a little sparse right now, but many of our plants have doubled or even tripled in size in the past year (hence the lavender forests that you see in the foreground and background of the photo), so we will just have to wait patiently for things to fill in a little bit.  I’m excited to watch the plants take shape, bloom, and (hopefully) fluorish.  There’s so much satisfaction to be had in a completed home improvement project – I keep looking out the window, appreciating the progress we made today.  We’ve had several neighbors come by and comment on how nice things look, which feels so good for a novice gardener like myself.

And cheers to my husband for a job well-done!  He was one tired, dirty, sweaty, blistered man by the end of the day.  I’m off now to pour him well-deserved glass of wine…


  1. la v says:

    hey! looks great! good job you guys!

  2. david says:

    nice work, neighbors! we’ve neglected our backyard for two years now and it’s pretty embarrassing… you’re giving us some much needed motivation!

  3. Jason says:

    Nice! I cannot wait to see the new digs (har, pun intended!)

  4. Pat says:

    Looks very nice, the hard work was well worth it according to the pictures. Shane gets that not wanting to do things around the house from his Dad. How is the grass out back doing?