Before and After - the Front Yard

I have done a lot of before and afters now - the dining room, living room, reading nook, kitchen and the girl's bedroom. Now the front yard.

Do you garden? Is it something that you like to do? I don't. Not really. It's not the work of it - I can get my hands dirty and I don't mind raking leaves. But looking through catalogues and picking out plants? Not interested. It's nothing personal, I just have a lot of other interests to be fulfilled before I jump on the gardening bandwagon.

But I do love the look of a landscaped yard and I enjoy sitting outside in the summer - bbqing (grilling for you American readers), reading, dinners with friends - I look forward to all of it.

Our front yard had been landscaped by the previous owners. Nothing too fancy. The challenging and expensive work had been done - interlocking brick sidewalks and rock retaining walls. However, the grass was mossy and with the shade from the neighbour's tree, we were never going to be able to improve it. 

Here's the before:

Another shot from the realtor. Shrubs were too close to the house and the roots were already growing into the drainage pipes (we had to sort that out before any landscaping could be done). Access to the sewer was covered by a square of wood. And that mossy grass.

You can see that the steps and the walkways and the retaining wall were fine - luckily we didn't need to make any changes there.

I'd like to tell you that I did all sorts of research into which plants to buy and where to place them in the yard but that would be lying. So through word of mouth I found a landscaper who took our desires of an easy to maintain yard with mostly native plants and made a plan.

Here are the plants:

The bottom left isn't black and white - it's a dark green grass on white and grey stone right under the living room window.

And here is what it looks like just after it was completed this week:

No more grass - just plants that are sparse but will grow in a year from now. A little more street appeal. Next up is the back yard. Actually, the back deck. The backyard is fine, postage stamp size that it is. But the deck is a blank slate. Time to measure and order some furniture. I am thinking Moroccan lounging with the ability for outdoor movies shown against the house this summer.

What is your outdoor space like? How do you use it?