A classic two-story white colonial house adorned with festive Christmas decorations, featuring red wreaths on each window and garlands along the porch railings, set against a clear blue sky.

Does this look familiar?

This was the house at Christmastime.

Look at that yard. 2023 was a tough season for the yard and the beds and the general vegetation here at the house. We had a snowstorm and two big freezes after everything started to bloom and then there was hail and a TON of unexpected rain.


Double sigh.

That green stuff is basically weeds covering the dirt.

But now? There’s hope. We had a sprinkler system put in and seeded the yard with Bermuda that loves the sun.

And this is 2024.

A new year.

A new plan.


And I can’t wait to show you the before and after.

A stately two-story white house with black shutters and a central front door, flanked by two large windows on each side, all underneath a clear blue sky. the house has a welcoming front porch with white columns and is surrounded by a neatly manicured lawn, complemented by a symmetrical garden pathway leading up to the steps.

You can see how much better the yard looks here.

We still have far to go my friends, but this picture was taken several weeks ago and it looks TONS better now. The entire front yard has pretty much filled in and the yard on this side of the sidewalk is only about 50% dirt.

I’m showing you this picture because this is the mock up of the new beds.

We are working with the most AMAZING company, Southern Living Plant Collection. This collection is designed for gardeners with innovative new plants designed to solve specific landscape challenges (like when you lose an entire Pittosporum hedge). Each plant in the collection is the result of years of plant evaluations, plant trials and research. The Southern Living Plant Collection helped us put together this entire planting plan for these sad, neglected beds. I can tell you now (especially since we just planted them) that these are beautiful, quality plants that are designed to last.

And lasting is what we need around here.

(total aside: whenever anyone asks me where I got the beautiful plants in my yard? I tell them the Southern Living Plant Collection and they always nod and tell me those are their favorite plants, too).

You can see there will be three layers of plants in the beds (I’ll show you the exact plants in a moment). The front beds are 10″ deep so there’s plenty of room for rows of plants.

A garden layout diagram displaying plant varieties assigned to the left front bed, including 'sunshine' ligustrum, 'ever white' agapanthus, 'miss lemon' abelia, and 'baby gem' and 'babylon beauty' boxwood, with the quantity of each plant indicated.

A landscape design plan indicating the layout of various plants along a foundation, with symbols representing different species and sizes.

A diagram showing different stages of hybrid speciation, illustrating how two species labelled 'a' and 'b' interbreed to create a hybrid species 'ab', which through backcrossing with species 'b', eventually leads to a new stable hybrid species 'bw'. the process is reflected across five columns: parental species 'a' and 'b', initial hybrid 'ab', backcross hybrid 'abw', and final hybrid 'bw', with each column showing the morphological diversity represented by star and gear-like shapes.

Here are the plants for the left and right front beds.

There’s a Crape Myrtle on the left hand corner to anchor the space.

The existing boxwood in the front beds will be moved to the back of the house to fill out those beds.

There will be three rows of plants. Closest to the house, there will be a row of Abelia with a row of Ever White Agapanthus in front of that and then a row of the prettiest creeping Boxwood in front of that.

Here are the plants we are using (so you can see more about them to see if they will work in your garden):

A sunny day showcasing the corner of a white house with black shutters, surrounded by a grassy lawn starting to green in spring. a budding garden with freshly planted flowers and a well-manicured bush adds charm to the tranquil suburban setting.

A color-coded garden layout plan depicting the arrangement of various plants and shrubs, with specific quantities and types such as skimmia, red sky ilex, white wedding hydrangea, and hello darlin' blueberry, including existing plants marked with gray circles.

The beds wrap around the side of the house.

There are several plants that we are leaving in this bed including several grasses and some boxwoods.

This is the side of the house that faces the corner street that you see when you drive by.

Here, we are adding Blueberry and Ilex and Hydrangea. I’m so excited about this new hydrangea that can take full sun (and it is doing SO WELL).

Here are the plants we are using (so you can see more about them to see if they will work in your garden):

A neatly manicured front yard with a white house, featuring a well-kept garden with rows of blossoming white flowers and lush green shrubs on a sunny day.

Garden layout plan illustrating the placement of various shrubs and plants, including yew, mahonia, nandina, and grass, with markers indicating the quantity of each type.

On the right side the bed gets quite a bit more shade.

Here we have exisiting Hostas and some other grasses.

We are adding Mahonia and a Plum Yew.

Here are the plants we are using (so you can see more about them to see if they will work in your garden):

And now?

Are you ready for a little before and after?

A two-story colonial style house with a white facade and black shutters, featuring a covered porch with seating, surrounded by a well-manicured front yard makeover and clear blue sky.

From this.

A two-story white house with black shutters and a double porch, situated amidst lush green grass after a front yard makeover, surrounded by trees and flowering bushes.

To this.



Let me show you the side yards to so you can see the complete tranformation.

A two-story white house with black shutters and a small balcony, surrounded by a well-kept front yard makeover and young trees under a clear blue sky.

From this.

A two-story white house with black shutters and a front yard makeover, featuring the number 701. Landscaped with green grass and small plants under a clear blue sky.

To this.

A two-story white house with black trim and a front yard makeover, surrounded by a well-manicured lawn and landscaping under a clear blue sky.

From this.

A white house with black shutters surrounded by a manicured garden and blooming trees. The front yard features a small porch with pink flowers and a winding path leading to a lush lawn.

To this.

A close-up of a lush, green shrub with vibrant leaves, some of which are tinged with a frost-like residue, set against a soft-focus background of soil during a front yard makeover.

A well-maintained front yard with rich brown mulch, featuring clusters of white flowers and green shrubs. A small black garden light is visible on the left.

White flowers bloom in sharp focus against a backdrop of soft green foliage and rich, dark soil in this stunning front yard makeover.

Fresh green leaves sprouting on a network of bare, woody shrub branches in a front yard makeover, highlighting new growth against a blurred gray background.

Close-up of a green boxwood plant with vibrant small leaves in rich, dark soil, essential for a front yard makeover. The focus is on the lush, bright foliage under natural light.

We installed the plants about two weeks ago and they are doing SO WELL.

I attribute it to the quality of the plants and how well they are designed for our soil.

I had no idea how much I would love all the choices (especially the Agapanthus) and the hydrangea has even more leaves on it now and it loves it’s new home.

Here are all the plants we installed again:

A symmetric front yard makeover of a two-story white house with a central pathway leading to a porch framed by green lawns and adorned with shrubs and trees.

And in amazing news—remember when we added that new pea gravel eating area to the corner of the house?

And you all asked me to show you a pulled back version of the house so you could see it?

Here’s the view from the street.

You can see it there on the right.

Al fresco dining setup on a pea gravel patio in a lush garden, featuring a black and white striped umbrella, a classic wooden table set with refreshments, surrounded by vibrant flowers and greenery.

A quaint outdoor dining area in a lush front yard with a black umbrella, surrounded by vibrant green shrubs and bushes under tall trees, with a white building in the background.

An outdoor dining table set for two, with plates of food, glasses of lemonade, and a vase of flowers, in a front yard setting with lush greenery in the background.

We eat out here almost every night.

And I literally sit and stare at the yard.

It’s come so far in such a short time.

A person stands on the porch of a two-story white house with black shutters and columns, holding a coffee mug. The house number 701 is displayed above the porch, surrounded by newly planted flowers

Here’s where we started.

Five years ago we bought back the house and the journey started. I’m going to share pictures at the end of the summer so you can see how well the plants did and how much everything grew and filled in the spaces.

I can’t believe I’m standing on the steps of the home I grew up in surrounded by the most beautiful green grass and those incredible flower beds?

And now?

This house that I love so much?

It’s ready to SHINE. 🙂

A lush front yard makeover featuring a patio set under a parasol surrounded by dense green shrubs and colorful flowers. Text overlay: "before and after front yard makeover" with a gardening tag.

disclosure: I was so fortunate to partner with The Southern Living Plant Company who sponsored this yard makeover.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Lee Stearns Lee Stearns

    I LOVE my plants and yard! It’s my golf, my pickleball, my therapy! Give me yarding any day! Yours is looking fabulous! Grass is full and lush, plants are perfect choices- I love my sunshine ligustrums for color and texture! It’s all so perfect and so “ you”! And the pea gravel paradise- perfection!! We eat outside everyday too! And… painting your monogram on the porch planters is a showstopper if I DO say so!😁😁 Happy weekend!

  2. Image for Sue P. Sue P.

    Beautiful! How exciting to have your landscaping ready for a new season. Your house and yard looks so pretty in every season! We're cleaning out planting-beds and getting our porch flower boxes ready for colorful plants and flowers.

  3. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    What a wonderful update! The landscaping matches the beautiful stately home you have! Can’t wait to see pictures as it grows. I can only imagine how much you love it! ❤️

  4. Image for Tracey Enright Tracey Enright

    Karianne!! It looks spectacular!! The house, the yard, the pea gravel patio, it all looks in perfect harmony! I can’t believe it’s already 5 years since you moved back to your childhood home. I just love your house so much! Yours is the house I’ve always dreamed of having in my mind. Happy Friday Friend!

  5. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    Gorgeous. I love a pretty landscaped yard. That is surely what you have accomplished. So gorgeous. The whole lovely house inside and out.

  6. Image for Judy Young Judy Young

    It’s absolutely gorgeous KariAnne! You must be so proud. Your house is a showstopper to begin with and your new landscaping truly enhances it. Beware that the rabbits like Bermuda grass! I speak from experience.

  7. Image for DeMarie Ingraham DeMarie Ingraham

    Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together! I love your choices, especially the agapanthus. I love those plants, but our climate is not suitable to grow them here in SW Nebraska. I am still going to try and grow them in pots. I love hydrangeas also, and luckily those will grow here. Your yard now does your beautiful home justice.

  8. Image for Teddee Grace Teddee Grace

    Your seeded Bermuda looks great. I thought you had put down sod. That sprinkler system is going to make a huge difference! Everything looks great. I can see why you are eating out every night where you can just enjoy the show! We are still getting a mix of rain and snow here in the foothills of the Rockies! However, the fruit trees are blooming, the trees are starting to leaf out and I got my balcony transitioned from winter to summer a couple of weeks ago when we had a few days of really nice weather.

  9. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    It looks absolutely fabulous, KA!!!! Love it! And sure do love your outdoor eating area. I soooo want to sit and sip a lemonade and chat with you there. GREAT improvements. Well done, guys!!!!

  10. Image for Sue Sue

    So pretty! I love landscaping/mowing/yard work and am thankful for you to share your beautiful new yard and flowerbeds.

  11. Image for Jem Jem

    What a transformation, KariAnne, and it’s only going to get more beautiful with time! We are thinking of planting the white wedding hydrangea in our landscaping too.

  12. Image for Kris Kris

    I was busy yesterday and didn't see the post, so I'm late to the party--but this is fabulous! Our yard is, ahem, not great, so I'm (in the nicest possible way) envious of yours. You have a much longer season of being able to be outside than we do in Michigan, and now you have a great space to enjoy being outside!

  13. Image for Teresa Teresa

    Love your landscaping and have actually copied and pasted info for your 3 rows of front plants. I am not seeing the Miss Lemon Abelia in the landscaping back row but like the look without too. Thank you for all the details. Your plants will work in our area. I'm excited.

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