disclosure:  This post is sponsored by Greenworks Tools.

(Be sure and check out the Lowe’s gift card giveaway at the end of the post)

Since we moved into the house two Thanksgivings ago, I have been patiently waiting for this moment.

Did I say patiently?


Maybe not so much.

Do you know how hard it is to wait on planting new landscaping when your kitchen looks like this and your bathroom looks like this and your house is full of boxes and 2 x 4 boards?  You look outside and see the weeds and the overgrown beds and you want to bring in the flowers.  But no one has time for planting or flowers or thinking about planting anything.  You can’t.  You are covered in dust and bits of vintage wallpaper.

But now?


It’s almost spring.

It’s almost here.

It’s almost time to dig a little dirt and meet some earthworms.

Here what the house looked like right after we bought it.

My father planted those shrubs almost 40 years ago.

The front beds were full of everything and nothing all at the same time.

We started by painting.

Here’s a picture of the house right after it was painted and before the front door was repaired.

The beds still need a haircut.

We couldn’t do anything that first spring because we were too busy with the remodel.  But in the fall we had all the beds cleaned up and took almost everything out and planted the basics.

Here’s the front of the house with new basics.

Metal edging was added and the soil was amended and we trimmed up the big bushes and planted boxwoods and hollies and rosemary.

The mulch was added.

And then?

We waited through fall.

And Thanksgiving.

And Christmas.

And now?


I mean, I know it’s January.  It’s still winter.  You might even have snow on the ground where you live.

But if you fail to plan?

You plan to fail.

So I’ve been pinning and talking to friends and nurseries and learning and dreaming and hoping and planning.

And here’s what we will be doing this spring.

Here is the basic plan for the front beds.

We are going to add in COLOR.  And flowers.  And bushes that kind of look like flowers.

On either side of the front steps we are adding dwarf firebush (these will have to be planted closer to summer).  We are also filling in the gaps with more rosemary (love the way it smells).  On the corner of each of the front beds, we will have a Vitex tree planted.

And then?

For more color?  We’ll add Salvia in different colors.

Here’s where one of the Vitex trees will go.  It’s hard to tell from the pictures, but there are two curves on each side of the front yard.  The curves are positioned at the farthest corner away from the house and need a focal point for the landscape.

I think these trees will be perfect.

We are adding more salvia over here for color and also delphiniums for another layer and texture.

On the far right of the house, there’s an entire bed for shade plants.  There are large trees that cover that side of the house and it gets dappled morning light and shade in the hot afternoons.  Shade plants are my favorites.  We are planting Elephant ears, four different types of Hostas and Caladiums.

And then?

I’m going to try Hydrangea.

I actually got them to grow here before.  I talked to them and amended the soil and told them they were beautiful and we had the prettiest Hydrangea plants before.

And fingers crossed we will again.

If you live in North Texas and have any opinions big or small on our landscape design, please speak now.

I need all the help I can get.

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disclosure:  This post was sponsored by Greenworks Tools.

All opinions are my own.

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  1. Image for Kris Kris

    You are multi-talented! Your landscaping will be beautiful. Seems funny to me to think about that, as we are in the midst of a major winter storm here in Michigan. Snow is my "landscaping" today!

  2. Image for sue sue

    This is just what I needed today, as we prepare for yet another polar vortex, possibly two? I must have several years worth of gardening magazines spread out on the dining table, along with my amateur sketches and ideas. Please keep us posted as the seasons progress, love to see how your projects turn out.

  3. Image for Cheapdiva Cheapdiva

    Like the other commentators, in the midst of a snowstorm that has shut many things down and expect a high on Wednesday of -13 with wind chills that are predicted between -40 to -50. Here in Wisconsin we don’t plant until mid-May. So, we’ll be looking at your pictures and wishing for our own spring to come early.

  4. Image for Lynn W Lynn W

    Yay!!! Love this post because I am a Master Gardner and anything to do with plants is my jam 🌺 Here is AZ we are still holding a couple of weeks just in case we get that last freeze. It does happen occasionally here into the first couple weeks of Feb. My yard is in need of pruning off the current freeze damage and in need of sprucing up after Winter. So excited for your front yard project!!!! Vitex is a great medium sized focal point tree as well as Texas Olive. So much fun and so many choices. Yours will be beautiful. Have fun watching it all grow🌞

  5. Image for Kathy Menold Kathy Menold

    Your house is so great and your plans for landscaping wi l just enhance it's beauty. I love Vitex with their lovely blue flowers but be aware they attract lots of pollinators including bees and wasps. If anyone in your family have any problems with these you may want them to be planted farther away from the house. They also are vigorous growers and need yearly pruning to keep them in shape. I garden in North Carolina not Texas but just wanted to give you heads up on Vitex. I have a hedge of them out by our stream and one in a perennial garden away from the house.

  6. Image for Nan Nan

    Good morning, Vitex is on the invasive plant species list for Texas. Please don't plant it. Also, you will regret planting Elephant Ear, it spreads rapidly through the garden and is very difficult to get rid of. If you want that same look plant Caladiums or plant the Elephant Ears in pots, which you could sink in to the garden.

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Nan, Okay! Good to know on Vitex! That was highly recommended here! I planted Elephant Ears from bulbs in KY and they were fine? Do you think if you plant them from bulbs they spread as rapidly? Thanks for the input friend! karianne

  7. Image for Linda Linda

    Can’t wait to see the explosion of color around your home! We are covered by a new batch of snow in MN. It will be months before anything is blooming color besides white. Glad you’re trying hydrangeas, loved them at Thistlewood. Good luck!

  8. Image for Carrie Carrie

    This is the time of year I wish I lived in a more mild part of the U.S.~ I'm still snow covered here in PA and dreaming of warm breezes, bees and butterflies fluttering around flowers and long days of sunshine! I'll be feeling spring early through your plans! Thank you!

  9. Image for Debra Matcovich Debra Matcovich

    I’m so glad you have a plan, I wish I did. I did accomplish a lot though I took out a 4‘ x 25‘ hedge. I then planted boxwoods but not in hedge form. So last year I put in some lavender and some ground cover that flower. It looks very messy. What are your thoughts for something very small in between and in front of the box woods. Keep in mind the bed is long and narrow in front of my side garage. Thank you

    1. Image for Debra Matcovich Debra Matcovich

      Thank you for your quick response. I’m in the northeast, so yes we can grow them. I’ll see if they have a small variety of them.

  10. Image for Andrea Andrea

    I envy you today! Like most of your followers we are over our knees in snow with more coming! Can't wait to be out in the dirt :)

  11. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Blessings upon your head and your thumbs. I have been disappointed with my gardening results since we moved back here. I guess I got spoiled after living in a region where anything and everything you stuck in the ground just grew. I am looking forward to gleaning all the landscaping inspiration and tips from you my friend. Lisa

  12. Image for Denise V Cox Denise V Cox

    Karianne, It sounds wonderful!! I have always loved flowers, plants, and landscaping in general. And as you know, I LOVE COLOR!!! SOOOOO, I CAN'T WAIT to read about the progression of your design!!! 👍

  13. Image for judy feyen judy feyen

    Oh how I love to think about Spring planting. I am in Michigan and as Kris mentioned...we are in the early hours of a blizzard with 0 degree temps coming on Wed. Spring planting may be 3 or 4 month off for us northerners, but I love to hear about your plans. It will be beautiful!

  14. Image for JC at the uncommon pearl JC at the uncommon pearl

    Pretty. Pretty, pretty. This inspires me to get garden planning! I planted a teeny little Hydrangea in a wet and shady part of my courtyard off my master bedroom last year. We'll see how it does living through its first winter. They are my favorite flower...well one of my all time favorite flowers. 😉 I have my heart set on planting lots of lavendar in the dry and sunny part of the yard...hoping it looks like those lavendar fields of France. A girl can dream, right?

  15. Image for Kathie Kathie

    Agree. Don’t plant elephant ears and Vitex. Elephant ears multiply like rabbits and Vitex is really ugly during the winter. I consider it a trash tree. Otherwise sounds beautiful.

  16. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Love the design and all the color!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It will look beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gardening is my favorite and how I get through health hiccups. Enjoy!!!!

  17. Image for Jillian Jillian


  18. Image for sandi sandi

    Be careful about planting hydranga in the front part of your plot---it can get tall & leggy so better in the back row. Be sure, too, that they are not overexposed in the afternoon to hot TX sun. We put our coffee grounds on the top soil to add acidity here in central TX. When they are newly planted you will need to give extra water. I will be interested to see how the hostas work---love them but it is too hot here for them to flourish. The salvias should all do very well. I also think you may consider coloring your brick steps in a dark gray color or even in a soft black (that might show too much dirt). Please post lots of follow up photos.

  19. Image for PJ PJ

    You have some really pretty ideas. I am one that failed to plan thinking I could just buy any old Rosemary. Not so. It started getting a bit too large, so we moved it. It is now the size of a VW!. Can't wait to see how things come along.

  20. Image for Linda Linda

    IAM like the other lady...I would paint the steps a dark gray or black. They would blend in with your pretty home way more than the red...first thing you notice. Also I think if you have big 40 year old bushes they " date " a home, me personally I would dig them out and put new small ones and all your other great pretty ideas, except the elephant ears. It's your home so do what you and your family like ! You did ask for some ideas.... :-)

  21. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Love your blog! I just hate it when you have to jump to Instagram or Facebook to enter a contest. Some of us choose to not do Facebook or Instagram.....

    1. Image for Marcie Marcie

      I second that! No Facebook or Instagram for me either, and as a result am left out of the giveaways on blogs nowadays.

  22. Image for Amy Hayden Amy Hayden

    Beautiful! FYI, the Fire Bush is invasive as well, well hated in the invasive community, please avoid. There are other bushes that have berries for the birds that are not invasive. Ask at your nursery.

  23. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    It is a heat wave at 12 degrees here, and going to be 4 below zero on wednesday. Thinking of spring is lovely. Just remember rosemary likes a lot of sun and hydrangeas hardly any - and if you do hydrangea water in early morning and late afternoon twice a day,. And most importantly: hope you know that as pretty as they are Delphiniums are TOXIC to animals and humans - so be careful about those. Happy planning.

    1. Image for Lynne Parish Lynne Parish

      I've been waiting to read a comment by someone from West TX! We moved last February, we're in north central just on the cusp of being in West TX. It's either dry and dusty - or rainy and muddy here. There are some bushes on the side of the house, have no idea what they are. And I think they have powdery mildew. Will take them out and put charcoal in the ground to purify the soil. The front gets burned up by the afternoon sun, and we have a covered porch! The back patio gets dappled sun from too many trees (never thought I'd hear myself say that.). I love red salvia but always had it as a potted plant. I'll try some this year. Maybe in pots again, foliage has to be tough to survive out here. The previous owners let things go the last few years, so maybe I just ought to get it cleaned up, let the soil rest and see what happens next year.

  24. Image for Shelia P. Shelia P.

    Hi Karianne! Your garden is going to be beautiful. I’d nix that Vitex but as for the elephant ears, just make sure they are the gargantuan ones. I live in Mississippi on the coast and we have those great big beautiful ones. They don’t spread like crazy either. A new one only comes up when the old leaf dies off. So make sure you get the right ones! 😁. I’m going to try my hand at some hydrangeas this year too. I’m tired of paying for dried ones, too expensive! They last a long time though. I ordered the endless summer ones that are supposed to bloom clear through fall! I can just see all those future flower arrangements now! 😁. Good luck with yours as well. Oh, by the way, those rosemary bushes are going to get huge and very pointy. Not very pretty but great for smelling and cooking with. Now that I’m growing it, I hardly ever use it for cooking. So maybe grow some in a big pot and plant something more uniform in size that smells good. Maybe a gardenia? Good luck making up your mind on your garden! Happy planting! Shelia P.

  25. Image for Peg Peg

    This is SO refreshing to think about amid winter in Massachusetts! Thistlewood is going to be beauty full!! Love, love!!! xoxo

  26. Image for Susan Susan

    Did you check with your local nursery about the delphinium? We are about 3 hours north of you in southwest Arkansas and they don't do well here with our heat and humidity...you are even a little hotter there. Just a thought...

  27. Image for Pat Pat

    Thank you for sharing this welcoming look at Spring planting, we are in the depths of winter here ( as is most of the mid Atlantic) and thinking of those blooming hydrangea, and salvia and hostas is just what we need as a diversion. It is the best time to plan those borders and beds alive with riotous color. xo Pst

  28. Image for Claudia A. Claudia A.

    -38° WC here today. I am so ready for Spring right now I can hardly stand being in this house another day.. Best thing about hydrangeas, besides their glorious blooms, they are easy to propagate. Bend a limb down to the ground and place a rock on it and it will root, creating a new bush. When it’s big enough you can dig it up and plant the newly developed bush.

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