Elegant white house facade with a black front door adorned with a spring wreath, flanked by topiary in urns and a prominent 'seven hundred one' sign above.

Have you ever noticed when I share a picture of the front of the house it looks like this?

Close in.

Not pulled back.

You don’t really see much of the yard or the overall front of the house.

There’s a reason for that {hangs head in shame}.

I want us to still be friends.

And if you saw the yard you might think twice. It’s been 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.

The six-foot pittosporum hedge row in the front garden beds bit the dust. The boxwoods shriveled up. The St. Augustine grass withered and went away leaving behind dirt. Even the almost indestructible liriope left the building.


But this is 2024.

A new year.

A new plan.

And a WHOLE BUNCH OF NEW PLANTS that look like this.

A charming two-story "before and after" house with a dark roof, surrounded by lush greenery and a well-manicured lawn, beckons with a welcoming front porch and a neat pathway leading

So here’s what the ouside of the house looks like.


Just kidding.

That’s not where I live anymore.

That’s Kentucky—where the grass is always green and everything grows in abundance.

Now? I live in Texas.

Classic two-story house with gray exterior paint colors and white trim, featuring a welcoming front porch with columns and a second-story balcony, embraced by a lush green lawn.

In a house that looks like this.

This is the house on the day we bought it back from the couple my mother sold it to.

This picture was taken in October so the grass is getting a little brown and there are a few scattered leaves.

But look at how full and amazing the grass is.

And can you see the pittosporum hedge? It’s full and tall and so pretty even if there are a lot of overgrown plants around it.

A stately two-story white house with a welcoming front porch, flanked by leafy trees under a clear blue sky.

We’ve done a little work on it since that photo was taken.

The house has a new roof and new gutters and the porch has been painted. There are new shutters and a new paint color.

And we’ve cleaned out the beds and defined them a little more.

This picture was taken last spring after we lost the pittosporum hedge while we still had a little grass (it turned green after this).

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.

This was the house this past Christmas.

Look at that yard.


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.

The yard is slowly coming and is looking better and better especially now that we have the sprinkler system for regular watering.

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 side walk 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 called Southern Living Plants. They helped us put together this entire planting plan for these sad, neglected beds. Southern Living Plant company is so well known for beautiful, quality plants that are designed to last.

And lasting is what we need around here.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The image appears to be a diagram or a label for a gardening plan with a focus on porch containers. it features a geometric shape, possibly representing a plant or pot location, labeled with "encore," referring to the encore variety of azaleas. below this, the text "autumn empress™ encore® azalea x2" suggests that two autumn empress encore azalea plants will be placed in porch containers as part of the garden design.

Once all the bushes and foundation plants are planted, we are adding annuals in front of the corners of the house.

We are also adding Azaleas in the planters on the porch.

The perfect little pop of color with all that greenery.

Classic two-story house with gray exterior paint colors and white trim, featuring a welcoming front porch with columns and a second-story balcony, embraced by a lush green lawn.

Here’s where we started.

Five years ago we bought back the house and the journey started.

If you squint, can you see it?

Can you see that green grass and those beautiful flower beds?

Oh, good.

Me, too.

I can’t WAIT. And now? This house that I love so much?

It’s going to SHINE. 🙂

Simple spring garden plan for flower beds: tips from thistlewood farms for a blooming entrance at seven hundred one.

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


  1. Image for JC JC

    It's going to look even more amazing! What type of Hydragea will you have that loves sun? Forgive me, I'm looking on my phone and I have morning eyes, what will be your color palette? IIve got a new build and have green and white and I'm debating do I stay with green and white in the beds and do color pops in planters by the door or do I pick three colors along with the green and white foundation plants and do them throughout the beds. It's a garden dilemma! My house is a creamy white.

    1. Image for Pam Pam

      I’m in the Atlanta area and have limelight hydrangeas that do very well in fun sun. However, they can get very large.

  2. Image for Joan McCormick Joan McCormick

    Can't wait to see the results! You have an amazing home, inside and out. Love your cheery blog...and your smiling face❣️

  3. Image for Diana Diana

    I can't wait till you finish it is going to be perfect. I too am interested in the type of Hydrangea that is sun loving. In my experience morning sun is fine but the afternoon is too much and makes them droopy. Spring is here let's go.

  4. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Hi Karianne, I love seeing the plan on paper. It's going to look gorgeous. Also, I love being reminded of your beautiful home in Kentucky too. You're doing a beautiful job with the new (old/reclaimed/childhood) home and I'm looking forward to seeing the landscaping take shape. Have a lovely day. -Lisa

  5. Image for Lee Stearns Lee Stearns

    Perfect choices! You’ll love getting color from shrubs instead of seasonal plants! I LOVE my sunshine ligustrums, although they seem to grow “tits” overnight! Sorry but that’s what I call them! I trim them with scissors- I’m anal about a few things but hey….my yard’s won awards so it works! Mahonia, encore azaleas , you have the perfect plan! Can’t wait to see it all!

  6. Image for Rose Rose

    So glad we have a wonderful garden center who is coming out to help our pitiful beds and put some color in them. They are also putting in a small garden for me since, at 83, I am limited to what I can do. I just like to see things grow from my kitchen window. Love all your selections. Most of all have fun!

  7. Image for Rizae Rizae

    Loving these plans. Your home and yard just keep getting prettier .... if that's even possible! I do have a question though. I dont see the planters on your veranda that you painted your monogram black not to long ago, where are they? Big Hugs,

  8. Image for Cindy McTigue Cindy McTigue

    Wow, you have big plans and Hydrangeas are my favorite. It's a shame you lost all that landscaping. We have been there but ours got eaten by the animals in our old house. Where we lived before was like Wild Kingdom. Remember that show. We had at least 4 bears a day in our yard and a million groundhogs that had no mercy on any plant in the world. One day I was running down our driveway chasing a groundhog. John said either I'm in trouble or you are chasing the fat brown thing that ran by. Yes, I could run back then! Look forward to seeing the new plants!

  9. Image for sandi sandi

    Gee, KA, I am going to say a few prayers for you. I know "full-sun" in TX means something other than "full sun" so those hydrangeas are going to need yours & my prayers! It is rarely hot in Vienna, Austria but the day I did wedding flowers at Belvedere Castle w/outside reception, I used hydrangeas & oh my!! My spirit was as droopy as the hydrangeas on a moderately hot day! I will keep your plan & hopefully you will up-date us often so we can rejoice w/you!

  10. Image for Renee Renee

    The best investment we ever made to our home was an irrigation system!!! You will love it and all the grass and your plantings will love you, too!!!

  11. Image for Shelley Shelley

    KariAnne...your front landscape will be gorgeous! I wish I had the opportunity to purchase a childhood home , built in 1906. It was awesome, and wonderful memories! Looks just like I had remembered in the Bay Area of CA. The city is known for its Victorian homes. I just love everything you've done with yours!! Blessings.

  12. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    KariAnne- Stunning and will accent the house perfectly! I love it! We replaced a lot of plants last year because we had weeks of -35 the year before that killed most of the landscaping. Between the temperatures and the deer eating 8’ arborvitae hedge to the ground we had to start over! Understand the frustration.! Can’t wait to see how everything turns out!❤️

  13. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    BEST of luck on these landscape plans, KA! Just keep in mind sometimes it doesn't make it - that way you won't be too disappointed. As for your hydrangea - even here in wet Ohio I have to water mine in the morning and before the sun goes down. And sometimes even during the day - carefully at roots to avoid sunburn. HYDRAngea. WATER. If you have drought problems those pretty hydrangea may not be happy. (insert sincere tears.) You have mentioned a few plants I don't know - have to look them up. Mahonia is one of them. That is a close part of my maiden name and I got a kick out of it jumping out at me. I love your enthusiasm. And love you went ahead and got a sprinkler system. I'd love one - we have such a huge yard and so much to water doing it the hose way is a big work out! But being here it's a paint to have to winterize them to avoid problems with freezing. So much expense. So until we can't do it anymore, guess it's that big ole workout we must contend with doing! (insert Rocky theme, those hoses on either side of the house are so heavy!)

  14. Image for PJ PJ

    The first year I planted a garden of hydrangeas, I watered them daily since we did not get our usual rains. They are going strong now, and I only need to water them during dry spells. Now if only the deer would stop "pruning" them! It will be so fun to watch your gardens take shape. Enjoy please! (By the way, if you do not follow her yet, you might like to visit Linda Vater's YouTube. She has a lot of Southern Living plants in her garden some of which are the same varieties that you will be growing.)

  15. Image for Juliet Juliet

    KA, your home could not be more charming … landscaping challenges or not. That said, wow! Love the planting plan and the changes already made. Hope you’re ready for the parade of cars that will be slowing down to gawk at the magnificence! What a dream home you have. xo

  16. Image for Misty Misty

    KariAnne; is there a great nursery in Waco where you get plants or do you go to Austin? We have had a really hard time finding a good nursery. Thanks!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.