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Easy Outdoor Transformation #LowesCreator

Bit by bit, I’m making some progress on the exterior of the #1905Cottage. I have a lot of work to go in the back, but I like the front to look good. While we removed some bushes and put in a planter area in the front last year, I knew I could do more.



As part of the Lowe’s Creative Ideas blogger team, Lowe’s gives me a monthly theme to inspire my projects. This month’s was an outdoor transformation, and I knew exactly what I wanted and needed to do!

It was time to transform the porch and planter area in the front of the cottage!

Remember? Last year it looked like this:

little house front porch before

But after our porch remodel and this week’s landscaping, it looks like this:


When I thought through what I needed to do, it didn’t sound like much, but I have learned that the digging out sod part of the proces is more work than it should be!

Here’s what I did:

  • I marked an expanded half circle for the new planter area and made sure I had enough pavers to place along the edge.
  • I then cut along the marked edge with my shovel through the sod to delineate the edge of the new planter area

2014-05-05 20.23.38

Then came the hard part — removing the sod.

There’s no easy way to do it, but what I find works best is if I cut the edge of where I want to remove first, then cut the sod into about 12 to 18″ strips in one direction, then again perpendicular to the previous cuts — so that I end up with around 18″ squares to remove. As I cut each line, I wiggle the shovel forward and back to loosen the edges. Then it’s much easier to remove these small pieces of sod one by one, working my shovel underneath the smaller pieces. And they’re easier to carry!

I used two shovels to make the work easier: a flat-bladed one and a sharp, new “spade” blade.

About two hours of work later, I was almost ready to plant!

  • I used a metal rake to turn over and then smooth the dirt, and dug down a bit on the edges before I placed the pavers.
  • I placed the pavers along the edge, using my shovel to correct the places where my curve wasn’t as smooth as it could be
  • I used three big bags of organic mulch to cover the new planting area, using my rake to smooth the mulch



And then I planted the new flowers! I even put a few in the rectangular planter near the front porch!


(And check out the pots on the porch (I showed this project last week)!)


I also added a basket hanging from a hook near the rectangular planter.


I also placed one container by the side of the steps, in front of the garage!

planter container

I may move last year’s plantings around a little later, and even re-seed some of the lawn near the planters, but I love the way these changes look and how they dress up the front of the cottage! And now it’s even more ready for spring.





Do YOU have any outdoor projects you are excited to make for Spring or Summer?

Share them with me in the comments. I would love to know!!

Have a wonderful day!


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Materials for this post were provided by Lowe’s; however, the project and content are all mine. See my disclosures.

PS: I’ve linked up this post to these fabulous blogs this week!

Skip To My Lou The 36th Avenue


  1. This transformation is amazing!!!! AWESOME job!!

  2. It looks wonderful- it is so amazing how much curb appeal you can add with some simple changes. Love the bright yellow furniture on the porch and the giant star!!
    Krista @the happy housie recently posted…Pastel & Gold Spring Mantel and a Balsam Hill Giveaway

  3. I love your deck and the pop of yellow. Plus the flowers look great. This Spring/Summer, my house will be under construction inside and outside. Finally got the money we needed from our insurance to get our house fixed from damage.
    Julie recently posted…Bows, Bows, and More Bows

  4. So inspiring!! We will have many yard projects once we get into our house- this will be the summer of planting.
    Gina recently posted…Going Away Gift {Free Printable}

  5. I love it Jen! It looks so amazing! Fresh plants and flowers always add so much charm to any outdoor space! Angie xo
    Angie@Echoes of Laughter recently posted…Designing & Growing A New Flower Bed with Miracle-Gro™ flower magic & A Gardening Gift Giveaway! #flowermagicCA

  6. Looking great
    L x
    Lisa recently posted…Jogging Problems

  7. What an amazing transformation! I am hoping to do something with my back porch and you gave me some good ideas!
    Laila (@OnlyLaila) recently posted…Bing in the Classroom: Keeping Kids Safe Online

  8. Your house looks wonderful. A true cottage feel has been achieved.
    Jenny Lynn recently posted…Shower Caddy

  9. This looks amazing Jen! I love the updates and the pop of yellow is just perfect. Looks like the perfect place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. I’m getting ready to update my back patio. We just got our new patio furniture (from Lowes) delivered today and I can’t wait to get it all set up this weekend! It will be the perfect spot to enjoy summer evenings watching my littles play :)
    Corey @ TinySidekick recently posted…DIY Painted Vases with Texture {West Elm Inspired}

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