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:
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
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!
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!
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!
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!