Friday, July 2, 2010

Before and After Photos of a Client's Home

I was contacted by a possible client last spring to help update and change a front garden in an established neighborhood. At the time I had only just begun the garden coaching business and had not considered garden or landscape design as part of my business model; however, garden design is not too difficult so I was game and came up with a design the client liked. I don't think she'll mind if I use her first name so I'll call the client Barbara. The before pictures in this post were taken on May 26, 2009, the after pictures were taken on June 2, 2010 so you can see just how the garden has changed in the same season.
Barbara wished for hydrangeas and a natural feel to the front of her home but the area was challenging because Barbara's home faces east and the entire front of the house is shaded by mature dogwoods, and a very large black walnut (yikes!). To say the front of home gets very little sun is a true statement and a fact alone makes designing a garden in this location rather difficult. I spent a lot of time researching plants that could resist juglone (the chemical from the black walnut that usually makes the ground inhospitable to plants). I found there are actually several plants that can grow under black walnuts-including hydrangeas. Whew. Some hydrangeas do better than others but so far all of these hydrangeas (paniculata, quercifolia, and macrophylla) are doing well.

I did not do the install, only the basic design. In my design I saw several oakleaf hydrangeas near the foundation of the house with mopheads, hellebores, and hostas wrapping around the oakleafs. Additionally, a weeping Japanese maple was put into a prominent position for year round interest as a focal point. The plants are small right now but will have enough room to grow into their allotted spots as time goes on. All of the plants have or are blooming right now.

The lady who did the install first had to clean out this overgrown garden. The azaleas, ivy and a very over grown cherry laurel needed to be cleaned up, removed, and/or pruned depending on what it was and whether or not it had a spot in the design. Several nandinas were moved to the northern end of the home along the foundation making the foundation bed wrap around the home. A dying maple tree was removed and replaced with a river birch, all grass was removed and covered with mulch, plants planted and here you have a completely different home! The curb appeal went up immensely.

When I was invited over to take a look at the 'new' garden I almost couldn't believe the transformation. I hope you can see the differences in these pictures I decided to post (with Barbara's permission). The moment was most gratifying for me and I'm looking forward to seeing my other designs put into place in all my client's landscapes....

in the garden....

Thanks to Darla, Frances, Marnie, and Jean I have four new identities for my daylilies! Awesome and so much appreciated! I updated the post with the names.

Also, on my poll for sponsored give a ways it looks like it is pretty evenly divided so I will decide on a case by case basis as the opportunities present themselves. I don't want to change the character of this blog but like the idea of give a ways to a lucky person or two. Problem is, not everyone can win.

Thirdly, I'll be out enjoying the holiday weekend and will be back 'In the Garden' as soon as I am able to. So....

Everyone have a safe and fun Fourth of the garden...

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,

In the Garden


  1. pat yourself on the back, very nice.

  2. What a great plan you put together for this client, that's a dramatic difference. Hope you are able to visit her garden in the future to show us the changes. :)

  3. Ah, low humidity in the air is wonderful....

    Great before and after pictures! In time it will be full and is already inviting. Job well done my friend....

    Happy Travels to all that travel and be safe from what can be pesky fireworks....

  4. What a difference and I think you did a great job designing the space for Barbara.

    You have a great 4th of July too.


  5. Congratulations! It's such an improvement. And I'm happy to learn that hydrangeas do fine under black walnut trees!

    I have the tree and have wanted a hydrangea or two---this gets my thoughts back in gear!

    Happy Fourth to you.

  6. Thanks Darla,

    Racquel, Thanks it really did change nicely.

    Skeeter, It is almost cool this morning-feels SO good!

    Flowerlady, Thanks and have a good weekend.

    Rebecca, Some hydrangeas do better than others-the arborescens I think were the most resistant to juglone, but so far all of Barbara's are doing well. You have a great weekend too!

  7. What a fantastic look. It just shows off the front of the house!! Great, awesome Job. Isn't it nice you don't have to plant all that stuff:)
    I have a brick rancher but my problem is SUN all day!!! Great blog and a great post.

  8. Good morning Joyce and thanks so much. Sun is great for irises and lots of color so that is nice. Have a nice weekend.

    Hey all, I'll be out of the net this weekend. No post for Monday. All have a great weekend!!

  9. What a difference your landscaping made, Tina! I know the homeowner must be very pleased and will be even more so as the plants mature. Good thing you were aware of the problems with black walnut trees, but how lucky that hydrangeas can survive near them. That would be enough to make me happy. Have a happy Fourth!

  10. I love before and after photos! You made quite a difference here! Good job, Tina!

  11. The garden really transforms...but the best is yet to come, and wait until plants mature and become dense, ~bangchik

  12. Great job Tina. It sure looks better. Oh just wait till it fills in. Hope you show us a pic then.
    I hope all have a wonderful weekend. Be safe.

  13. You did a great job. It looks really nice. I'm sure it's going to fill in and get even better.

  14. Looks like all the grass has been eliminated--a very good thing:)

    Have a wonderful 4th!

    BTW, thanks for the note yesterday about my blog date. I missed that when I posted but it was easy to go back and fix once you told me about it.

  15. How nice of her to invite you back to see how well the garden is doing, good job! It is a big change.

  16. What wonderful changes for her to enjoy!

    Hope all have a safe and happy 4th weekend. I am off to the airport as my 6 year old great granddaughter if flying in for the 4th. It will be happy here for the 4th!!!!!

  17. Congratulations on your design success!

    Have a wonderful, safe July 4th holiday weekend!

  18. Heading out now....Everyone have a great and safe fourth of July!!

    Mom, Have a fabulous time this weekend visiting with that greatgranddaughter and her grandmother and everyone!

    Lola, You have a great weekend too!

    Marnie, Glad you updated it and Blogger is easy for that. I do it all the time.


  19. It turned out beautifully! The whole house just "pops" now. You must feel very proud of your design.

  20. Hi Tina,

    The before and after photos are so impressive. Nothing beats the great feeling when you see your landscape design installed :-) I can only imagine how much more beautiful it will look next year as the plants continue to grow larger.

  21. Great job Tina - loved the before and after pictures. I'll bet they are really happy with their 'new' look around the house.

  22. Wow that is quite the transformation. What fun to be a garden coach. :) Happy Fourth of July!

  23. Nice job on the design - looks like the garden business design is going well. It would be fun to do a follow up in another year or two and see how everything looks when it's mature.

  24. U have done a Funtastic job with this..... I simply loved the way u have transformed the dead green belt into living belt...... Kudos!!!!! U would surely do wonders in future too..... :-)


  25. That is awesome! It makes such a difference and makes the house feel softer, more natural. I didn't know hydrangeas could deal with juglone, but I'll definitely remember that. You probably know Rudbeckia do great in full shade, too--I have them coming out of my ears (ha!). They're shorter than in full sun, but not leggy. They're nice for a splash of color and so carefree.

  26. Great improvement! I bet your client appreciates not having to mow that patch of grass anymore. Happy July 4th to you too! I just got back from an anniversary trip to Canada.

  27. That's quite a transformation, Tina. You must be so proud of it and I hope you have some way of showing this to your future and potential clients as an example of what you can do xox congrats on an excellent job!

  28. Those pics reminds me of where I grew up, near Takoma Park, Maryland, aka Azelea City. I hope that's the azelea I see in the deep shade by the stairs.
    I can't wait to tell Martha in Michigan about hydrangeas. My sister has a black walnut and taught me what bad neighbors they were to other flora.

  29. It looks like all your experience with gardening underneath a tree canopy has paid off. It'll be nice to follow how your design fills in over time. A new garden is always exciting. I hope you had a great 4th.

  30. Fantastic job Tina! I bet she was very happy. It looks SO much better. I think you're going to do great at this job.
    ps I will be back to read your bird story on Friday even tho it will probably make me sad...