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The Curb Appeal Series: The Garden

In this post: We’re back with another project in our Curb Appeal Series. This time it’s The Garden!

curb appeal the garden

Typically late May in North America (after any threat of frost is gone) is an ideal time to plant your garden, but you can certainly improve your curb appeal by expanding/creating your garden in the early summer as well, like we did.

Would you like to see what our garden USED to look like?

I must admit there were a couple of good things about this garden, such as the giant hosta and the butterfly bush (far left). However, the Spirea (white blossoms) was always taking over (I had to trim it every other week!), the potted evergreens were, how shall I say it, sad, and there were a few other ‘not so nice’ features like…

So as part of The Curb Appeal Series with The Home Depot the whole family got to work digging and digging and digging some more!

(No child labour here – they all WANTED to help, honest!)

When the space was finally shaped to our liking and the weeds, roots & sod were removed, we used the soil we had leftover from our walkway project and topped up the garden. In hindsight we probably could have used even more soil to build the garden up nice and high. Live and learn, right?

Then it was time to go to Home Depot to select some plants to fill the newly expanded garden. All PERENNIALS. I’ve mentioned I have a bit of a black thumb, yes? Which makes annuals FAR. TOO. MUCH. WORK.

So for our south facing, mostly sun-filled yard we chose more hostas in a few varieties, hardy low-growing grasses, euonymus and juniper to go with a few plants we actually bought last year (as recommended by our awesome landscaping brother-in-law, Adam) which were other grasses, a Japanese painted fern, a golden euonymus, burberry and a few left by previous owners such as the butterfly bush and the Lady’s Mantle. Overall a rather hardy bunch that can take the sun and our negligence lack of gardening prowess.

We also added a few other non-living garden essentials like rocks (some from our super awesome 80-year-old neighbor and a few the kids and I hauled up from the beach) and a walkway a la Donna.

Then we topped it all off with many, many, many bags of cedar mulch. We’re pretty sure we wouldn’t have needed so many if we had built the garden up with the soil better first. Regardless, we used a lot of mulch. But the smell is SO worth it. Mmm, cedar.

Without giving away the other Curb Appeal projects, our garden currently looks like this…

We can hardly wait until it fills in all nice and leafy and full!


There’s not a lot of how-to specifics for how we enlarged our garden. But here are 5 Tips to Help YOU Do-It-Yourself!

  1. Call all the necessary companies to come out and mark gas lines, hydro and cable wires, etc. You do not want to make any mistakes with this. (Remind us to tell you the story about Dean at his sister’s in Texas many years ago).
  2. Use an edger (that square spade thing) or a light dusting of spray paint (in white) to make the outline of your new garden. You can always “move the line” if you don’t like how it looks.
  3. Remove all weeds, roots and grass from the area. This will make planting new plants SO much easier!
  4. Use good quality soil. We used Scott’s Premium Garden Soil because it was good for all types of in-ground plants, shrubs, flowers, etc and because it was actually really economical at $2.99 a bag.
  5. Choose plants appropriate for the location (full-sun, part-sun, all-shade) and don’t overcrowd them when they’re small. They will fill in!


That’s our garden expansion. Next comes our concrete block foundation refacing, the window boxes and a FULL REVEAL with befores and after of the whole shebang!

More curb appeal

For more of our current house’s curb appeal projects, visit these posts:

To see our previous house’s curb appeal projects, visit these posts:

Do you have any plans for this long weekend? Any curb appeal projects of your own before the Canada Day, Fourth of July celebrations?

The Garden project was sponsored by The Home Depot as part of The Curb Appeal Series. All work, ideas and opinions are – as always – our own! For all of our policies, please visit our Policies page. 

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  1. Thanks for these amazing tips, i definitely needed these tips before starting my garden. I like that you used wood planks as steps, i think it looks really great with your garden. Is it just normal plywood/oak planks? Are you afraid that it may grow mold b/c of condensation?

    1. Glad you’re enjoying the tips – from one black thumb to another?!

      The wood planks are actually pieces of a skid/pallet, so it’s hardwood. And we used them on the side of the porch opposite the stairs – for the mail person to have an easy-on easy-off route!

      We had several offcuts lying around after our Restoration Hardware Knockoff Shelves and Dining Room Table projects. If they rot, we’ll just throw ’em out, having kept them out of the landfill for awhile longer!

  2. Love the hostas….I keep splitting mine and replanting..my goal is to trim my entire fence little by little each year..
    Love your series.

    1. I’d love to split ours too to fill out the space more!! They just have to grow first!!!

  3. Your garden looks amazing 🙂 Thanks a lot for sharing the tips. They will help me a great deal in preparing mine. I love your series 🙂 , and oh, happy Canada day. 🙂

    1. Thank you Karen! We so can’t wait to show you all the rest of the projects and the final reveal!