Another big project at Bayberry House is complete.

As I mentioned last week, after having a grove of dead and ugly trees removed, my new front yard landscaping was installed and grass was planted. Let me walk you through the process and show you the results!

Front Yard Landscaping: The Before #landscaping #frontyard #exterior

Before we do that, however, I must tell you how disappointed I was with the landscaper’s execution of the design. While the overall design and plant selection were great, the installation process and lack of attention to detail was a hot mess. I won’t go into more detail here, but I will be looking for a different landscaper in the future.

As I mentioned in my 2019 Bayberry House Project list, I want to tackle a landscaping project every year, so it’s important that I get a landscaper who does quality work. This might slow the progress in my yard a bit, but I’m pressing on.

With that out of the way, back to the progress!

Front Yard Landscaping: The After #landscaping #frontyard #yard #planting #exterior

Although different elevations aren’t always noticeable in photos, the planting bed where the trees had been had a fairly large hill on the front of it closest to the road. The landscaper’s first step was to knock out that hill and create a level surface for the new planting beds.

Front Yard Landscaping: The After #landscaping #frontyard #yard #planting #exterior


After that, the shape of the planting bed was laid out and topsoil was added. Then almost 150 shrubs and perennials were brought in. Yes, 150!



Here’s a look at the design plan and list of plants for those of you who are interested.

Front Yard Landscaping: The After #landscaping #frontyard #yard #planting #exterior

(There are two changes from this design plan. Both feature trees are different. The Cercis Canadensis Rising Run is now a Striped Maple and the Cornus Rutgan Steller Pink is now a Cornus Kousa Wolf Eyes.)

As I’ve mentioned, this area of Pittsburgh has a rather large deer population. It’s important to take that into account when selecting plantings.


Some of the new plants are attractive to deer, but they will get netting around them in the winter for protection.

Using the design plan as a guide, all of the shrubs, trees, and perennials were placed and then planted.

Front Yard Landscaping: The After #landscaping #frontyard #yard #planting #exterior

Front Yard Landscaping: The After #landscaping #frontyard #yard #planting #exterior

After being mulched and seeded with grass, this front yard landscaping project is complete!

Front Yard Landscaping: The After #landscaping #frontyard #yard #planting #exterior

As you might have surmised, all of this activity took place in the fall. Surprisingly, most of the plants hadn’t gone dormant yet, so there is still plenty of green in the photos. I plan to photograph this area again in the spring and summer so you can see how the garden and plantings look at different times of the year.

Front Yard Landscaping: The After #landscaping #frontyard #yard #planting #exterior

Front Yard Landscaping: The After #landscaping #frontyard #yard #planting #exterior

Front Yard Landscaping: The After #landscaping #frontyard #yard #planting #exterior

Also, when I took these photos, 3 or 4 plants were missing for one reason or another and the grass has not grown.. Once they were finally planted and the grass started to appear, everything else went dormant, so I didn’t bother to take more pictures.

As I said, I’ll circle back with more photos after winter, if you are interested.

Front Yard Landscaping: The After #landscaping #frontyard #yard #planting #exterior

I am so in love with all of the new plantings and how they make the landscape look much more intentional and cared for.

Front Yard Landscaping: The After #landscaping #frontyard #yard #planting #exterior

Front Yard Landscaping: The After #landscaping #frontyard #yard #planting #exterior

Speaking of plantings, here are a few of my favorites:

Peonies (Paeonia): There are nine peony bushes in two different varieties. Of course, they aren’t blooming now, but I do hope to see a few flowers this summer.

Hypericum Albury: You might recognize this bush since its branches are often used in floral arrangements. You can also buy hypericum in the grocery store with fresh flowers.

Striped Maple Tree (Acer pennsylvanicum): This is the tree closest to the house. Its leaves and bark are so beautiful.

Roses (Rosa Knockout): Adding roses is a bit of a test, as they are not deer resistant. However, I thought it was worth a shot. We’ll see how they do!

Allium: In case you’re not familiar with them, these look like big purple lollipops. These were planted as bulbs, so I’m looking forward to seeing them bloom in the years to come.

Bayberry (Myrica Pensylvanica): Yes, in a nod to the name of my home (“Bayberry House“), I added a few of these bushes. There are two varieties: one is standard and one is a dwarf variety. I love that their leaves are great for cutting. (If you’ll remember, I used some in my winter tablescape!)

I like all of the plants that were selected, but these were some I’m especially excited about!

Front Yard Landscaping: The After #landscaping #frontyard #yard #planting #exterior

As you can probably tell, this is just a small section of my yard. In time, I would like to extend this bed around the left side of the house and clean up the opposite side of the driveway to give the landscape a cohesive look. I also plan to eventually replace the shrubs in front of the house.

These outdoor landscaping projects are truly exciting for me! I’m looking forward to tackling a portion every year and seeing it all come back to life over time. Sometimes I think if I had it do it all over again, landscape architecture or working with plants would have been a good career path for me.

And before we wrap this all up, here’s a quick look at the before and after:


Front Yard Landscaping: The Before #landscaping #frontyard #exterior


Front Yard Landscaping: The After #landscaping #frontyard #yard #planting #exterior

I’m loving it and SO excited to see it in the spring with that dirt patch as grass.

I hope you enjoyed seeing this project come together and picked up an idea or two for your own landscaping adventures.

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  • Carol at

    The changes look great! We moved to 4 acres 15 months ago and I am still trying to figure out the smallest of things to start in our yard. Last year was figuring out a new mower because the ones left here were not doing the job and making it take forever to get done. I like to mow but a few hours a week is enough for me. Looking forward to seeing it in the Spring!

  • Amy | Delineate Your Dwelling at

    I’ve been patiently waiting to see this post! The progress looks so great. Now hurry up spring time so we can get back to playing in our yards!

  • Carla at

    It looks wonderful! Living in NE Florida, I can empathize with you about deer. They come on my front porch and eat the blooms from my urns. It’s quite exasperating!! I’m looking forward to seeing the foliage and blooms in the spring.

  • Vicki at

    It looks wonderful. You will truly enjoy walking your lawn every day admiring and watching for changes, growth and blooms. There will be something new every day!

  • Susan at

    WOW! It looks so different! And yes please, photo updates spring, summer, fall……

  • Deb W. at

    It looks so much better. Can’t wait for the follow up photos! It’ll be gorgeous.

  • Linda at

    Wow what a difference that has made already to your home! Looking forward to seeing it in bloom!

  • Cheryl havens at

    Hi looks great what a transformation, you mentioned that you bring cuttings of your Burberry bushes in for fall arrangements, question barberrys here in Michigan are very thorny how do you go about putting them in your arrangements?

  • Marilyn shannon at

    I am sure that will be beautiful in the spring!

  • Deb at

    You are lucky to have such a sunny open area in which to plant. I’m envious! My So CA yard is mostly shade and Im limited to shade-loving plants. Be sure to post about your shady areas too! Everything looks great, Michael!

  • Peggy at

    Excited to see I’m surprised there is t landscape fabric under the mulch. What are your plans for weed control?

  • John R. Huff Jr. at

    Knocking out the hill I don’t like. Maybe it will begin to look better in time. Yes, definitely get rid of the landscaper.

  • Terri Oostendorp at

    It looks wonderful Michael! Really opens up your yard so you can see your beautiful house. I love that you included Bayberry bushes too! That being said an earlier comment mentioned barberry. I think they misread that right? But that got me thinking to the fact that deer do not like barberry because of the thorns I think. We have some that have never been eaten by deer and they stay green all year plus have tiny little red berries if you don’t prune at the wrong time! As to the knockout roses I have several and the deer don’t touch them either. I can’t wait to see it in a year or two. “First year they sleep, second year they creep, third year they leap!” Btw, what zone is this where you live? (We are zone 5 here in Michigan)

  • Rita C at Panoply at

    I spent a lot of time studying your landscape plan, very fun for me. We planted ours almost 15 years ago, and to be able to better care for ours, I then studied to become a master gardener. Whether you choose to do that or not, you will soon learn what works, what doesn’t, and live through those lessons. Taking your time in planting your landscape in phases will be to your benefit, so you can see what challenges / opportunities you have with designing year-round plant interest, the upkeep, maintenance and overall tolerance of plants in your region. Gardening has been such a joy for me, and I wish you all the best. I love the new openness of your home from the base of the drive/road. Happy gardening!

  • Debi at

    I think it looks great so far. We also did a huge landscaping job last year. We had some loss over the winter so will have to get that replaced, but we still need more plants, many more this year to really fill in. I am looking forward to all the bulbs that will pop up this spring. I understand how hard it is trying to find the right person for the job. But we got pretty lucky with our landscaper. We went to our popular nursery and asked them who they used. They had a seasoned professional designer and we used her for design and plant selection. Then they recommended two landscapers. After the bids, they went over them with us to determine costs and how they interpreted the plans or if they left things out. After all was said and done, we still had a few problems, but I think it went pretty well. And we got a referral for a Gardner that we use a lot now. You will love your yard when all is said and done. So far it looks great. A lot of work it will take though. You had better find a Gardner as well! 🤗. Good luck! Enjoy the coming growth you will see.

  • Sue at

    I love working in my yard, so yes, I’m interested in seeing all your landscaping (beautiful) projects.

  • Kathy Thompson at

    I love the look of your new front yard! I’m also glad you didn’t make the common mistake of rushing to fill in every inch of open soil! Plants need room to grow, and empty spots can be filled in with annuals. One has to think five years down the road when planning a garden.

    I do hope your landscapers helped dig those 150 holes, though.

  • JrenR at

    The transformation of your yard is wonderful! I love trees but the original design with so many trees in front hid your lovely home. I can’t wait for photos in Spring!

  • terry taylor at

    Oooo, I so hate to tell you this, but deer love roses. We live adjacent to a state park in the Denver (CO) metro area and the roses present a lovely smorgasbord! The deer simply nip off the roses from the stem, avoiding thorns! It was a shock the first time they did it, we thought someone had come along and taken all the blooms, but finally caught the deer in the act.

    It’s amazing what they pick and chose! Have fun with your gardens anyway!!

  • Sharon Caulineau at

    I think it will be pretty when it fills in and starts blooming. It does open up the space, but really hate that the trees had to go. I would have cleared all around the trees and maybe limbed up on trees a bit then filled the space as you have to leave the trees.

  • Donna via Funky Junk Interiors at

    I’m so impressed M! It’s looking SO good!

    I’m inspired to reach out for help with my own yard… I’ve never utilized a landscaper, just worked with trial and error with what’s already there. Motivated and looking forward to seeing how this all moves along! I’d love to see an update in summer!

  • Riviere at

    This plan should have worked out well for you and the lawn must look great once the grass grow with these plants..

    Great inspiration for all the gardeners.

    Note: please add me to your emailing list

  • JoEllen at

    Gorgeous, gorgeous! Can’t wait to see those peonies in bloom!!

  • Emma at

    That looks like a difficult yard with the slopes, and I’m impressed with how it turned out! I’m excited to see how it looks in the spring! We’ve been working on our yard (just got a new fence put in this week!) and it’s no where as big or gorgeous as your yard but I’m excited.

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