By Karen Ray, Guest Blogger, OurBlissfulCottage
My husband and I live in Fernandina Beach, Florida, where the summers are hot and the sweet tea is cold! We’re finishing up our new construction home and wanted to share our DIY landscaping ideas with you!
When we started designing our home, we wanted to create a casual, low country, coastal cottage-style home, a home where our guests felt welcomed and wanted to stay a while. We’ve built homes in the past where we did some of the work ourselves, but with this one, we decided that we were going to DIY the majority of it.
We added elements like tongue and groove ceilings, white oak wood flooring, shiplap and board and batten siding, a walk in pantry with brick walls and white oak shelving, a casual dining area adjacent to the kitchen that would fit a large family, a kitchen with a big island, and glass doors that opened up to a large back porch and pool area.
DIY Garden Design: When to Ask for Help
We knew that we wanted to keep our landscaping for our property very natural and low maintenance, but we needed some guidance from a landscape architect or landscape designer. We were beginning with a DIY front yard landscaping project, and we wanted to make sure that we did it right. We began working with James Loper, a local landscape designer and owner of Reflections of Nature. We told him what our vision was for our yard, and he helped us with front yard landscaping ideas, the overall landscape design and choosing the right plants for our area and USDA zone.
We chose to use low maintenance plants from the Southern Living Plant Collection. Our local Lowe’s sells most of the plants that are included in our landscape, and we were excited to discover we were able to order plants online.
What Plants to Use for Low Maintenance Landscapes
We’ve used Southern Living Plants before and have always been very happy with the results. (I think they grow their plants in a special dirt and sprinkle them with a magic growth dust) Lol!
We wanted our yard to be beautiful and affordable with maximum curb appeal, so we are using low maintenance landscaping plants. Some of the plants that we are incorporating are Hydrangeas, Gardenias and Crapemyrtles. All require little maintenance, have compact growth and produce beautiful flowers year after year (All are also staples in Southern landscape designs).
While some of the plants needed to be full sun varieties, we also have a huge oak tree and needed plants for our flower beds that could tolerate part shade as well.
It’s a work in progress, but I’m loving the process. We hope you enjoy our “Before”, and we can’t wait to share the “After” transformation with you, too!
Want to recreate our cottage landscape? Here’s the garden plan and plant list.
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