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Installation: Front Yard Cleanup (Before and After)

This past Saturday we got to expand the portfolio a bit with a front yard cleanup. My favorite kind of gardening work is coming into a clean slate and doing the planting, but a little dirty cleanup work is good for the soul every now and then, right? 🙂

In preparation for installing a new front garden designed by staff designer Patrick Lannan at Flora Grubb Gardens, this client a few blocks from home in Dolores Heights needed their previously unkept plantings whipped into submission. They had planted a Japanese maple with some solid and variegated Pittosporum a few years back, and had let things go once having kids came into the picture. They had Patrick design new front and back gardens for them. They are very DIY and want to plant everything themselves, but didn’t want to deal with getting things prepped. The back is ready to go, but the front needed outside help.

Patrick wanted to keep the maple and the two variegated Pitts, but wanted everything else to go. It was a challenge to find the maple, which had been completely swallowed by the variegated Pitts, but it was in there! We also shaped them a bit, and “brought up the skirts” to make them more tree-form and make room for the coming understory planting of small shrubs and succulents. A full bin and nine big bags of green waste for the compost resulted. It was relatively quick and painless, and made a huge difference!

Before: Variegated Pittosporum over a solid green Pittosporum.

After: Soil ready to plant!

Before: A little bit of brown hints that there might be another tree in there somewhere.

After: There’s a maple between those Pitts! And imagine the light that is now reaching that ground-floor unit. In this northern exposure I’m sure they’ll relish the brighter outlook.

After: Quite a difference from before, I must say.

Before: View from the street.

After: What a difference!

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6 responses to “Installation: Front Yard Cleanup (Before and After)

  1. What a nifty idea. I love gardening. Clean up? Not so much. But it is always worth it when you see the finished product. I love this compact little garden. I almost feel the smaller spaces require more creativity. It looks great! What a difference.

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