Our Yard. A Before and After! Xeriscape Design

by Katie on June 5, 2011

 What’s the opposite of a green thumb? Well, I have that!

Yep, I’ll admit its pretty bad…And in all honestly, my husband had to convince me of the fact it HAD to be updated right away… Yes, I know it sounds crazy! This scenario is usually the complete opposite! About 99.9% of the time, I do all the convincing about things that MUST be changed, updated and/or renovated! Because I love interior design so much, I spend almost 100% of the time focusing on the interior of the space rather than the exterior. The exterior is not really my forte…

On the right hand side behind all the prickly bushes a brick half wall extends about 12 to 15 feet. For years it has been covered up by all the overgrown bushes.  At first, I was content to just have them trimmed and call it a day! But, I was convinced otherwise. Now the wall has now become such a predominate design element to house.  I am so happy we removed them! 



The rusted post lamp was actually hanging on by the wires only! If the wind blew too hard it could just fall over on it’s side.  It was the ultimate fire hazard! Yep,  I told you it was bad…

 Mid- Project:

We decided to pull out all of the prickly shrubs with red berries, monkey grass, and the smaller trees. Basically, we ripped out all the landscaping and started over, leaving only our Japanese Maple and larger oak trees in our yard.  My husband was in such an impulsive hurry that he had ALL of the landscaping removed before we had an actual plan in place. The entire yard was extremely bare for about one month. Don’t think we did not catch some crummy looks from our (elderly) neighbors! Look at the ant piles that had formed.. Yuck!


Finished project before we installed the new post lamp and flower pots. Among the many other  issues our yard had, the grass was extremely patchy and dead. We planted a ton of new sod and put seed in to fill the gaps.

While it is still very much a work in progress, our goal was to create a xeriscape type of setting not only saving on yearly watering maintenance, but looking modern, streamlined, and suited for our busy lifestyle. Instead of using mulch we decided to use decomposed granite which upfront was more expensive, but this feature will save us money in the long run because it will not erode or blow away with rain or wind.

Again, easy maintenance played a huge factor in our choices. Rather than planting any flowers in the ground,  I decided to use large pots. In case the flowers should die… I’ll just buy new ones!

 Yep, I really have no idea what this tree is actually called, but I call it a “ball” tree…In the future I plan on getting rid of the antique-ish looking trellis black iron work on the porch and replace it with a large cedar post. My husband and I have also toyed around with replacing the front door and removing the window shutters.   

That’s our latest (almost) completed project! But, let’s face it… It’s  never really finished! Stay tuned for many more projects, updates, design and goings on!  

Thanks for reading! Have a great week!






{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Desiree June 8, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Turned out great! Very pretty.


Katie June 8, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Thanks so much!!


Noel June 23, 2011 at 6:07 pm

I live in Dallas, too. Have you considered knock-out roses? They are a rose shrub (hot pink color), you can’t kill them unless you NEVER water & they grow like crazy…you will actually have to cut them back once or twice a year They do well in full sun, partial or shade, plus you can put them in small vases around the house. I have a brown thumb but my yard looks beautiful.


Alison June 26, 2011 at 11:27 pm

I just got caught up on your blog and your house looks great!! I’m impressed!! I’m loving your site and all your ideas! XO


Katie June 29, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Thanks Ali!! We sure do miss you guys!! Hope your having a blast in Australia!


Bonnie January 1, 2013 at 8:58 am

This was very helpful actually. I have decided instead of hating my backyard, I will embrace it with a xeriscape design. My husband and I are excited but still in mid research of what exactly we want to do. I want my yard to look cleaned up and with a few features here and there. I love your front yard, it turned out very nice. I agree with the potted flowers too! Thanks again !


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