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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Create A Simple Dry Riverbed

This past week while Mr. Decor and Sweet Guy were away my BFF Tracy flew in for a quick visit. She possesses a wonderful green thumb and we decided to transform two areas in the backyard of Storybook Cottage.

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This is a sort of semi “BEFORE” photo. I only remembered to take a picture after two hours of weeding.

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We also removed two crepe myrtles from the area. They had been planted by the previous owners and were struggling in this all shade area. They are now happily growing in a neighbors sunny yard. 


A clean planting surface.

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After all the weeding and tree removal the soil was fairly loose so we shoveled out a shallow trench and lined it with weed barrier. (This is available at most home and garden stores.)

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The design for the rock bed was a diagonal layout from one corner of the bed that split on both sides of the tree base and continued on to the other corner. It took eight bags of rocks to fill the trench. Four of the bags were leftover from a landscaping job my wonderful neighbors, Jim and Darlene, had done and they graciously gave me their leftovers.

TIP: The four remaining bags were purchased for half price at Home Depot. This was due to the bags being split open during the shipping process. Ask your home and garden store if they offer the same great deal. It requires a bit more effort to transport the open bags but well worth the cost saving factor.

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I wanted a base of perennial plants that would provide greenery and seasonal blooms year after year. We selected a mix of hydrangeas and hostas. In between we placed colorful coleus. Coleus are considered perennials in the zone that I live in. If you live in an area that freezes they are annuals.

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I plan on filling the wee wheelbarrow with colorful blooming annual flowers that will be changed out seasonally. Or perhaps filled with pumpkins in the fall.

But what a difference in the AFTER!

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Reality check: the makeover took approximately eight hours of labor. The plants and hardscape materials came in a little under $200.

We’ve moved on to a second area and I will share that in the near future.


Linking to:

Between Naps On The Porch, Inspire Me Monday, Merry Monday,Make It Pretty Monday ,The Scoop, A Stroll Thru Life, Savvy Southern Style, Share Your StyleCreative Ways, Vintage Charm Party, Thursday Favorite Things, The Inspiration Gallery, French Country Cottage, Imparting Grace, The Charm of Home, Link Party Palooza, The SITS Girls, Funky Junk Interiors, SIOMT, Sundays At Home and…


18 comments : said...

That really looks nice. So much more interesting than the before...

Eilis said...

What a lovely improvement! I can just imagine how "fall" it will look with pumpkins in the little wheelbarrow.

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Love how it looks Laura. We have several dry riverbeds and they are awesome. I can also picture your cute little wheel barrow filled with seasonal decor items. I wanted to let you know, you are a no- reply blogger.

Linda said...

Really pretty, Laura! :)

Bonnie said...

Great transformation. I love your idea with the rocks and all your plant choices. Of course, that little wheelbarrow is too cute!
Isn't it amazing how long it takes to really do things right!!!

Lorrie said...

What a great transformation! I love the look of a dry riverbed.

Stacey said...

That looks amazing, Laura! Love that you and your BFF spent time doing something like that. My BFF would think I was crazy if I invited her to work in the yard. :)

Karen Hess said...

What an amazing transformation! You put in a lot of hard work, Laura, but it certainly paid off! I'm sure your neighbors will be envious!!

Simply LKJ said...

It looks fantastic. Love the little wheelbarrow and can so see it filled with pumpkins in a few months!

Organizedandsimplifiedtest said...

That looks so pretty! Want to come do my yard?

Pondside said...

i just love what you've done! Yesterday we were at a stony beach to pick up stones for another project, but I would love to do something like this.

Denise said...

It looks just beautiful, Laura! I love the plants you chose and that beautifully colored rock. Yes, even the smallest landscape projects can be expensive. It was really nice that you got part of the rocks from your neighbor and a discount on the rest. Way to go! I always look forward to seeing your projects. :)

Have a great week, my friend!


Denise at Forest Manor

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

Your transformation is incredible, Laura!! I can't wait to see it fill in and also to see what you put in the wheel barrow. Great job!

Summer said...

Interesting! It looks beautiful ♥

Lisa said...

I think you , Laura and Stacey have a three way tie for gardener of the year! This project is beautiful! And what a sweetheart of a friend to help you with the transformation!

Mountain Mama said...

Gorgeous! What a great idea, so creative! I'm looking forward to seeing makeover #2!!

Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

What a difference a day can make! How sweet of your friend to help you transform that area. I'm looking forward to seeing the other area too! said...

Wow, what a difference! Very attractive, great job!