Two years ago, before & after: 2011 ~ 2013

A friend asked me yesterday to share some “before” photos of our front garden- photos from before the 2011 major revamp, when it was a very thirsty and tired yard.   This is the perfect cue to also update the blog with “after” photos showing the current garden, a la May 2013.  At the bottom there is also info. on the watering and fertilizer upkeep.

I’m surprised I didn’t post comparisons long ago!   I love before & afters, and it’s been nearly two years since we removed the lawn and improved the hard-scape.  I’m tickled that someone has interest, tickled enough to clear the hurdle of perfectionism and not wait till I have good current images to post.   The below recent photos are via my phone and in not-great light. But, they are better quality than what I’ve been posting recently- that is, they are better than nothing.

Notice the healthy sago palms. They've not looked as healthy since due to back-to-back hard winter freezes.

Before, late winter 2010 (just before our purchase of the home)-  I like the curves and contrast, but it looks ho-hum to me.  It does have neat and tidy going for it.

After, May 2013


Before, 2011

After 2013

After, 2013


Before, 2011- view from back gate, and shows line in dirt for future wood plank path


After, 2013- view from gate


Before, 2011, entry path / porch

After 2013- entry path / porch

After, 2013- entry path / porch


Spring 2012–  Taken about a year ago and one year after the big revamp.

After, Spring 2013

Spring 2013
Compare with above photo to see how the butterfly agave has grown this past year.  It kinda needs to stop.

The garden is hand watered:

– about 3x per week when newly planted during the still hot Sept.- Nov. 2011,

– then once per week during the first winter,

– then 2x per week during the summer of 2012 (the first summer),

– once per month this past winter,

– and every other week this recent spring.

Though I (usually) enjoy the 30 minutes spent hand watering, I hope to only need to water every other week this summer, the garden’s second summer.

Before planting in 2011, the soil was tilled and plenty of compost was added. Since then I’ve only added “compost tea” (brewed at a local nursery) about 5x per year and used a palm fertilizer around the sago palms.

15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dunk
    May 17, 2013 @ 10:25:00

    I love what you have done.


  2. Pam/Digging
    May 22, 2013 @ 21:45:53

    Before and afters are so inspiring, and yours especially are. I like the dark stain on the wood screen, and I’m amazed by how big your butterfly agave has gotten. Clearly the winters have not fazed it!


    • cyndik
      May 23, 2013 @ 05:40:14

      Thank you very much, Pam. I love the modern vibe you’ve added to the front of your home with the walkway and pots; I was trying to do the same with the fence style and dark stain. The agave has not seen a true winter yet, but I have a couple of Plankets waiting in the wings for such a time.


  3. Michael - Plano Prairie Garden
    May 23, 2013 @ 04:38:12

    A nice and welcoming transformation. Great job. What are you going to do if the agave keeps growing?


    • cyndik
      May 23, 2013 @ 05:34:01

      Thank you, Michael- Love your blog and your transformation! For the butterfly agave, I will cut the lower leaves off so that it’s taller than it is wide. I need to learn what tool and method is best for getting a clean cuts on such large dense leaves.


  4. Musette
    May 23, 2013 @ 05:02:13

    what a beautiful transformation!


  5. Alison
    May 23, 2013 @ 08:17:19

    I really love that wooden walkway! Down there in very dry Texas you can get away with that, up here in the PNW, it would rot quickly. But I can still admire it, and all the work you’ve done transforming your garden. Well done!


    • cyndik
      May 23, 2013 @ 08:26:46

      Thank you! The plank path is fun to walk on too. Maybe composite decking material would be good for your area, btw, love your area- will be vacationing there again soon. My path is pressure treated pine with a solid stain to the top and sides.


  6. Shirley
    May 23, 2013 @ 14:22:25

    Your yard and all the improvements look so good. We think agaves are slow growers, yet with a bit of water and attention they grow faster than expected.


  7. Jennifer Stocker
    May 23, 2013 @ 14:55:36

    What a fabulous transformation with brilliant before and after photos.


  8. xericstyle
    Apr 25, 2014 @ 08:37:23

    I miss your posts 🙂


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