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Finishing the Tree House Front Yard Project… Finally!

We’re sharing the final details and plans of our nearly year-long front yard landscaping project at our Michigan Tree House.

Last summer, a quick project to trim a few limbs and remove some vines from a massive pine tree in the front yard of our Michigan Tree House spiraled out of control. What started as a small project to keep a tree healthy resulted in the removal of a tangled thicket of greenery that needed to be torn out and replaced. That mishap motivated us to finally tackle the front yard landscaping in the way we’d always dreamed of. The planning started last August, we broke ground at the end of November, and we hope to complete it this weekend. Phew!

The Design

The initial design from our insanely talented landscape design team at Rootbound involved a planted berm between the properties, a gas fire pit, a natural stone retaining wall, and nearly 200 new plants. It was spectacular, but a bit outside of our scope and budget. We worked with the Rootbound team to tighten up the plan, scale things back a bit and find a happy medium. What we landed on is a fantastic design that checks all of our boxes including a gas fire pit (already installed), a gravel path to the backyard, and pollinator-friendly native plants with hits of bright color.

Note: Most of the large shrubs and trees along the berm and the new walking path were planted last fall.

The initial wave of construction happened last fall into early winter and we’ve already gotten a ton of use out of the space. The convenience of the gas fire pit within eyesight of the swing increases the usability of the front yard in a huge way!

Construction action shot from last December // via Yellow Brick Home
Progress shot from December 2022

The Plan

This weekend, we’ll spend a few days at Tree house armed with a plan, a rented auger, and a lot of muscle. We’ll plant 140 plants and spread 12 cubic yards of hardwood mulch. By Sunday afternoon, our front yard will look very different than it does today and we’ll likely be very sore! Below is a list of all of the plants for the project. The Arborvitae, Nannyberry, Dogwood and Rhododendron were planted last fall, and the rest will go in over the next few days. We cannot wait to see all of these stunners in bloom!

The complete plant list for our front yard landscaping project // via Yellow Brick Home
  1. Green Giant Arborvitae
  2. Shamrock Inkberry Holly
  3. Flowering Dogwood
  4. Nannyberry
  5. Purpureaum Elegans Rhododendron
  6. Hummingbird Summersweet
  7. Green Mountain Boxwood
  8. Brit-Marie Crawford Ligularia
  9. Lenten Rose
  10. Ostrich Fern
  11. Peach Blossom Astilbe
  12. Maggie Daly Astilbe

Follow Along!

This weekend is going to be very hectic, but (hopefully) very fun! Here’s a rough idea of how things should shake out.

  • Thursday afternoon: Plants are delivered and staged by Rootbound
  • Friday: Mulch delivery and preliminary work
  • Saturday: Plant all of the plants, spread as much mulch as possible
  • Sunday: Finish remaining planting/mulch, adjust landscape lighting, finishing touches

We’ve certainly got our hands full, but we’re confident that we can get it all done. We’ll be sharing our progress on our IG stories all weekend, so we hope you’ll join us. We’ll need all of the encouragement we can get!

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  • Brenda4.21.23 - 6:54 AM

    Excited to watch the progress and see the beautiful results! ReplyCancel

  • Karen Salp4.21.23 - 9:34 AM

    Love all of your plant choices—beauties! Can’t wait to see the results of all of your hard work! You two are the best.ReplyCancel

  • Brittany4.21.23 - 3:05 PM

    This is going to look so good! Do you mind sharing what kind of landscape edging you used? I am currently working on my yard landscaping too! ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.24.23 - 7:48 PM

      It’sa metal edging that the landscapers installed.ReplyCancel

  • Kim4.22.23 - 9:37 AM

    I hope yesterday went well !  Glad you found a great resource with Root Bound!ReplyCancel

  • Nisha Yadav4.23.23 - 8:27 AM

    Beautiful and inspiring. May I please ask, where did you source your plants? All Home  Depot or did you also consider some of the online nurseries? Thank you ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.24.23 - 7:47 PM

      Our landscape designer sourced the plants for us!ReplyCancel

  • Sonja4.23.23 - 8:50 PM

    Looks beautiful! Did you have to pick deer resistant varieties or are deer not much of an issue there?ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.24.23 - 7:47 PM

      We definitely leaned into deer resistant plants!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa4.25.23 - 9:51 AM

    Silly question but how do you handle the watering of the plants and lawn.  Do you have a sprinkler system or anything of that nature in place?ReplyCancel

    • Scott4.25.23 - 10:40 AM

      Not a silly question at all! We have a sprinkler system with a timer that comes on every morning and is able to cover almost all of the space.ReplyCancel

  • Jen4.26.23 - 11:47 AM

    I live in Minnesota. You’re sure as heck know I pinned this page for the list of plant that can handle winter! Love it!ReplyCancel

    • Scott4.27.23 - 5:55 AM

      Just be sure to check your ISDA hardiness zone and you’ll be all set!ReplyCancel

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We’re Kim + Scott, Chicago based content creators behind the Home + Lifestyle brand Yellow Brick Home.

Join us as we renovate and nurture vintage homes across Chicago + SW Michigan!

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