Zeon Zoysia for the Front Yard

Yesterday was definitely a day of mixed emotions, first excitement, then some disappointment.  Though things didn’t go quite as planned, I still have some fun “after” photos to share.

The Zeon Zoysia sod was delivered and installation got underway.

Zeon Sod Just Installed (2)_wm

As the day wore on, it became apparent there wasn’t enough sod to complete the job. The side yard and a portion of the back still needs sod, so instead of 12 pallets, it’s going to take 16! The rest would have been installed this morning but that rain-wish I expressed yesterday afternoon came to pass.  The rain was great for the grass but since it continued well into the morning, the remaining sod couldn’t be cut from the sod farm. It will be cut in the morning and the other four pallets will go in tomorrow.

Hill Still Needing Sod_wm

This side of the driveway was finished yesterday.

Zeon Sod Around Perennial Flower Bed_wm

In this view across the front lawn, it looks a bit like a patchwork quilt, doesn’t it?

Zeon Sod Newly Installed_wm

From this angle it looks finished.

Zeon Sod Just Installed

Here’s the view from the front porch on this rainy day. I had my landscaper leave a nice arched area for some annual color throughout the year.  When I plant in that area, I’ll share some additional photos of how it looks. I may not plant anything now since it’s so late in the summer. Umm, not sure I can wait though since pansy time is still pretty far off.

1 138_wm

Since the rain brought everything to a standstill today, I spent the morning picking up another load of mulch. This is my third trip, bringing the mulch total to 77 bags.  I think this last trip should finish out the beds and islands. The sun is trying to come out now as I type this so hopefully I can get out there and do some mulching this afternoon.

Mulch for Flower Beds and Islands_wm




When the sod was installed, I had them leave an area for some flowers around the lantern. I’ll probably plant a few perennials and add a few annuals to it each year, as well.  Seems like it would look better with sod down in that pointed corner. I googled for images of landscaping around lanterns but found nothing. How would you landscape around the lantern?  You can’t see it in this photo but having flowers around the lantern will balance with the flowers around the mailbox at the other end of the driveway.  Ummm, I can always add sod later if I decide flowers are too much trouble, right?

Gas Lantern_wm


So, here’s where we started…buried in the trees.

House Hidden and Overwhelmed by Trees and Shrubs 2

Here’s where we were after some trees were removed…

Front Yard Landscape Renovation

After a few more trees and tall shrubs were removed, the fescue grass was all but gone, chewed up by all the equipment and stump grinding machinery.

Landscape Renovation for Front Yard after Tree Removal

Here’s where we are today.  Still so much to be done but definitely a step in the right direction.

Zeon Sod in Front Yard_wm


I’ll share some photos of the backyard soon, the sod is so pretty back there.

I will be attending the Haven Blog Conference Friday and Saturday but Tablescape Thursday will go up as planned. I have a tasty surprise for you on Friday! You will definitely want to check out Friday’s post.

See you tomorrow for Tablescape Thursday!

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  1. Looking GREAT, Susan!!
    Have fun at Haven, such a fun time for all you luckies!

  2. Rattlebridge Farm says

    Wow, what an astounding transformation!!

  3. Bobbie Honeycutt says

    Your yard is looking great! Amazing to see the before and after photos!!

  4. BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL….. I love the yard and so glad you took the big tree down. Now your beautiful home can be seen from the road.

  5. Mary from Virginia says

    Looks great Susan! I know you will enjoy that green lawn and the area to plant annuals. Your yard looks fantastic.

    Have fun at Haven. I hope to hear all about it!

  6. yarlette says

    Just wait for that sod to get established , it will be beautiful. I just love gas lanterns they are so welcoming. It seems that every time we start a project we run into some kind of problem or delay. I guess that is just part of trying to make improvements. The end results are most always worth the trouble .We have a lantern but ours is electric and I always planted flowers around it to tie in with the other flower beds and have always loved the look . You have such good design style I have no doubt it will turn out great.

    • Thanks, Yarlette! You are so right…there always seem to be a few problems that crop up. I just reminded myself yesterday that a few days/weeks/month/years from now, the rain delay will me a minor blip on the radar of life. lol

  7. Sandi Lee says

    Such a huge difference. I know you will enjoy all the light inside the house and outside as well!

  8. Looks wonderful! I love being able to SEE the house now without all brush and trees blocking the view. We have a completely shady back yard (which stinks for the pool, btw!) and I’m going to ask my landscaper about the grass you installed – so thank you for the ideas!!!!


    • Gena, it’s still super shady in my backyard and my landscaper feels the Zeon will do well. It sure sounds like it will from what I’ve read online. Hope it works for your yard, too!

  9. For the gas lantern, maybe gravel and container garden? Or would that be too much to maintain?

  10. Wow, the sod looks great. When I heard the Weather Channel say Atlanta was getting lots of rain today I thought of you and how that was want you wanted. Didn’t know at the time you needed to have more sod put down. You know what they say…be careful what you wish for. You could always put a pretty clematis at the base of your lamp post. Clematis can be slow to start but the saying goes…the first year they sleep, next year they creep, third year they leap! I think an Amsonia would be very pretty there. Blue Star Amsonia has a wispy appearance, grown in a nice small rounded shape, has pale blue flowers in spring and is green during the summer turning to beautiful gold in the fall. Amsonia Tabernaemontana has a more shrub appearance with deep blue flowers in spring and green all summer. Here is a link to some pictures of both types. Your front landscaping is going to look so magnificent! Vikki in VA.

    • Ha, I know…I thought that so many times today…be careful what you wish for. πŸ™‚ I was thinking about a Clematis because I do love those. I was just wondering how aggressive it would be and if it would damage the paint? Wonder how you get them to stick to the pole…have to check into that if I do decide to do it. A Clematis would be soooo much prettier to see than an ole pole. I will check the Star Amsonia out. We’ll be coming up on the perfect planting time (fall) soon…so I hope to get some perennials planted this fall.

      • That gas lamp is costing approx. $.75/day to operate and the clematis or jasmine will climb all over the light once established without pruning. You will need some distance between the brick path and lamp post – those fragrant climbing beauties bush-out quite significantly. Best wishes and I look forward to the results.

  11. Susan, here is a link to the Better Homes and Gardens web site. They have all kinds of flower bed plans and you might find some inspiration for around your gas lamp, which, by the way, I am now totally in love with.
    Have fun at Haven I am envious.


  12. What an amazing transformation in such a relatively short period of time! Your neighborhood is so pretty Susan, with so many stately homes!

    About the lantern…I know what you mean about the ‘point’. I think I might just mulch it, or maybe some small rocks for a semi-permanent solution and definitely add some flowers of course.

    I’m so glad you’re going to Haven! Sounds like you won’t be there Saturday though, so I guess I better find you fast ;).

  13. Linda B. says

    What a difference! Absolutely love all the changes you made. Taking the big tree out in the front yard was such a good idea. It’s hard to take down a tree or multiple trees but it can make a big difference in the health of your lawn, maintence ease for both the house and yard, and of course the beauty of it too. Love your blog!

    • It really was hard. I was a chicken for so long about that big tree but so glad now I did it. The fescue really suffered under all the acorns that fell and decayed in the lawn so I’m so glad I don’t have to worry about that now. Thanks, Linda!

  14. Holy bleeeep….I will never ever complain about my meesly 35 bags of mulched flower beds again! I almost thought about getting quotes for a landscaper to come out do the mulching. Apparently there are mulch trucks that can pull and just spray it in the flower beds…

    anyway….your yard is looking wonderful….can’t wait to see the back πŸ™‚

    • Ha! I know! I’m hoping this mulch lives up to what it says on the bag and keeps its color for a full year. It will be worth all the trouble. My fave mulch is pinestraw…love how it looks but around here, it only lasts about 3-5 months and it starts to look faded and decayed. With all this rain, it breaks down even faster than that. So hoping this mulch will be around for a while. I’ve never heard of them spraying it into beds. Now you tell me! πŸ˜‰ I may have to check into this next summer!

  15. Vickie H. says

    I love the honeysuckle around your mailbox….you don’t want to put it around the lamp post as well? Because of you I bought that honeysuckle and love it in my backyard!!! Your yard is looking great! You are really going to enjoy the payoff after all this hard work!!!

    • Vickie, I love it too. The last few years it wouldn’t stay on the box so I cut it back drastically. I need to find a way to anchor it to the mailbox better. So glad you have enjoyed it…it really is pretty. I first saw it in Ryan Gainey’s backyard in Decatur, GA.

  16. Peggy Thal says

    Looking wonderful! Amazing how much one always needs- more and more. Great job on the mulch too. You sure have your car loaded. It will be beautiful once the big project is done. Like your gas lantern. I have one but got tired of it always blowing out. So turned it off for the summer and found out we are saving $50 bucks a month. It does look beautiful but needed a break from lighting it all the time. Have to order this piece that prevents wind from blowing it out. Good luck to you.

    • Yup, got 26 bags in there on two trips and 25 on one. That car was loaded down! I had three bags of topsoil in the passenger seat. lol At the height of gas prices, mine ran around $40 a month and I cut it off then. When I first had it installed it ran around $11 each month. Of course, that was a gazillion years ago. When prices go high, I normally turn it on a few days before Halloween for the Trick or Treaters and then I leave it on through Christmas. I will have to watch my gas bill to see what it costs to have it going now. I currently have a really good rate so hopefully it won’t be so high I feel the need to turn it off. I do so love seeing it at night. Imagine how much gas bills must run for folks that have 2 lanterns on either side of their front doors! That I couldn’t afford but I love how it looks! I didn’t know they made something to prevent that. Mine only goes out if we have a HUGE storm with blowing winds, so it’s not very often.

  17. I have enjoyed watching the progress so much!

    I say some daylilies around the lamppost for a little height; it would look out of scale to have small, low to the ground things only.

    I’d mix in daffodils with the daylilies, (the daylilies will cover up the dying daffodil foliage) as well as a clematis.

    • I love daylilies! I love the idea of something with a bit of height, Imagine a clematis going up, surrounded by daylilies…wouldn’t that be beautiful! I love the idea of planting daffodils, too! Oh, I get so excited thinking about all this! Thanks for the suggestions Tammy!

  18. Oh Susan it looks so much better – now you can see your lovely home. Enjoy your new home.

  19. Linda Page says

    Susan, your front lawn is looking beautiful. With all of the trees and shrubbery removed, the sidewalk really shines and makes a lovely path to your beautiful home. This will be worth all of the time and trouble.

    • Thanks, Linda! I think removing the bushes that were at the left end really helped open it up. It feels so different out there now. lol Be glad when I can walk on the grass and not feel like I should be tiptoeing.

  20. Susan, it’s just beautiful!! I LOVE everything you’re doing and I can’t wait to see the side and back yards! Have fun at Haven!!

  21. Anne Boykin says

    What a beautiful difference between before and after! I’ve got a tree in my front yard that will have to go … thanks for the encouragement to have it removed. Your home is lovely.

  22. I am love watching the process. The patchwork look will go away quickly as the grass catches on. Water is the magic elixir here. We have sodded our yard three times in the last 26 years so I have seen that patchwork pattern. When we built the house we used centipede and it was beautiful until the trees matured. Since we live in a Nature Preserve removal of trees is discouraged and approval is needed to remove a tree. The Centipede died out and was replaced with St. Augustine. The replacement sod was infected with Sod Web Worms and lasted about a month. The varmints were killed off and the dead sod left in place till spring when it was replaced (by the sod farm) with healthy sod. We are still
    blessed with its lushness, so you can see why I am enjoying your process. I think a beautiful lawn is better for feet than shoes and an absolute must for cloud watching.
    So glad you are this far along. Have fun at Haven and share all the exciting details.

    • Wow! And I’ve just been worrying about fungus. lol Didn’t even know there was such a things as Sod Web Worms. Yikes! So glad that last time has held up so beautifully! I can’t wait until the patchwork grows together. My landscaper said he was going to run a roller thingy over the yard once it’s all installed, so I think that will help blend everything together a little better.

  23. Hello Susan, I love how your yard looks. So Pretty, and I love how you can see your house and not all of those trees. I know you are loving it. And I had your blog come in today. I was so happy!!!! I didn’t want to miss anything that was going on with you. Take care and dont work too hard. After all of that mulching (that is hard work) you will need a nap on the porch for sure.

    • Great! I can’t imagine what was going on…glad it’s fixed! πŸ™‚ I have noticed the feed subscriber number has been totally off of the sidebar so maybe something was wrong with the feed itself, which would definitely make the number skewed. I bet those two are related somehow. Yes! Lots of naps! πŸ™‚

  24. Holy cow, Susan! What a huge difference! It’s all so beautiful!!!! I would plant a pop of color around your lantern. Something low and full. Maybe begonias? πŸ™‚ Have fun mulching, girl! I spread 12 yards of it this spring — and lost 10 pounds doing it! lol

    xoxo laurie

    • Wow! I hope I lose some doing it. I can definitely tell I’m getting stronger. I used to throw mulch bags around like they were nothing when I lived in the yard/garden, but I haven’t done much in years so I’ve lost some of that strength. I think it’s coming back, though. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the flower suggestions, Laurie!

  25. lizbelle says

    What a lovely transformation, Susan! Wow 77 bags of mulch! did you unload them all by yourself? You must have one strong back! May I ask what the purple/blue flowers are in your front bed? Love that garden bed!

    • Yup! It’s not too terrible to do because I just pull them off onto this cart that I bought years ago. I should show that cart in a post because I LOVE that thing. It is awesome for hauling heavy stuff. I load it down with 6 bags of mulch at the time and pull it to where I need it. Saves a lot of work.
      Oh, the purple flowers are Common Purple Pholox and they smell wonderful!

  26. boy that right side is really opened up now..really coming along.!! sorry you got washed out..but like you said it is good for the sod that’s down..plus the new should be really great just coming off a good rain.

    • Thanks, Wende. I’ll be adding some tall to the end of the house to hide the view down to the A/C units so it won’t look quite so barren over there eventually. πŸ™‚

  27. Donnamae says

    Looking good! Around the lantern, plant some flowers, and see how you like it. You can always add grass later. πŸ˜‰

  28. Dani & cats says

    Hi Susan,

    Everything is going into the right direction : looking great !!!!
    You`re so “Down to earth” , I mean sharing all the ups & downs with us -not just “before & after pictures” and nothing in between. The same things happen to me (landscaper:”we need 10 loads of soil” but at the end 20!!!) and I`m pretty sure some other readers would agree. Nothing works like ” first time done it right” . The companies try to suggest these smooth & easy ways… At the end , the result will be there but you lost more nerves (& money)than planned….especially if you are a person who know what you want … Keep going !!!! Thank you for this – It keeps me going too !!!

    Dani & cats (Mr. Teddy will have a surgery tomorrow- let`s cross the fingers he can keep his leg , “just” amputate his lower paw… terrible time – thinking about Max )

  29. Charlotte says

    I have been waiting for this post!!! As a tree hugger, I could not imagine taking down that big oak. But, WOW, what a difference! It was visually dividing your beautiful home into 2 separate halves. LOVE, love, love the results!
    I identify with the mulch haul. My sweet hubby says I have been trying to ‘corner the mulch market’ for 20 years. There is never enough.

    • Charlotte, it sure was a hard decision, one I’ve put off for 22 years. I’m soooo glad now. Thanks! It really does make a huge difference in the light in my home and I do think it looks better without it. Mostly I’m just so glad to not have a million baby oak trees sprouting everywhere and a gazillion acorns to walk on. That’s too funny about cornering the mulch market. You and I must be keeping them in business. πŸ™‚

  30. Wow times 77 for all those bags of mulch. I’ll bet the inside of your home is also changed dramatically because of all the windows that now get the sun! We lost a big tree years ago in the front of our home and went from lovely shade in the sun room/living room to bright afternoon. After all of these years, I still miss that shade.

    • Yes, so much brighter! You must have the west sun coming in…that can be so intense. My big tree was on the north side of the house so it just made that side darker than normal. Maybe you could plant another tree to get your shade back.

  31. Charlotte says

    This is a PS, Susan……..Do you happen to know the width of the box (2 story part) of your house? I love the graceful proportions of the front elevation.

    • Charlotte, I just measured the dining room, living room and entry width and all those together were around 39 feet wide. So you would need to add the width of the outside walls to that, and that would give you a ballpark idea. Hope that helps.

  32. Charlotte says

    Thanks a million, Susan! I so appreciate you taking the time to measure it for me.

  33. Wonderful posts. May I suggest maybe 3-5 flower pots or an odd number around your lamppost until you can decide or commit. Instant gratification.

    Please – take lots of notes at Haven. I depend on you.

  34. What an amazing transformation with the removal of the trees and the zoysia grass! Your lovely home just pops! I can’t wait to see the rest of the landscaping…

  35. How about a pretty vine to climb up the lamppost?

  36. Susan, the zoysia looks great. As respects to the lantern, I planted a couple Carolina jasmine (smaller leaves than the confederate and I didn’t want to overwhelm the post ). Although confederate jasmine is my favorite, I’m very happy with the Carolina for the post. I keep it pruned into a ball starting from the bottom of the glass and then keep it groomed to the ground in line with the post… imagine round lollipop. :-). Keeping it pruned is key and getting started you must tie the vine to the post with that green tape or green wire. Just an idea you might want to consider. Loving your yard! Yard of the month!!!!

  37. On the thoughts about the light post…. I would put a small leaf two-tone climbing ivy. I lived in a house that had that and it was beautiful. Pruning is not a biggie. After it is established only about once every 1-2 years…..but it will take probably 3-4 years before you have to do anything to it!!!! Also, you cannot make a mistake in trimming….it is very hardy!!!!

  38. Wow, that is a lot of sod Susan!!! I just love how it is coming together. I especially like the way your brick path winds around to the front from your lamp. When we built our last house, we too had a lamp hard wired before landscaping and part of it went under concrete before it was laid. I always wondered how we would fix it if something happened. We have a small solar one in this house.
    Am looking forward to seeing the back of the house too. Hope the rain keeps off for you!

  39. Oops, I meant to add, have fun at Haven, that is one I would love to attend.

  40. Just beautiful! A happy looking house is blossoming forth. I love that you left that little area around your lantern for flowers, that will be so pretty, like a jewel in the green expanse! Yea the lantern works, let there be light! .. and your flowers will be lit at night! I am usually quite observant but I just noticed the bird house in the flower bed and I love it! I guess maybe I saw it before but there has been so much to see all at once! I feel busy just looking at your pictures πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to see the back yard πŸ™‚

  41. Egad! I am tired just thinking about 77 bags of mulch! All your hard work is paying off though, it looks wonderful!

  42. ~Susan~

    AWW, looks wonderful just wonderful !!
    and Wow that is A LOT of Mulch !! I brought the same brand this year, for the man highly recommended it! Funny when I go to lowes or home depot, I run around looking here and there and often forget what I went for, I guess I should take my list and STAY FOCUS !!!
    Enjoy your weekend at Haven! is that open to everyone??
    Be Safe

  43. Lois from PA says

    Wow Susan! Your house looks wonderful! it was buried behind all the trees…..now it stands out – so beautiful! this is truly a “Before & After” story! Can’t wait to see flowers now!
    Enjoy! your hard work paid off……

  44. i’m sure home depot loves you! I love your photos and your posts – they are informative and your photos terrific. I think you live in DeKalb and you may know you can pick up few black mulch in several places – in Doraville they will even load a truck for you. At memorial drive – you pick and haul yourself. Its not the gorgeous brown mulch you are installing but its free and great for the behind the scenes areas. Tip – save a few of those mulch plastic bags for a year – they guarantee the color – if you have a warranty claim on the color fading – the manufacturer will resolve but you need the bags & receipts! If you are planning a garden- free horse manure at several horse farms around town. It stinks but better than chemicals for veges. Thanks again for the inspiration and how lucky all the rain in ATL.

    • Thanks, Teresa…I’m actually in Cobb. I wish I had a sunny spot to grow vegetables. Actually, I have one little spot where I may try to grow a few things…you just gave me an idea! πŸ™‚ Yes, pray for a little rain each day for the next few weeks…my grass is thirsty! πŸ™‚

  45. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    Susan, it looks beautiful! The before and after make a wonderful comparison. I’m so impressed with how quickly you pressed forward with this project! Even with all the rain, you are moving fast. I’m sure it feels good. πŸ™‚

  46. Susan! No self respecting deer would be so brazen to step on such a beautifully sodded lawn or munch on any of your annuals around the lamp post! How do you keep them hitched to Santa’s sleigh and not n your yard feasting on your beautiful beds?

    • lol Well, we have had deer in the neighborhood, but it’s very rare. There just isn’t that much wooded land around here and they never come this far up the street. They have mostly just been seen toward the other end of the street. We do, however, have coyotes! They eat cats…several neighbors have lost cats to coyotes and I’ve seen them and heard them.

  47. What an incredible difference! You’re hard work and planning shows in the love you have for your home. Now I’m anxious to see how it looks with all your Christmas decorations up.

    • Thanks, Chris! Now just need to get sound foundation plants in and it will look pretty for Christmas. Oh, but the grass will be dormant by then. Oh well, still be pretty, I hope. πŸ™‚

  48. ann pauleyy says

    u are one superwoman! i can’t believe u dothis all on your own! phenomenal!
    one little question apart from the sodding project, where can i buy a dovecote birdfeeder? any ideas?

    • Ann, the one I have is a Lazy Hill Dove Cote and I purchased it from a company that sells them on eBay. They had the best price I could find for the Lazy Hill houses. There’s another company (or at least there used to be) on eBay that had houses that looked just like the Lazy Hill Dovecote and they were a lot cheaper. I almost bought that one but in the end I went with Lazy Hill since that’s what I always saw in gardens while on garden tours and the homeowners told me they had their’s for many years, so I knew they lasted.

  49. Southern Living Magazine should be calling any day now. Wow, what a transformation. Talk about curb appeal!

    I admire your vision for taking on such a whopper project. Reminds me of clearing out your son’s room and tackling the wallpaper. I’ve decided you can do almost anything. Go girl!

    • Ahh, thanks Connie! I’m so tired right now. Just finished spreading 77 bags of mulch and I still need more! Off to get another 25 more bags but I think I’m going to need even more. Good exercise!

  50. Elaine in Laguna says

    Just beautiful, Susan! I love the transformation! Flower ideas for the gas lamp: geraniums if they work in your area for your style of home. They’re pretty drought tolerant here on the West Coast. Also, star jasmine – pretty and smells nice. Same with gardenias. Also like daffodils and clementis, too. And I must say you are a super woman, too! This is heavy duty work!

    • Thanks for the ideas Elaine. Jasmine smells so good, too! lol I love working in the yard. I’ve gotten so out of shape sitting behind a computer. Feels really good to have a reason to be more active physically. πŸ™‚

  51. Who ever invented the word “patience” anyway…. franki

  52. Wow! What a difference. It looks beautiful. I don’t know if you can grow Sweet Autumn Clematis but if it will grow in your area it looks amazing growing on light posts. I have some that I got from a neighbor down the street. Her light post looks as though it’s covered in lace every fall. It doesn’t take a lot of space at the base of the post so you can still plant other things in that area. You train the vine as it climbs the post. I used twine to get it started in the right direction. Good luck. I can hardly wait to see your yard next year.

  53. It’s really shaping up now and looks great! I’m way behind on my blog commenting, sorry about that! I’ve been immersed in redesigning my studio, which is taking oodles longer than I had anticipated. Still not done but now down to the little finishing touches, looking for the perfect cute little decorative pieces…
    Hope you are well my dear blogging friend!
    Beth P

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