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DIY Front Flower Bed Makeover

A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

This post is sponsored by STIHL.

Blame it on the fact that we’ve been focusing on the interior room makeovers for the last three years or the fact that I had a baby or battled PPD and sleepless nights of colic… but for whatever the list of reasons, our front yard really started to reflect its neglect in the last year.

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

We’ve been chipping away on our front exterior over the years with our limewashed brick makeover, removing dead trees and overgrown brush, and perking up the front porch.

Despite all of that, our lawn has become a super weedy situation and the one big job we’ve put off until now was tackling these flower beds.

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

And we were finally DONE trying to battle the weeds and scraggly bushes. Completely over it.

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

I am AMAZED at how this DIY flower bed makeover turned out, but before I show the pretty “after”, there were lots of tricks and helpful tools we used along the way to make the job way easier.

Supplies Used:

  • Tape Measure
  • White spray paint
  • STIHL Yard Boss
  • STIHL BK-MM Bolo Tines Cultivator Attachment
  • STIHL FC-MM Bed Edger Attachment
  • STIHL MM Wheel Kit
  • STIHL MS 171 16 in. Gas Chainsaw
  • Landscape fabric
  • Garden staples
  • Utility knife
  • Brown rubber mulch
  • Edger stones
  • Woodcutter chaps
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Hearing protectors
  • Shrubs/flower of choice (We used boxwoods, azaleas, hydrangeas, and camellias.)
  • Garden hose

The Steps:

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

1. Plan, measure, and mark.

We measured out the dimensions we wanted for each flower bed first and marked the edges with white spray paint.

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

2. Demo

Robert used a chainsaw to break down any large shrubs so that we could pull out the roots more easily (and we trimmed up some tree limbs while we were at it.)

Dig up as much of the roots as possible with a shovel or they will grow back.

3. Edge.

Once everything was pulled out that we wanted removed, we used the STIHL Yard Boss to prep the new edges for the flower beds we had marked previously.

It’s a multi-task gardening tool that can tackle a bunch of different landscaping jobs using a wide range of attachments. Robert totally geeked out about this thing. Haha!

For edging the beds, we used the STIHL FC-MM Bed Edger Attachment and STIHL MM Wheel Kit.  (Remember to always wear the personal protective equipment required in the instruction manual.)

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

Running the blade along the spray painted line took out all of the guess work.

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

4. Till the soil.

To help break up all of the hardened soil in the flower beds, we swapped out the STIHL Yard Boss attachment to the Bolo Tines Cultivator Attachment.

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

By the way, if you ever want to get out any pent-up stress, go till a garden. I swear by it now.

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

5. Lay landscape fabric.

Once all of the gardens were tilled and remaining weeds/roots were gone, we rolled out landscape fabric and secured it with garden staples. Doing this step helps prevent weeds and keeps soil from mixing in with mulch.

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

6. Plant

Using a utility knife, we cut out the fabric where we wanted to place our new shrubs and dug holes deep enough for the roots of our new plants.

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

Before you purchase plants, do plenty of research about each one and consider how much sun/drainage your yard gets on average.

We chose:

  • Limelight Hydrangea
  • Original Hydrangea
  • Baby Light Hydrangea
  • Baby Gem Boxwood
  • Autumn Moonlight Azalea
  • White Camellia
  • Primrose

Each shrub we chose needs about 2-3′ of space to allow for growth.

7. Soak the roots.

As soon as we planted the flower and shrubs, we gave the roots a good soak so they could begin to establish.

It’s really best to plant during the spring and fall, so we took a gamble planting in summer. We’re crossing our fingers that they survive as they get used to their new habitat.

8. Lay the edger stones.

This was the fun part when we finally got to see all of our sweaty hard work pay off! We chose to use Tremron Munich stone blocks in the color Sand Dune, and they look perfect alongside our limewashed brick!

You definitely don’t have to get super fancy with edgers though. Using edging strips will work just fine, if you prefer to keep it simple.

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

9. Mulch.

We did quite a bit of research on mulch, and even though rubber mulch does cost more than regular wood mulch, it can last over twice as long and the color doesn’t fade as quickly.

We’ve battled dirt splashing up onto our white brick when it rains, so the mulch will definitely help with that problem immensely and keep the weeds even more controlled.

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

As the cherry on top of everything, we replaced our faded plastic mailbox too with this gorgeous die cast white mailbox.

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

Before and After

Our yard is COMPLETELY transformed!

Here’s what our yard looked like when we moved in:

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

Before we perked up the flower beds:

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

And now!

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

We still plan to cut down two sweet gum trees eventually in this section of our yard that are starting to become a problem, but adding azaleas in this spot and perking it up with mulch has helped so much already.

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

The new shrubs in front our our house are very understated right now, but by next year, they will start to fill out and will grow 3-4 feet tall as they mature.

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

We might go back and add flowers too, but we’ll wait to see how the shrubs grow.

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

And the little bitty Camellia tree will help hide some of the utilities on the side of our house as it grows too.

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

As we get closer to fall, we’ll de-weed the lawn, aerate it, and put down grass seed and fertilizer to perk up the grass that still needs a lot of love.

The backyard will be getting some project help in the coming months too.

I can’t get over what a difference three years make!

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done.

I’m betting four years will look even better on this pretty lady.

If you’ve ever felt intimidated to tackle a flower bed project, don’t be! I truly wish we had done ours sooner, despite a few days of hard work. It’s a project that will keep on giving for SO long.

If you want to see more of our outdoor projects, you can find them all here. 

And if you want to save this post for later, you can pin it here:

DIY Flower Bed Makeover | A step-by-step DIY tutorial with STIHL to take your flower beds from drab to fab to increase curb appeal, plus all the best tools to get the job done. #ad

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40 Comments

  1. As always, I am in awe of the transformation you guys made in the front yard! Amazing! I do have a question though. Since your home is lime-washed, does that mean you can’t power wash the stained bricks near the ground? Just curious. So incredible, you guys!

  2. I especially love what you did with the exterior of your house. I could not envision what a difference that would make. Love it. thanks for sharing♥

  3. What a beautiful yard!!! We live in northern Iowa and have limelight hydrangeas. They are 6 or 7 years old now. In our area they get dappled sun. They are now between 6 and 7 FEET tall. I wasn’t expecting that. Just wanted to let you know. And I agree with another reader water, water, water. Once established they don’t need quite that much. They are beautiful!

    1. Yes! We have baby light hydrangeas in the front of our house so they won’t get that tall. We did plant a limelight in the side of our house that I cannot WAIT to see 6-7 feet tall! We have one in our backyard that is absolutely exploding, and it’s one of my favorite things to snip a few blooms to bring inside and enjoy. 🙂 Thanks for the tips!

  4. WOW!!! What a transformation!!

    A tip on hydrangeas. Water twice a day all summer. They are called “hydra” for a reason and water, water, water! Also used coffee grounds, old iced tea (not sweetened of course) old coffee (no sugar or cream) mixed with water will add acid to your acid-loving azaleas and hydrangeas. It will also help your blue/purple hydrangeas stay that color.

    The grounds of spent tea and coffee can be spooned near the roots. It really helps them.

    Well done, L and R!!!! Had to be a hard hot process and it is so amazing.

  5. Just beautiful. The plants will grow quickly and be even more beautiful. Very interesting to read about Stihl Bed Edger and other yard equipment — I used a square edge shovel over the last few months to enlarge and spruce up garden edges and wish I had known!! But it feels great to see neat gardens, as you know!

  6. Nice! I love hydrangeas, too. We’re nursing one we transplanted at the corner of our 1950s cottage in North Central Florida. I saw a magnolia tree in your yard photos and you’re planting azaleas. In which state are you located?

  7. It looks beautiful! That’s a lot of hot hard work, isn’t it? So worth it, though! I do have a question. Both hydrangeas and azaleas like shade, so if you cut down those trees, will they still have enough? Hydrangeas get really big, so when they get taller than those shrubs behind them, will they still have shade? I have a lot of problems with this, lol. I sometimes have to move things, but I still love all those flowering bushes. Thank you for sharing your progress! It looks really great!!! 🙂

  8. This was a lot of hard work but just look at how gorgeous your yard is now! So nice that you can do things yourself. Just enjoy and watch everything you planted grow! You have such a beautiful yard — and home! Always enjoy seeing what you do!

  9. Just beautiful! I know that feels like a huge accomplishment to mark off of the list. Thanks so much for sharing.

  10. Your DIY Front Bed Makeover Project was just what I needed as my husband and I are planning our own front lawn makeover. You’ve given me some great ideas such as using spray paint to mark the future space for my beds and using paver stones to outline them. The STIHL Bed Edger also looks like a must have for my husband. Thanks for the tips. I can’t wait to get started!

  11. Beautiful job!! We desperately need a new mailbox. I like how large yours is. Where did you get the house numbers? So easy to read!!

  12. Wow! The paving stone border really makes a big difference! I love how simple yet elegant it all looks. Great job! I have a front space that I have no idea what to do with! It’s overrun with black eyed susans and phlox – while it is very pretty, it looks a little unkempt.

  13. Simply beautiful! I am trying to work on my garden beds too but the heat is making it impossible.

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