When we bought our house almost 9 years ago, the seller told us that the yard had just been professionally landscaped. We were appreciative of the instant curb appeal and new plantings. Over time, we added two kids and discovered that what worked for the previous owner wasn’t necessarily what we wanted in our garden. So I’m here today to tell you that it’s OK to rip out what you don’t want and make the garden your own! Just last week, someone approached me for help on her gardens. She was a new homeowner and also had a landscaped yard. She wasn’t sure what to do. My first piece of advice to her was that she didn’t pay for it; therefore, if she didn’t like it, she didn’t have to keep it. A garden is a reflection of your tastes and personality. Just as we change wall paint on the inside because our taste doesn’t match the previous owner, it’s also ok to view the outside gardens in the same way.
Too often we confine ourselves to what a previous homeowner planted. Today, I want you to free yourself. Now, I’m not saying to dig up all your beds and throw the plants out. By no means do I want to see bulk trash become a plant graveyard. Remember, your plants are living and deserve a new home. If you want to be rid of a plant, beautiful or not, there’s a home for it somewhere else. Advertise around and you’ll find someone in need of your free castoff. That said, look at your flowers and bushes and see if they’re “you”. With our house, we loved all the selections, until, like I mentioned, the kids came along. That’s when we realized that the astilbe lining the driveway was attracting large bees and sending our son into a borderline bee phobia. So we pulled them out. When the beautiful crepe myrtle was the source of all our ants in the kitchen, it hit the road. Over time, we’ve reshaped the front bed, moved around plants, added new ones where some died, and replaced some that were given away. It’s ok to change the gardens around. Make them your own. It’s your curb, make it appeal to you.