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It really works 

One gardener follows the experts' advice

click to enlarge Before: This front bed gets a lot of direct sun, especially in the afternoon, and is dissected by a spreading fig tree that will have large leaves. I generally have to replant this bed every spring.After: I used groups of flowers, including dark purple petunias, to add a soft texture and vibrant color. I then added yellow, red and white plants in varying heights. Mulch is the finishing touch.
  • Before: This front bed gets a lot of direct sun, especially in the afternoon, and is dissected by a spreading fig tree that will have large leaves. I generally have to replant this bed every spring.

    After: I used groups of flowers, including dark purple petunias, to add a soft texture and vibrant color. I then added yellow, red and white plants in varying heights. Mulch is the finishing touch.

It all sounded too easy — and kind of derailed my usual lack-of-time excuse for the reason my flowerbeds look like wildflower experiments gone bad — so I thought I would follow the advice of our three expert landscapers and dress up my front yard.

  It only took a few hours to shape up one bed that's visible from the street and the overgrown mess that greets visitors in my entryway.

  It was as easy as they said — and has changed the curb appeal of my home.

click to enlarge Before: Plants had outgrown the space they were planted, and the half-hidden birdbath only emphasized the mess. - After: Cutting the cornstalk plant (aka Dracaena fragrans) to half its height made the bed less imposing, and adding bright blooms and smaller plants made the space feel organized and serene.
  • Before: Plants had outgrown the space they were planted, and the half-hidden birdbath only emphasized the mess.

    After: Cutting the cornstalk plant (aka Dracaena fragrans) to half its height made the bed less imposing, and adding bright blooms and smaller plants made the space feel organized and serene.

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