Create Curb Appeal ‘WOW’ factor with a Garden Bed of Hydrangeas and Boxwood

In this post we will show you how to take two simple plants and create massive curb appeal in your front garden bed. We’ll show you examples of the wonderful results you can achieve with this combination of plants.

Winter is a great time to plan

I know we’re smack-dab in the middle of winter and there is still snow on the ground but this a great time to start garden planning. With planning already finished, everything can be full-steam ahead when the whether turns warmer and it’s time to start gardening.

A simple but effective garden plan for curb appeal

I’m going to share a very simple, yet very effective garden plan for the front yard. This plan only requires 2-3 varieties of plants yet packs a lot of punch. When we moved into our home in Cincinnati the front garden bed was a neglected mess. The existing hedge desperately needed a trim and the half dead bush in the corner by the garage needed to be removed. Old, rotted railroad ties were losing the battle as a retainer wall at the far side of the garden bed. The front six inches of the bed was straggly grass and weeds.  It didn’t really make sense. It looked the the grass had been planted there but for what purpose, I don’t know.

Unfortunately, I’m TERRIBLE at taking before pictures as well as documenting my progress with the camera throughout the project. I get zoned in and that’s it, everything else just fades into the background. But I promise, as a blogger, I will make immediate remedy with that. We’ll have just to deal with my written account of the project (boring I know). But, trust me the results are beautiful.

Removing the old to make way for the new

This first photo shows the project after I had removed the old rotting railroad ties and the dead bush. The hedge is trimmed and I’m starting to install the rock edging along the bed. I would strongly recommend edging the bed with some kind of hard material. I prefer either brick, rock, or cement than something woodsy because hardscape compliments the plants better. Make sure that you are keeping things level and tidy. You want this to impress but also to last for years to come.

Prepare a good garden bed

After the edging was installed I overturned the entire plot with a shovel to prepare it for planting. I also added some soil amendment because the soil wasn’t in good shape (but you should always add some kind of amendment). Overturning the whole plot may seem like overkill, but it helps to rejuvenate the soil and it cuts down on weeds. Putting down a quality fabric barrier is a good idea at this point. I didn’t put a fabric barrier down on this bed because I didn’t anticipate a problem with lots of weeds. But normally I am a fabric barrier fanatic. It makes an enormous difference.

The Garden Plan

Normally I would also have a drawn diagram of my garden plan but this bed was so straightforward and simple that I didn’t feel the need for one. I knew exactly what I wanted to accomplish and it wasn’t complicated. The existing hedge was going to act as my backbone, then I was going to fill the middle with a row of beautiful blue hydrangea bushes. In front of the hydrangea bushes would be a row of boxwood. I love, love, love, love boxwood hedges. I really don’t think I can say “love” enough. This combination of hydrangea and boxwood is very popular. I found some photos on pinterest to help you see what I was trying to achieve.

Instructions for creating the curb appeal garden bed

I planted 5 blue hydrangea bushes in front of the existing hedge, about 4 feet apart. Make sure you follow the instructions on the label for spacing. It’s okay to push them a little closer together if you want to create one block of hydrangeas rather than several smaller bushes.

Then I planted 15 boxwood plants about a foot apart because I want them to grow closely to one another to form a beautiful hedge. I also added 2 hostas near the front steps. It’s nice and shady there and I wanted to break up the boxwood hedge a little. I wanted something a little softer at the porch steps.

At the far end of the garden bed where the half-dead bush used to reside, I transplanted a large boxwood from another bed. I think it was happy to be moved out of its current weed-ridden home. The difference in height from the smaller boxwoods also created a nice visual. You don’t want everything to be exactly the same height.

Adapting this plan to your garden bed

Obviously your garden bed will not measure the same as mine, so the best thing to do is measure your current front bed (or plan for a new one—I’m all for digging up new beds).

Now, it’s not necessary to have a hedge behind the hydrangeas. Mine just happened to be there. Hydrangeas get plenty tall on their own. But if you decide you want one, be sure to pick one that will be taller than the hydrangeas’ full height.

Plan for how many hydrangeas and boxwood you will need to adequately fill in the space. Varieties of hydrangea and boxwood can vary in their size and spacing so refer to your plant labels to determine how much you will need. Also decide if you would like to add anything else in. I’ve seen some photos with small flowers or ground cover planted in front of the boxwood hedge. It was very pretty. However, do be careful not to clutter. The strength in this design is its simplicity. It’s simple but stunning.

Watch your neighbors get jealous

Just kidding. We never want to make someone else feel bad, right? Unfortunately, we sold our home this past fall and moved to Utah so I won’t have the pleasure of watching this garden bed grow and become super beautiful. But already, even in its infancy, this front garden bed created immense curb appeal. You know you’ve done a good job on a landscaping project when suddenly your neighbors across the street are digging up their garden beds and driving home with truck beds full of plants and flowers. I love it. Creativity and beauty inspire more creativity and beauty. And so the world goes round. So to satisfy our curiosity I will end with photos from Pinterest that allude to what this flower bed will become in the future. Happy gardening! xo jayme