Our Flip: Lift Their Skirts!

Pick The Perfect Exterior Paint Colors In A Snap

Before we got ahold of it, the front yard at the flip was a hot mess:

We're Flipping Out

The house was barely even visible behind two humongous magnolia trees that totally obscured the roof and most of the exterior – which might have been a good thing, given the not-so-lovely appearance of the house at that time.

Our Flip: Lift Their Skirts Our Flip: Lift Their Skirts

And not only were the magnolia trees obscuring the house, they were blocking out so much sunlight with their dense and low-hanging limbs that grass couldn’t even grow over much of the yard – mmm, mud yard – just what everyone wants!

Jason and I knew that the trees were awesome so we didn’t want to cut them down, but we didn’t really know what could be done to (a) let the grass grow, (b) let the house be seen, and (c) let potential buyers mosey up the sidewalk without getting whacked by branches.  After we asked around a bit, my aunt came up with this brilliant yet common-sense solution – lift their skirts!!  (Her words, not mine!!).

Enter Landscaper Jared – you might remember him from such adventures as Fun With Big Machines and Backyard Oasis.  I think it’s only fitting that the Landscaper Jared series gets a third installment, don’t you?

Anyway, Landscaper Jared shimmied right up those ginormous magnolias with a rented chainsaw in one hand and his life insurance policy in the other – kids, don’t try this at home!

Our Flip: Lift Their Skirts

Those low-hanging branches didn’t stand a chance!

Our Flip: Lift Their Skirts

After we waited a few hours and didn’t hear any sirens, we swung back by the flip and were greeted by this awesome sight:

Our Flip: Lift Their Skirts

Have you ever seen so many branches in your entire life?  It took three trips to the dump to get rid of that huge pile.

After the magnolias were pruned and the ground was touched by sunlight for the first time in decades, we knew that anything we planted would finally have a chance for survival – no more mud pit!!  We trekked over to Home Depot and bought a slew of bushes, plants and flowers – red tip photinas, holly bushes, purple ferns, and impatiens.  Once we hauled them back to the house in Landscaper Jared’s truck, we spaced out each plant and flower on either side of the house:

Our Flip: Lift Their Skirts

That gave us a chance to eyeball the arrangement and spacing before Landscaper Jared planted all those puppies:

Our Flip: Lift Their Skirts

In no time, the front of the flip was looking about a thousand times better.  But even though the beds full of ivy were no longer, the front yard was still begging for some new sod:

Our Flip: Lift Their Skirts

Landscaper Jared laid about a pallet and a half of St. Augustine over the bare spots in the front yard:

Our Flip: Lift Their Skirts

Curious how Landscaper Jared got the grass to curve around the flower beds oh-so-perfectly?  I was too, until I spied Landscaper Jared with his secret weapon:

Our Flip: Lift Their Skirts

A machete!!  Apparently he just gives the grass a few whacks with his trusty machete and he gets a perfect cut every time – man, I wish I had known that when we were laying sod in our backyard!

Pick The Perfect Exterior Paint Colors In A Snap

The lawn has now settled in and is happy as a clam, and the new plantings are looking fab.  Have any of you tackled laying sod before?  Got any landscaping tips or tricks up your sleeve?  Fill us in!

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  1. christy says:

    I am impressed! You guys were so hands on. And I can’t believe how many branches there were. That’s such a great idea – we need to do that in our yard!

    Also, I love the phrase hot mess. Don’t know why – but it always makes me smile. And I’m sure in Texas it really is HOT!

  2. Averill says:

    Wow! In your earlier post I just assumed you had the Magnolia removed but I’m so glad you didn’t. It’s amazing what a difference a little pruning can make (and you saved a tree while you were at it)!

    Never laid sod before…but it doesn’t look particularly fun. Given my interest in interior design, I know this sounds weird but I am completely befuddled by landscape design. I have no idea what flowers to plant or how close to plant them or what grass to use, etc.

  3. kathy says:

    very impressed. the new sod looks terrific and blends in perfect. great idea to trim the trees also!