Before + After: The Front Yard

Jul 30, 2012 | Home + Studio Tours

I recently showed you guys are back yard makeover, so I thought it would be fun to show you the front yard makeover. Just like the backyard project, we’ve been working on the front yard the last couple of years and with the recent sod replacement, it’s finally, sort of, done.

Let me give you a tour of the whole yard….









The curbside project:



What we did:

The biggest project in the front yard was the curbside area where we planted two trees, put in veggie boxes (a very acceptable and common thing in Portland), a little library, and stepping stones. This was ALL John’s vision, and he’s been working seriously hard to make it happen. Love! By the way, the veggie boxes are lined with garden fencing – an idea my friend Alicia did and we followed suit. I found them at a local store, but have been unable to locate them online for you (so sorry!).

We lined the front of the yard with rocks and a ton of plant stepables that have grown and spread nicely over the last many months. John sprinkled wild flower seeds on the backside of the rocks and OMGoodness, what a delight it is to have a wildflower garden along the sidewalk!  Poppies, dahlias, the works. We put more stepping stones/pathway from our porch to the driveway plus a fence and we’re calling it done.

Best part? True and Bella roll in the yard together and we’ve met so many sweet neighbors who stop by on their walks to visit the little library and pick a wildflower. LOVE. This really is the first time we’ve ever lived in a neighborhood with neighbors we know, a community we adore, and a yard that we love. Feels like we’re growing up in a strange way, where our interest have grown to include our immediate community, and the simple ways that we can add to its beauty with trees and flowers and green, green, green.

Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (15 comments)
  1. Khanh

    Beautiful yard! Was wondering how you built the little library ? I like the look of your library.

    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Thank you! You can purchase templates for little libraries online, but my dad built this one for us!

  2. Carrie

    Your neighbors must love you! What a transformation. Very inspiring!

  3. chasity

    your lawn looks great….
    LOVE the orange van!!!

  4. toliveinspired

    Looks amazing! Love the idea of a neighborhood like this! Perfect circumstances for connection!

  5. Kelly

    It looks really beautiful! xx

  6. Tiges and Weince

    I Love the veggie patch out the front, that wouldn't be allowed in Melbourne Australia 🙁 It's considered council land so we are considered 'non owners', however we are expected to mow & maintain it?? Also unfortunately if I had that in front, I would have veggie snatchers for sure! Looks lovely weel done.

  7. Bethany Crowell

    LOVE this. Absolutely adore the 'lending library'. Thank you for sharing your beautiful space!

  8. QuinnCreative

    How very much like you–love, feeding the soul and body, and friendship. You speak in so many languages that people can see and feel!

  9. curlygirlpress

    I'm so glad you welcome people picking the wildflowers. I always wanted a yard full of daffodils with a sign that said "Please pick a little sunshine." Maybe someday, but for now I'm happily living in the country and trying not to wince when the deer "pick" my flowers. = )

  10. Elaine Hansen

    Your yard looks beautiful – and welcoming! How lovely. Besides the fun of your street side garden – I love how you have planted flowers next to the sidewalk so passersby can see the beauty and maybe pick a flower. It is perfect If I had the energy, I think I might try this with my yard.

    What a nice welcome for you every time you return home from your travels.

  11. Shawna greenway

    It's beautiful! I miss having grass in our front yard. We ripped out all our grass and planted CA natives – less work and less water but there is something so inviting about a nice green yard.

    Love that you pop the top of your VW in the driveway. We do that with our 1986 Westy and the kids play in it for hours. What year is your VW?

  12. Isabel

    Looks gorgeous:O) Love the library idea, wish we had sidewalks.

  13. Jennifer


    The whole house looks just lovely! I bet you are feeling good about the whole thing 🙂


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I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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