Tiffany
Tiffany
  • Tutorial Team
  • Hemet, CA

My Cinderella Yard Make Over...From Ugly to Wonderful

6 Materials
$422
8 Hours
Easy

Like many, I don't have disposable cash but my front yard needed a make over. Desperately. In order to accomplish this, I sold some items that I no longer needed that totaled $420. Bingo, game on yard! I live in So Cal but I am a country girl. Drought tolerant is a must here these days but as I found out you can have your cake & eat it too. I visited Kentucky a few years ago and fell in love with the black barns and green grass. That was my template with a side of Ca. I wanted pretty, serene, low to no maintenance & low budget. I achieved my quest. I spent $422 on this project.
my cinderella yard make over from ugly to wonderful
My initial intentions were to throw some seed down and call it a day. However, I love unique and wanted better. I bought the old fire pit from a neighbor for $5.00. I knew some day it would have a purpose. The lower portion of my yard is black bark with cactus and other drought tolerant plants. Then a patch of grass I planted a few months ago when I intended on the rest of the yard being grass. Luckily, girls change their minds and often for the better.
my cinderella yard make over from ugly to wonderful
The "river" was put in previously from rock that my neighbor was throwing away and I happily gave a new home to and the black bark was on sale at Lowes 5 bags for $10. It goes on sale every holiday. Well worth the wait.
my cinderella yard make over from ugly to wonderful
I purchased 30 bags of small pebble river rock instead of DG. I didn't want my yard to be one big litter box for neighborhood cats. I spent a little extra by putting down weed barrier fabric after spraying the ground with weed killer.  
my cinderella yard make over from ugly to wonderful
My son & my boyfriend were ever so kind to help fulfill my fantasy.  The manufacturer recommends a 2 inch layer of pebbles however, for cost sake, we did just a little over an inch and it still worked fine.
( It was a hot day and ice cold beer helped)
my cinderella yard make over from ugly to wonderful
Laying the rock took about 3 hours to do. The cost for the pebbles was 30 bags @ $5.00 per bag, $150.  The fabric barrier was $50.
my cinderella yard make over from ugly to wonderful
Here is what became of the old fire pit I purchased for $5.00. It now is home to a tiny cactus & succulent garden. I did spray paint the legs a hammered cooper color that I happen to already have. Total cost was $50.
my cinderella yard make over from ugly to wonderful
I like things to be or appear natural so instead of a plastic or brick border I decided a natural border would be lovely. I bought a flat of blue fescue ornamental grass to be the border. When matured they will be about 6-8" wide and 5" tall. They were planted 9 " apart and staggered. One mature plant sells for $7. I got a flat that has almost 50 plants for $20. I planted the rest as a border to the river area.  
my cinderella yard make over from ugly to wonderful
The last phase of this transformation were plants, stepping stones and lighting. I planted 4 barrel cactus and 2 other succulents. I added 8 stepping stones and again my neighbor donated a few large rocks he was removing from his yard. The plants were a little costly at $102 but they are low to no maintenance and water so the cost up front was ok with me since there wont be any costs to maintain in the future.  
my cinderella yard make over from ugly to wonderful
Here is night picture. The lighting is solar and was $50. I am so very pleased with how this project turned out. The area between the rock garden and the black bark are the end of the yard will be filled in with a ground cover called Creeping Jenny. It is a bright green that has yellow flowers in the fall. That will be done next weekend.
All in all I am extremely happy with how this turned out. I don't like normal so my Kentuckyfied/SoCal yard fits me.  I spent only $2 out of pocket after selling items that I would no longer use. I'm a happy girl.
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 8 questions
  • Upasana Sundriyal
    on Jul 10, 2018

    Amazing. I also tried doing something like this in my Kitchen Garden this weekend. Please suggest as how to hide the fabric visible on either side.

    • Sandra
      on Jul 15, 2018

      Why not buy some 1x4s and ding a trench and put them end to end. That will hold in the gravel and will help make a straighter line helping to hold up the bottles.

  • Rosa Grugan
    on Jul 15, 2018

    Hi I would like to know were did you get those solar lights? The look like a star. Love them .thank you.

  • Pam Hendley Frizzell
    on Jul 15, 2018

    I have an unground large diving board swimming pool that I would give anything to fill in. I don’t even know where to start . Short of money- cancer survivor-64 years old. What do I do.

    • D fuhrman
      on Jul 29, 2018

      i had a built in pool that actually would have cost me more to fill in then keep using it as a pool. contact your county to see what can be put in the pool ( dumped in the pool)

      to close it as some things aren't allowed. i think if i was you get a few koi and some water plants and make it a beautiful pond. good luck

Join the conversation

2 of 49 comments
  • Beth Packer
    on Jul 15, 2018

    😍love!!

  • Sandra
    on Jul 15, 2018

    I agree. I think it’s a great idea to go with the environment and if no rain leads to this, it’s beautiful.

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