When we first moved into the house there was really no landscaping. We had two Forsythias on the opposite side from the street, one large bush in the front yard, and a few stumpy things that looked like they may have been bushes at one time.
The back yard involved a pile of old bricks, various random items under the porch, a few broken pavers, and spotty grass.
We were on assignment in Seattle when Dave received the offer to move to Charleston and we only had about three weeks in Alabama to get the house ready to sell before we had to leave. Our big plan originally was to renovate the interior of the house and then focus on the outside. Since we were still finishing up our interior renovation, we had very little time to do anything to the outside. In addition, our HVAC unit completely kicked the dust just before we came back to Alabama so we had the major expense of replacing it. I made a desperate trip to Greenleaf Nursery in Decatur to see if we could get some sort of landscaping plan for our yard. My plan was to give them a description of our lot and ask for as many (low maintenance) plants as we could get for $500. We only had a week until our move date at that point and I knew our money would barely get us anything. Instead of laughing at me (which I was expecting), the guys at the nursery were incredibly kind. One of the men offered to come to our house on his way to Cullman later the same day and look at our yard. The next morning he called me with a plan.
He recommended boxwoods for the back of the house under the bedroom windows on the left (sorry for the horrible photos), some evergreen bushes under the kitchen/dining room windows on the right, and pine mulch.
Here you can see the boxwoods in the back, the two forsythias that we already had, and the wonderful new HVAC unit. The white box on the side of the house is a Rinnai tankless water heater. If it were not for Dave and our daughter, it would probably be the love of my life. :-)
We also put some sort of spriggy grass around the back porch.
Our large single shrub that used to be in the front of the house was perfect for hiding the new HVAC unit from the front view.
The single bush in front of the left window was replaced with pink azaleas.
I can't say enough good things about the guys who helped us with our outdoor project. They were so kind and I have no doubt that what they did was instrumental in helping our house sell so quickly. They gave us some major discounts and free delivery. While I know we didn't exactly achieve a landscaping paradise, for the money and time we had to work on it, our yard went from looking like a vacant lot to looking like a yard.