Our Garden Before & After

Hi friends!

Ready for a garden tour and before & after photos? This was such a fun post to compile - so satisfying to see how far we've come!

When we moved to this 10 acre property two years ago, we were excited to finally have enough sunshine and space to create our dream garden. The photo above is right after we moved in. We gave away the playground set and the trampoline, moved the sand and kept the lumber to re-purpose in the flower beds. More recently we removed all of the arborvitae in the back that were functioning as a deck railing but blocked the view from the deck.

With two big dogs who love to dig, we needed a fence to enclose the garden. We wanted something rustic and low profile since we already have a lot of fencing going on in the back yard and - just as important - we wanted something we could put up ourselves. We chose a cedar split rail fence. It's sturdy, easy to construct, with a little help from YouTube, and it's worked out great. Actually, with some effort, the dogs can squeeze through the rails of the fence, but they've only done it when I've left out some bone meal. Otherwise, they don't bother!

We planted the edges of the garden with perennials and continued to build the cedar raised beds. This is what we planted along the edges:

  • Purple Coneflower
  • Bee balm
  • Salvia
  • Russian Sage
  • Catmint
  • Phlox
  • Goldenrod
  • Black Eyed Susans
  • Sunflowers

Then we had to decide how to best cover the walkways. We considered using bark mulch, gravel, and various types of ground cover. There are pros and cons for each, which I won't go into here, but we decided to go with the easiest option: bark mulch, since the previous owners left us a giant pile of it, which we are still using two years later! We also repurposed some landscaping rocks from the front of the property to make the rock beds in the center of the garden.

You can see from the photos that we experimented with several configurations of rock beds and cedar beds. The photo above shows the final lay-out. We got as much done as we could before winter rolled around - finishing the bark mulch and filling most of the beds with a 5 way soil blend. We couldn't wait until spring!

This is the plan Bert used to build the arbor.

It seemed like winter lasted FOREVER! 

We started a few things from seed indoors in the early spring but planted everything else outside once the threat of frost had passed. We initially thought we'd plant more veggies but ended up planting about 80% flowers, 20% veggies and I think that's the perfect ratio for us.



raised bed flower garden with verbena flowers in the foreground
raised bed flower garden with statue in the center
raised bed flower garden
raised bed flower garden
Seeing the garden evolve over the last two years has been so satisfying! As hobby gardeners who are learning as we go, we're thrilled with the haven we have created. There's something so completely blissful about being in the garden before the sun comes up, coffee in hand, watching a young coyote in the distance, pause before making her way into the forest. The birds have found a haven here too and so far the rabbits are not being too much of a nuisance. (Slugs on the other hand.....) I love that we have created a small patch of earth that is teeming with life, that feeds the birds and bugs and humans alike. We are learning. About each plant, each flower, each season anew. We are growing together.
Fellow gardeners! Want a free 37 page printable garden planner? Get yours here.


  • Old Lady Gardener

    I loved seeing all the before and after pics! What a delightful space you’ve created. Words couldn’t begin to describe what your photos show. You’ve clearly had a fun time developing this space, not to mention you’ve done a lot of hard work. I have no problem imagining the pleasure of wandering this area early in the day with your first cuppa!
    Little Truths Studio replied:
    Thank you for your kind words Ginny! and thank you for stopping by! :)

  • Laura Bray

    It is so gorgeous Lori! You bring your style to every aspect of your life. Congratulations on building such a beautiful sanctuary for yourself and nature.
    Little Truths Studio replied:
    Thanks Laura! I love how your garden is evolving too. :)

  • Anne

    So beautiful! You have accomplished so much in such a short time. I love getting to see the before and after side by side. I imagine it must be so satisfying to look back and see how far you’ve come! Thanks so much for sharing.
    Little Truths Studio replied:
    Thanks so much Anne! :)

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Hi Friends!

I’m Lori Roberts

At the heart of Little Truths Studio is a shared journey. To be better humans. To make the world more beautiful with our actions and intentions. To declare our values into being. I speak these truths through gentle art, thoughtful words and a desire to embrace a slower, kinder way of life. Learn more about me >