Japanese Inspired Ground Cover Garden and River Rock Border

Seasonal Sunday

Our Zesty HQ feels like a gargantuan, ongoing project.  That is what happens when you are a couple of gals who are not afraid of tackling projects and say “yes, please” to renovating an old appliance warehouse into something more chic.  Let me tell you, this space was a project!!  You can see some great progress shots of the interiors here, if you want to see just exactly how crazy we are talking.

The inside is finally coming along nicely, but our exterior was not jiving with the interiors, yet.  Our solution was to tackle the tiny plot of land that framed our front door.

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Ahhhh, yes.  That beautiful air conditioning unit and clay-caked old hose.  Truly welcoming, right?  A simple coat of spray paint helped us out with the fugly-ugly air conditioner, and we created a hose stand for a new hose….but now what?

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We decided to go with a low garden of various shades of green that would be bordered by an easy black river rock border.


1-2 bags of black river rocks

scotch moss

silver variegated lamium

black mondo grass

lemon thyme

baby tears

garden soil


zest HQ outside redo_0018

After amending the soil with some garden soil, I dug a bit of a trench up against the concrete curb.  Next, I sorted through my bag to find the most flat shaped rocks for my garden border.

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This is pretty darn easy, just press them down into the soil upended on their sides.  I built mine about 4-5 rocks deep, but you can choose however wide you want your border.  Simply stagger and wedge the rocks as you go.

zest HQ outside redo_0020

Wanting to keep the garden low growing due to the shrub and the air conditioner, we opted to create a tonal ground cover garden.  Using bright scotch moss, we lined the black rock border to set it off nicely.

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Then we filled everything in with rows of baby tears under the shrub, moving out towards a silvery variegated lamium, a black mondo grass, and lemon thyme.  The result was a mixture of kelly green, chartreuse, forest green and a soft grey-green.  I cannot wait for things to grow and fill in!  I will have to post more pictures in a month or so.

zest hq front garden_0000zest hq front garden_0001

Crazy how that bit of spray paint made our air conditioner take a back seat….thankfully!!!

zest hq front garden_0002zest hq front garden_0003zest hq front garden_0004Pretty darn happy with the results.  Things feel just that much closer to being done.  It’s a good feeling y’all!  Especially now that wedding season is about to begin and our time for renovating will seriously be taxed.

How do you create curb appeal at your home or office?  Would love to hear 😉



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