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Homeowner shares ‘beautiful’ before-and-after photos from their formerly patchy grass lawn: ‘The anticipation is half the fun’

Their secret to success is simple.

Amazing shade garden transformation

Photo Credit: iStock

A homeowner on Reddit recently showed r/gardening how much progress they’ve made in their yard in just a few years.

A growing movement of homeowners is replacing ordinary grass lawns with other plants. These beautiful designs have more variety and often use native or drought-hardy plants that need much less watering than turf grass, saving the owners money. 

Plus, all those flowers provide lots of food for pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Like many homeowners, the Redditor started with struggling, patchy grass. “Three years ago I decided that this patch of ‘lawn’ served no purpose and needed to become a shade garden,” they said.

Their post includes four progress photos. The first two are the “before” photos, showing a dying patch of lawn with several freshly dug holes, all shaded by two large trees. The Redditor was halfway through planting about two dozen small bushes, including hostas and hydrangeas.

The “after” shots show how well the plants took to the shady environment. Lush greenery lined the edges of the patch, with more dotted throughout in a bed of mulch. A charming flagstone path lined with river rocks leads through the space, with a garden lantern standing nearby.

shade garden
Photo Credit: u/R-code / Reddit
shade garden
Photo Credit: u/R-code / Reddit

Commenters loved the transformation. “Such an oh wow moment,” said one user. “It’s beautiful.”

The secret of the Redditor’s success was their choice of plants that love or at least tolerate shade. According to All About Gardening, many hydrangea varieties thrive in shady areas of the garden, and hostas are a shade garden staple. Homeowners looking for plants tailored to the growing conditions in their yard can consult native plant experts like Yardzen.

According to this Redditor, their shade garden is still evolving. “I just added a few more things that are going to take at least two years to fill in,” they said in a comment. “The anticipation is half the fun.”

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