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Old 06-29-2013, 10:48 PM
 
3,496 posts, read 5,084,623 times
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Hey R.B.R.,

It sounds like the front of your house faces east (sun light from sunrise to 11am), many have suggested Hydrangea, Azaleas, & camellia (which I love as they bloom in the dead of winter around here).

Your front yard is also screams for a Japanese Maple by the entrance. Get one that has red leaves but doesn't grow too big such as the Emperor One. Avoid Bloodgoods as they do they tall. I would also consider 2 long slender evergreen conifers, one on each end of house, to "anchor" the rest. Something like Degroot's Spires Arborvitaes that will keep its compact shape and grows to about 12 - 15 feet.

Finally, a bird bath fountain completes your yard
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:51 PM
 
2,065 posts, read 3,349,263 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
What? no red tipped photinia. LOL You just had to say it again. Poor Azoria.

Also OP you could use a crape mrytle or two. Dont worry about the size you can just chop them back every so often
Around here it isn't a joke, it is so painful to see some of the stunted and mangled trees, and not just the crape myrtles.
Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Bulldog Dad just wants more work in his landscaping business. I hear he has Crepe Myrtle Murder Specials every year where he bushwacks them by the dozens. And he loves to remove diseased red tips too. he's a very clever businessman.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
Yup looking to expand into Alabama from Kommiefornia, double

I am CMM certified.
Oh my goodness I still haven't stopped laughing at you two. Thanks so much for making my evening!

Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Unfortunately way too many landscapers are CMM Certified all over the country. Old habits die hard.
Even if the tree cutting company doesn't want to do it some people have been very conditioned into thinking it is the right way because they have seen others do it that way. I had someone ask me why I didn't keep my crape myrtle neat and let it go because I didn't cut it "properly" to a nubbin. They really believed it was what you were supposed to do because that is what they have seen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinaMcG View Post
Well, hmm, we have to do that in Kansas every year, cut them down to the ground in the spring. They die back. Different situation, I guess. BTW, that first link is hilarious.

That second link -- OMG!!!!! I have seen trees like that in Texas and had no idea what they were! That is criminal!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Not down to the ground. It is a severe and distorted kind of pruning and I've seen it all over the country-not just the south.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinaMcG View Post
I"ve seen photos of trees butchered like that in England, too.
It is all over the world and there is a lot of it that was done in England so I am not surprised. Some of it is done for very specific reasons and has been done that way for centuries. The terms for it are pollarding and/or coppicing. Loosely described, pollarding is similar to crape murder and coppacing is similar to what Tina describes in cutting the crape myrtles down to the ground.
The Dying Arts of Pleaching and Pollarding | distinct vision.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollarding
The art of pollarding, a photo from Poitou-Charentes, West | TrekEarth

Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
That's Tony Avent who owns Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh, N.C. He has a very sarcastic and funny style of writing and his newsletters are very entertaining. His catalogues always have controversial covers which sometimes get him in trouble. Sign up for his newsletter or FB page for lots of great info.

Plants on-line, Where to Buy Plants, New Plant,Shade Plants,New Plants,Plant Nurseries
I love, love Tony. He has an attitude and an ability to write extensively on many plants that I admire. He's not too worried about tender sensibilities, either. I've been hoping to actually see the gardens at an Open House when I've headed east but have not quite made it at the right time. Have you had a chance to go NoKudzu??
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:22 PM
Status: "" Known fact that reality has a liberal bias." S. Colbert" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
26,611 posts, read 17,980,503 times
Reputation: 31820
Quote:
Originally Posted by J&Em View Post

I love, love Tony. He has an attitude and an ability to write extensively on many plants that I admire. He's not too worried about tender sensibilities, either. I've been hoping to actually see the gardens at an Open House when I've headed east but have not quite made it at the right time. Have you had a chance to go NoKudzu??
Oh yes and I get in trouble every time! My husband cringes whenever I mention I want to go to an Open House. He has Open Houses every spring and fall and his gardens are not to be missed. He has some interesting micro climates which are hard to believe. He is very opinionated and like you said Em, doesn't care too much about stepping on toes. His newsletter always contains a bunch of negative letters where people complain more about his politics than his business. He's pretty conservative. I get his hard copy catalogues and use them as great reminders and introductions to new plants. So glad to have him so close by. I once sat on his porch and had a nice conversation with him about climate change and the Atlanta Botanical Garden and its founder who was killed in a horrible plane crash only weeks after she retired. He knows everybody in the growing world.
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:48 AM
Status: "Winter is here, burrr" (set 16 days ago)
 
16,487 posts, read 12,066,224 times
Reputation: 15809
How about hydrangeas and peonies maybe rose bushes.
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:57 AM
 
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Thanks for all the great info. I'll try to answer some questions. First, I am not a CMM. The murdered Tree was growing ten feet above house among the small shrubs and looked terrible to boot. The shrubs were some type of generic box shrub I think? They were rapid growing that required often pruning, had tiny dark green leaves and if pruned back more than 6 inches you would have bare brown branches.

Whoever landscaped the house before I bought it put absolutely no thought into it. After gaining knowledge from this thread, I realize what a poor job they did. BTW, I have a healthy Crepe Myrtle slightly visible in the picture of the left side of house.

For the area I am planting, I want low maintenance stuff. I like the idea of NICE shrubs with color. I am sold on the Firepower Nandina. The large shrubs at the home entrance will stay.. we just like them. I also love the idea of a small Japanese Maple in the area by the house that I am not dealing with yet. My gardening skill is weak at best. My wife is very talented and everything she plants thrives... she has hosta at this house that originated in Pennsylvania and have moved with her since. I believe she could plant them in a cave, spray roundup on them and they would find their way back to one of our flower beds.

I overestimated sun exposure and bed size. It is 30' x 3.5' directly east facing. Daily direct sun is: 10' - 4 hours, 10' - 3 hours, 10' - 2 hours. It is shaded more than I realized as you move from driveway to front door.

The soil is fairly well drained. It stays moist but not saturated.
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:09 AM
Status: "" Known fact that reality has a liberal bias." S. Colbert" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
26,611 posts, read 17,980,503 times
Reputation: 31820
I think you will be very happy with Firepower Nandina. Post pictures when your project is finished and if you plan on planting then now (I personally would wait till fall, especially in Alabama) be sure to keep them well watered the first year.
Good luck.
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Boonies
1,364 posts, read 1,346,732 times
Reputation: 1842
How about a couple of day lilies or wild geranium for a pop of color?
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Sherwood
5,200 posts, read 7,623,236 times
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I can't defend crape murder, but pollarding is a practice that has been used to keep trees small for thousands of years in Europe (medieval history buff here):

Woodswoman, Pollard That Tree | The Medieval Garden Enclosed | The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

I actually (cough) had this done to a tree that I inherited, and I had to explain what it was to the tree company. It looks ugly while the tree is leafless, but can be an effective way to keep a tree small for many years.
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:29 PM
 
252 posts, read 100,606 times
Reputation: 119
Default Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by HB2HSV View Post
Hey R.B.R.,

Your front yard is also screams for a Japanese Maple by the entrance.
Ok, first let me complain even though no one cares. I got a citation for pulling out my "weed shrubs". This is why I painted myself a redneck living among SNOBS in the original post. I am at 2 citations this year and the next one I will get a fine!! My other infraction was leaving my garage door open longer than 30 minutes. These people really need to get a LIFE!

So, back to the important stuff. I brought my wife into planning and told her I did not have a master plan. We found a guy that grows Japanese Maples locally and I bought 4 of them for $25 each. The exact same maples were at Lowes for $75 and the ones I bought were grafted and grown locally so I am less likely to lose them. It will probably take 2-4 years for them to look the way I want but they will be $200 trees at that point. Besides, I will tick off the community big brother watch dog by planting these stems so if nothing else it is a big plus. My wife is set on planting these yellow shrubs in between the dwarf japanese maples so, of course, I think it is a great idea.

Here is the really cool part of my update story. I had some kind of pathetic tree in the border bed some moron planted well before we moved in. I cut it down last year and it was about 4 inches in diameter at the trunk base and standing roughly 2 feet tall. I call a genuine redneck buddy and told him I wanted to hook a cable to my Xterra and pull it out. He was all in. On the first try, we snapped the 1400lb cable and almost left my chassis on the ground. No big deal... we are going to beat this thing. He left to go get some man tools and I told him I would dig a 4 foot trench around the four inch mammoth. Well, as it turns, the puny little trunk had an ICEBERG root that would have sunk the Titanic. Still, not a problem for a pair of rednecks. To make a very long story short, after a broken sledgehammer, chainsaw, and a steel cable unintentionally welded to an SUV we had success.

I never knew this beatification would turn into stories for the grandkids. It better turn out nice!!!
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:49 PM
Status: "" Known fact that reality has a liberal bias." S. Colbert" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
26,611 posts, read 17,980,503 times
Reputation: 31820
Reggae, Welcome to the land of HOA. Some people complain but I think they are important to help keep the value of property from being diminished by silly things like painting your house purple just to PO the next door neighbor.
I surely wish you had a master plan or at least had talked to a professional before you yanked perfectly good shrubs. Do you have any plans to get some professional advice now?

Surely you aren't going to plant the japanese maples in that small space you originally asked about???Yikes...not enough room. They are trees and trees do not belong right up against a foundation. Hopefully I was reading you wrong.

I'm sure you want your investment to remain steady so I sincerely advise you to talk to somebody who knows what they are doing before you do anything else. Anyway it is NOT A GOOD TIME to plant ANYTHING. Keep your trees in shade and water then every single day this summer. Don't think when the water runs out you have watered enough. In black nursery pots the soil dries out and shrinks away from the sides leaving a space between the root ball and the pot where water never touches the rootball and simply runs down the sides. Be Careful.

What yellow shrubs are you even talking about? Do you know if they have compatible growing conditions as what else you want to plant?

You know there is a reason why professional designers and horticulturalists spend years in school to learn their craft. They will give you the best plan and keep you from being penny wise and pound foolish.
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