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Old 05-20-2015, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
7,735 posts, read 13,649,319 times
Reputation: 24706

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NK, the biggest problem with the shrubs in front of the house is that many of them split (literally) due to snow falling on them from this past winter's brutal storms. If I knew how to fix them and/or trim them (they are a mess), I would, but I have no idea and there is no one here to teach me. In addition, I will be adding a big front porch to the house at some point (the Colonial will then look more like a farmhouse), and the shrubs will have to come out then.

Here's another view of the house -- not sure if it will help:



Once those shrubs are out I was just going to fill the space with containers & the like until we start building the porch. There is a house in my neighborhood that does that and it looks great.

The alternative would be to put some small plantings (hostas?) there ... I think I would like that better than the huge shrubs that are there now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamh View Post
Ok NK now this Oregonian has two new words to throw at her gardens friends..
So after breakfast and at least 3 cups of coffee, start looking at perennials , meaning
coral bells for edges, daisy's , salvia's , and whatever else might handle all your weather.
I have a 50ft x 4ft flower and two other smaller ones and now they are mostly perennials, they
are less work and over time can be divided for more plants..
Talk to one of your good local nurseries and they will steer you in the right direction for plants.
Happy gardening
Do you have some photos of your flower beds? I would love to see them!!
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,504 posts, read 46,063,271 times
Reputation: 47523
oh so the entrance is more towards he left of the house? Do you have a sidewalk from the driveway?
Do you have marauding deer? they love hosta and well...just so many things.

I can see you have a combination of broadleaf shrubs and maybe needle leaf? do you know what they are? I'm not gonna bug you anymore about saving them except to say you simply get a chain saw or heavy duty loppers and you cut about 6 inches from the ground. You won't have much to lose if you are planning to have them removed soon for your porch plans which sounds wonderful.
we are big on porches here in the south.

I have to put some photos on phtobucket but my 12 year old knows better than I do. She'll help me eventually.
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:32 AM
 
25,627 posts, read 31,827,576 times
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I'm with NK on saving the foundation plants. Can you move the rhododendrons? and thujas? I'd save those if you can move them to a property line to block a line of sight with a neighbor. Lots of money tied up in those established plants. Away from the house in an open space they can grow to their natural proportions and handle the snow better.
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
7,735 posts, read 13,649,319 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
oh so the entrance is more towards he left of the house? Do you have a sidewalk from the driveway?
The part of the house that you can see in the larger photo is the ORIGINAL house, which is your basic Colonial rectangle. The front door is in the middle of that part of the house, as is typical -- lots of symmetry.

In the late 1970s the owners expanded the house quite a bit -- they added a family room on the first floor with 2 more bedrooms and a full bathroom above (the house now has 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms) plus expanded the garage from 2 bays to 3. The family room is set back a bit from the original part of the house -- you can't see it too well in the larger picture but CAN in the smaller one. The owners also added a screened porch on the left side of the house -- you can see that in the smaller photo too. (My kitties love love love the porch. ) Honestly, the house is too big for me, but I bought it for the big and beautiful lot -- it's on 1.29 acres (the back yard is gigantic) but still city water/sewer (very unusual in my area).

Anyway ... the addition made the house not symmetrical any more, which is fine with me as I don't like symmetry, especially not in gardens -- it is way too formal for my taste. There IS a pathway from the driveway to the front door, but I almost never use it -- there's another front entrance into the family room (since it's set back from the main/original part of the house, it looks like a service entrance, and for me it pretty much is -- I virtually always enter the house that way).

The shrubs are in such bad shape that I can barely see the path to the front door any more. It looks awful, and I really need to figure out SOMETHING asap, as my neighborhood is wonderful and I feel like my front yard is a huge pimple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Do you have marauding deer? they love hosta and well...just so many things.
I have never seen deer near or around the front of the house. I HAVE seen one (in 3 years) in my back yard although quite a bit back (there is conservation land back there). I think deer-unsafe plants would be OK in the front yard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
I can see you have a combination of broadleaf shrubs and maybe needle leaf? do you know what they are? I'm not gonna bug you anymore about saving them except to say you simply get a chain saw or heavy duty loppers and you cut about 6 inches from the ground. You won't have much to lose if you are planning to have them removed soon for your porch plans which sounds wonderful.
we are big on porches here in the south.

I have to put some photos on phtobucket but my 12 year old knows better than I do. She'll help me eventually.
I think there are some rhododendrons -- I have no idea what the others are. When I say I am a total newbie, I mean it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
I'm with NK on saving the foundation plants. Can you move the rhododendrons? and thujas? I'd save those if you can move them to a property line to block a line of sight with a neighbor. Lots of money tied up in those established plants. Away from the house in an open space they can grow to their natural proportions and handle the snow better.
Thujas ... is that what the ones on either end are?

I'm not sure any of them are salvageable after this past winter, but I will look at them more closely ...

As for "blocking a line of sight with neighbors," one of the reasons I moved to this house (from a smaller house on a 1/4-acre lot) was the privacy! My next-door neighbors are each several hundred feet away with very tall trees between my house and theirs. So I'm all set there.

I did think of moving a rhododendron at my last house -- it was placed in a really odd place. I did a lot of research and it sounded like moving it was tricky -- maybe a 50/50 chance of it surviving even if I was very very careful.
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Old 05-20-2015, 11:34 AM
 
733 posts, read 695,309 times
Reputation: 1884
I would concentrate on perennials.

I would keep my annuals to large pots. Make up some nice pot-scapes, with something that trails, some upright growers, some bushy plants.

If you can afford it, have someone else prep your beds.
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Old 05-20-2015, 11:36 AM
 
733 posts, read 695,309 times
Reputation: 1884
Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
NK, the biggest problem with the shrubs in front of the house is that many of them split (literally) due to snow falling on them from this past winter's brutal storms. If I knew how to fix them and/or trim them (they are a mess), I would, but I have no idea and there is no one here to teach me. In addition, I will be adding a big front porch to the house at some point (the Colonial will then look more like a farmhouse), and the shrubs will have to come out then.

Here's another view of the house -- not sure if it will help:



Once those shrubs are out I was just going to fill the space with containers & the like until we start building the porch. There is a house in my neighborhood that does that and it looks great.

The alternative would be to put some small plantings (hostas?) there ... I think I would like that better than the huge shrubs that are there now.



Do you have some photos of your flower beds? I would love to see them!!

Next winter, knock the snow off with a broom. Don't let it bend your plants and break limbs and twigs.
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Old 05-20-2015, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,504 posts, read 46,063,271 times
Reputation: 47523
Karen...do you know how much those huge rhoddies are worth????????? BIG BUCKS. If you are hell bent on getting rid of all that foundation then by all means wait until winter or fall and advertise them to sell. Somebody can come in to root- prune them some months prior to get them ready for moving but azaleas and rhoddies are generally shallow rooted. I'm thinking of getting in the car right now, heading to your house and claiming dips on at least the rhoddies..

call a designer just for a consultation. It shouldn't cost too much but I found more mistakes cost more from not getting expert advice than the cost of the expert advice. Does that make sense. Go to a nursery and price mature rhoddies...if you can find one.
\
Look under Landscape Designer, or landscape architect or even call your local
Extension Agent. An on-site consultation is very reasonable. The big bucks always come in formal and to -scale drawings and plant lists, etc. This is my best advice to you. Have written down all your questions and concerns so you won't waste your time with that person. take notes or better yet ask if you can tape what they say so you can concentrate on the conversation.
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Old 05-20-2015, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
7,735 posts, read 13,649,319 times
Reputation: 24706
Quote:
Originally Posted by seasick View Post
I would concentrate on perennials.

I would keep my annuals to large pots. Make up some nice pot-scapes, with something that trails, some upright growers, some bushy plants.

If you can afford it, have someone else prep your beds.
I CAN afford it but don't want to. I like to learn how to do things myself ... which is what I am trying to do.

I do like container gardening -- have done annuals the past several years (this house and the one before). They have generally done very well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seasick View Post
Next winter, knock the snow off with a broom. Don't let it bend your plants and break limbs and twigs.
Um, OK. I've lived in New England for 13 years (this time around) and I've never had plants split before -- we just got a LOT more snow than usual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Karen...do you know how much those huge rhoddies are worth????????? BIG BUCKS. If you are hell bent on getting rid of all that foundation then by all means wait until winter or fall and advertise them to sell. Somebody can come in to root- prune them some months prior to get them ready for moving but azaleas and rhoddies are generally shallow rooted. I'm thinking of getting in the car right now, heading to your house and claiming dips on at least the rhoddies..
LOL, no, I had no idea! Maybe I will try to save them and move them elsewhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
call a designer just for a consultation. It shouldn't cost too much but I found more mistakes cost more from not getting expert advice than the cost of the expert advice. Does that make sense. Go to a nursery and price mature rhoddies...if you can find one.
\
Look under Landscape Designer, or landscape architect or even call your local
Extension Agent. An on-site consultation is very reasonable. The big bucks always come in formal and to -scale drawings and plant lists, etc. This is my best advice to you. Have written down all your questions and concerns so you won't waste your time with that person. take notes or better yet ask if you can tape what they say so you can concentrate on the conversation.
Great suggestion ... I will do that before I do anything drastic!!
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Old 05-20-2015, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,504 posts, read 46,063,271 times
Reputation: 47523
Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
I CAN afford it but don't want to. I like to learn how to do things myself ... which is what I am trying to do.

I do like container gardening -- have done annuals the past several years (this house and the one before). They have generally done very well.



Um, OK. I've lived in New England for 13 years (this time around) and I've never had plants split before -- we just got a LOT more snow than usual.



LOL, no, I had no idea! Maybe I will try to save them and move them elsewhere.



Great suggestion ... I will do that before I do anything drastic!!
AHHHH...... I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER.

When I had my design business I always met on site for initial (free) consultation to access exactly what the customer wanted, how much they knew and how much effort they would put into doing the job and most importantly...maintaining the job. I asked questions about what kind of tools they had, what kind of storage did they have for those tools. Did they want "a pretty yard' or were they interesting in developing a gardening hobby. Each is perfectly fine but each has a different approach for the designer.

If somebody is wanting to do the job themselves they need to know the expense in tools, rental, amendments, increased water bill initially, level of physical ability they had, etc. I'd start them off small to see what they could really devote in terms of time, energy and money. Sometimes I stood right there and drew out a rough sketch and would jot down some plant suggestions. That cost of course.

If they had elaborate dreams I knew they wanted a formally drawn plan (I subbed those out).

Then I would recommend installation professionals who I had experience with and who I trusted. But I was manager of the project and tried to be on site every day.

On elaborate plans I wrote out 5 year calendar with recommendations for what to do in each season. I rarely had folks who wanted it all done at once, as I concentrated my business of new homes with very little except builder grade foundation planting. And some folks who wanted to expand garden beds or change out existing plant material in a newly purchased home.

I started out after I got my degree working as in-house designer for a nursery. Soon found out the name of the game was not to give the customer what they wanted but to sell as much as I could for the nursery- naive I know. "Don't let them see recommended spacing cause if you bunch things together it will look better at first and we sell more plants." "Always stretch them way beyond what they say they want cause they will love it after it's all in and they will recommend us to others" and of course the underlying message was "To hell with their crowded landscape in 3 or 4 years. No skin off our teeth."

Couldn't work like that.
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Old 05-20-2015, 02:28 PM
 
25,627 posts, read 31,827,576 times
Reputation: 23149
Uh if that is a current picture those rhoddies look fine to me. Seems like you have space on the left side of your first picture at the edge of the yard for them. The plants on the end I think are thujas but can't besure because the picture is too dark and far away.

Those plants are 100 percent able to make the move and survive. I move 20'+ tall trees and never lost a one in 15 years. It's all about proper bed preparation, rootball protection and care after the transplant.
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