U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Garden
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-09-2009, 06:36 PM
Status: "Too Tired" (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
13,847 posts, read 17,510,134 times
Reputation: 34310

Advertisements

Yeah, mainly the ugly factor. But everything I've ever heard or read recommends keeping foundation plantings a certain distance from the foundation. I think it's as much for the health of the plants as concern for anything else. Those bushes look lke they are right up on the house.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-09-2009, 06:40 PM
 
Location: rain city
2,958 posts, read 12,067,556 times
Reputation: 4936
The pics are much better than I expected. Those shrubs really aren't bad at all, just way too many of them of all the same kind and color.

Looks like mostly boxwoods by the house and a hedge of junipers by the sidewalk. As you can see, boxwoods prune nicely--junipers do not. In order to reduce the junipers out front you'll pretty much have to remove them.

You may want to remove some of the boxwoods as well as they are so thick and meatballish, but I'd leave some of them because they're nice and green and look healthy. Consider removing the taller boxwoods growing between the windows and the entire lot of shrubbery growing to the right of the front door.

So if it were my place, I would start by getting rid of the juniper hedge, and getting rid of the greenery mentioned above. That still leaves some pretty bushes and quite a bit of space to work with.

However, once the offending bushes have been cut down you will have stumps galore, very sizeable ones as these are mature shrubs, and serious roots left in the ground. Digging that stuff out is a real serious b*tch. And it must be dug out if you want to replant anything in those areas.

If you do this yourself you've got a least a summers worth of project right there.

Spending months out there cutting stuff down and digging it up will give you plenty of of brain time to consider what you want to install when the removal is complete.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2009, 06:48 PM
Status: "Too Tired" (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
13,847 posts, read 17,510,134 times
Reputation: 34310
Are the junipers a hedge? I thought that was a hillside planting. Maybe I have hillside plantings on the brain since that's one of the issues I'm looking at in my new house.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2009, 07:05 PM
 
596 posts, read 2,727,906 times
Reputation: 202
The creeping junipers on the forefront of the lawn are located on a slopey area that resembles a ditch. That is a tricky area to mow, and I am growing to like the idea of having that ground cover. It also has a varied shade of green/blue/purple according to the literature online. It appears to change shades through the seasons. It is 'growing' on me .

The box things all around the house - very '70s or something, and very much looks like the house is hiding behind them. Also a fear of damaging roots. I should add, the septic system is located beneath that entire front lawn area - another consideration with those box things and their roots. I didnt realize they had a large root system.

I like the idea of very small, manageable bushes that are sparsely placed. Then, some flowering plants or wispy, tall greenery. No clue what, though. To add color, I would like to do some red cedar chips or something, and have it trimmed with something simple but attractive on the edge. This is my vision but I have no clue what I'm doing nor what I'm talking about .

I thought maybe of leaving the taller bushes between the windows, but trimming them down quite a bit and making them more narrow, as well.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2009, 10:31 PM
 
Location: somewhere close to Tampa, but closer to the beach
2,035 posts, read 4,783,179 times
Reputation: 1096
jctx,

Well it looks like we have another juniper and boxwood meatball invasion on our hands lol..

Upon looking over your pictures,..i see a ton of potential for your yard..

First off, id totally suggest removing all of the creeping juniper...If you have the time, feel free to look over my prior posts..i have juniper listed as one of my top 20 worst plants on one thread but anyway..

As for the boxwood,..im guessing the plants there are probably either "green beauty" or "winter gem" the two primary boxwood cultivars...If you like the 'boxwood' look but want something smaller.. Suffruticosa and Compacta usually stay much smaller..and are great for outlining an entryway..if you wanted to do so..

The problem with large shrubs right up against the house include a perfect home for bugs which can enter the home easier and a good place for some other not so welcome visiters to hide out in..especially the human kind..

As for mulch, stay clear of the colored stuff..natural is much healthier for plants and the soil..

Just by looking at the pictures you provided, i can see two larger flower beds for the front with a small path from the street to the front lawn area..

Closer to the house, i also see flower beds..especially on the (my) left..with another one below the two windows on the right..

As for your options plantwise, that will depend on how severe your winters are..Though this is just an assumption,..it appears (from the pictures) like your front faces south and thus is warmer year round..so when you look for plants, you'll want stuff which will handle the sun and heat..

For now, as you start envisioning your landscape, remember that you want primarily small stuff up front where the (evil) juniper lives..with maybe a specimen small tree or two ( trees/shrubs no taller than 15-20ft tall) mixed in to break things up and give some immediate privacy from the street..

Closer to the house you can add another specimen type tree or shrubs..this would be where id add Fragrant plants or more tender/experimental material..

Somewhere in one of the threads here i have pictures of a landscape restoration i worked on (and still are lol) for my grandparents front yard. feel free to take a peek to get ideas. don't mind the out of place lilac....im trying to figure out where to move it..lol. I'll also be adding pictures soon since alot of what i installed last year is comming into flower now..

I just finished installing a Golden wonder senna(Cassia splendida) this afternoon in a spot where a couple old mugo pines are alongside the driveway..not sure what im gonna relpace the other one with just yet..

If you have any other questions, send me a PM..and yes..death to the meatballs!!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2009, 11:50 PM
Status: "Too Tired" (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
13,847 posts, read 17,510,134 times
Reputation: 34310
si33 I looked for your thread you mentioned and couldn't find it. I have a similar situation to jctx, a slope that is too steep to conveniently mow. I was thinking of doing the creeping juniper as that is what many of my neighbors have. Most of their plantings are fairly new though, and still look pretty good to me.
What is it that you don't like about them? Are they like some other types of juniper shrubs and get all scraggly and hollow in the center as they get older?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2009, 11:58 PM
 
Location: rain city
2,958 posts, read 12,067,556 times
Reputation: 4936
Quote:
Originally Posted by DubbleT View Post
Are they like some other types of juniper shrubs and get all scraggly and hollow in the center as they get older?
Yes.

And when junipers grow out of bounds and get pruned, they are brown and ugly forever after. The spreading junipers are particularly unprunable.

The gardener I work with calls spreading junipers "landlord plants".
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-10-2009, 01:16 AM
 
Location: Mishawaka, IN
855 posts, read 2,287,205 times
Reputation: 701
I would personally start from scratch. It's your house now so make it yours.


We had a similar situation at our house. My wife bought our house in '73 well before we met. A few years after she bought it she bought some shrubs at KMart and planted them in front. We had four globe arborvitae and four false cypress, two each on either side of the entrance. There was a group of four yews that formed a large 5' tall by 5' deep by 11' wide rectangular mass. It was just a mass of fairly nondescript and monotonous green.

A few years after we met I removed the yews, 2 of the arborvitaes and all of the false cypress. Replaced them with a couple of dwarf alberta spruces and crimson pygmy barberries and lilies to start. The barberries provided a different color and texture, the spruces added a different shape. They're spaced out further and open up the front of the house.

Since then I've expanded the beds out further and further diversified the plantings. I don't have anything in the landscape that takes away from the house any longer. The shrubs have their place by the house but they're fewer in number and spaced further apart. The planting beds have a mix of perennials, spring bulbs and miniature roses. The landscaping accents the house, where it was basically the focal point before, especially since our house is on the top of a slope.

I will say that I did our revamping by myself over the course of a couple of years and removing those shrubs was no cakewalk but you don't have to do everything all at once.

(Also, heavy equipment of even the compact variety is your friend.

Sincerely,
DLK55's lower back)

I agree with everything si33 said, especially that mass of juniper.

So much of your house is masked or lost by all that greenery that you really don't have an idea what the house really looks like. That isn't ideal landscaping, even when you trim all that green into perfect lil purty shapes.

Now, this isn't perfect but here's a (very rough, general) idea of what your house could like like from scratch(Although I did substitute grass for the area by the house.). The sidewalk is just "painted" in, guessed at the perspective because it's blocked by the shrubs.



The siding is hurriedly done and the slope's perspective is kind of lost but it's just to give you an idea of what you could be looking at unobstructed by the mass of pillowy greenery. You see the junipers, the shrubs, more shrubs than the roof and somewhere in between is the house.

Don't be afraid to start over with it. It may seem daunting but it's worth it in the end.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-10-2009, 06:32 AM
 
596 posts, read 2,727,906 times
Reputation: 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by DLK55 View Post
I would personally start from scratch. It's your house now so make it yours.


We had a similar situation at our house. My wife bought our house in '73 well before we met. A few years after she bought it she bought some shrubs at KMart and planted them in front. We had four globe arborvitae and four false cypress, two each on either side of the entrance. There was a group of four yews that formed a large 5' tall by 5' deep by 11' wide rectangular mass. It was just a mass of fairly nondescript and monotonous green.

A few years after we met I removed the yews, 2 of the arborvitaes and all of the false cypress. Replaced them with a couple of dwarf alberta spruces and crimson pygmy barberries and lilies to start. The barberries provided a different color and texture, the spruces added a different shape. They're spaced out further and open up the front of the house.

Since then I've expanded the beds out further and further diversified the plantings. I don't have anything in the landscape that takes away from the house any longer. The shrubs have their place by the house but they're fewer in number and spaced further apart. The planting beds have a mix of perennials, spring bulbs and miniature roses. The landscaping accents the house, where it was basically the focal point before, especially since our house is on the top of a slope.

I will say that I did our revamping by myself over the course of a couple of years and removing those shrubs was no cakewalk but you don't have to do everything all at once.

(Also, heavy equipment of even the compact variety is your friend.

Sincerely,
DLK55's lower back)

I agree with everything si33 said, especially that mass of juniper.

So much of your house is masked or lost by all that greenery that you really don't have an idea what the house really looks like. That isn't ideal landscaping, even when you trim all that green into perfect lil purty shapes.

Now, this isn't perfect but here's a (very rough, general) idea of what your house could like like from scratch(Although I did substitute grass for the area by the house.). The sidewalk is just "painted" in, guessed at the perspective because it's blocked by the shrubs.



The siding is hurriedly done and the slope's perspective is kind of lost but it's just to give you an idea of what you could be looking at unobstructed by the mass of pillowy greenery. You see the junipers, the shrubs, more shrubs than the roof and somewhere in between is the house.

Don't be afraid to start over with it. It may seem daunting but it's worth it in the end.
I am in absolute SHOCK right now. How on EARTH did you do that?!

I am thoroughly enjoying staring at that photo. It has been nearly impossible to imagine the lawn without all the vegetation. This is definitely the highlight of my day today - THANK YOU!

What methods are best for removing boxwoods and creeping junipers? I have the usual rookie tools: shovels, rakes, pitchfork, edger type thing, small gardening tools (that come as a set, can get them at the dollar store, etc) but thats about it. I have some good gloves (snipping holly berry shrubs taught me a lesson...). What is the best investment to remove these things? Oh, I have the long-handled and short-handled snippers or shears or whatever they're called.

Am I going to need to hire a landscaper, or can I manage this myself over time? I am willing and physically able to put in many days of hard work.

If you had to guess, how deep and to what extent do the roots of the boxwoods and juniper go (I have that septic system beneach the lawn to think about)?

THANKS SO MUCH! I cant wait to "start over" ! Can you paint some flowers or suggested plants into the garden in front of the house? Or is that too tricky? Awesome...just...AWESOME! You did an amazing job of that.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-10-2009, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 29,038,416 times
Reputation: 42952
I'd keep the bushes on the slope, they were probably planted for erosion control.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Garden
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top