Yard Work–2012–Part 2

June 28, 2012 07:20 by ehouston

As I was writing several long weeks ago, we were attempting to raise the curb appeal around our place without spending a dime.  I know, what’s new, right?  Big impact wanted without spending.  Can it be done?  Well we decided to take a chance and drastically trim back the bushes along the front of our property.  We went into it thinking that they either needed to be trimmed way down or pulled out completely.  However, part of what we love about our property is that the bushes and trees are all very mature.  It’s also one of the things that we dislike because much of the greenery is getting to a point of no return.  Meaning the pull it out and start over method is what has been most prescribed by our lawn care folks, as well as, many of the reps we have been talking with about painting the whole place.  Of course, they are also willing to do all that plant pulling if it makes painting the house easier, but for a big fat price. 


(Just like me, these bushes are all fat and out of shape.)

After hemming and hawing, as we usually do, we decided to go into attack mode and spent two sessions in the yard, hacking away at the the main bushes.  I should say, the Mister did the hacking and I (in all my big-bellied glory) did all the clean-up and bagging of the debris.  The first session involved a slight slimming along the fronts, a topping and a brisk, tight shave along the backs of the main larger holly bushes.  Then we rested and had a laugh at how nude several of them looked.


(Nekkid! Tee hee!)

A couple of weeks later, on Mother’s Day, because yes that is what I wanted to do on my one day of rest, we took it all up a notch and really knocked off some girth and height all the way down the line.  Of course, at this point we had also invested in a small chainsaw to get busy with and I think The Mister had fun releasing some pent up aggression.  This time the trimming was to the point of needing the truck to haul off what we had hacked away.  And, this time when we finished we didn’t laugh.  Instead we said a little prayer to the Gods of Shrubbery that they give our toothpick plants another lease on life and at least a few more years for budget sake.

Fast forward about a month and a half and we have been happy to find our shrubs blissfully branching out and filling in. 


(In the close-up above left you can see one of the larger holly bushes nearly covered the window and passed the roofline.  After trimming we now have a much shorter version, above right, and better access to the window.  Only problem is that as it has filled back in, it has also begun to grow all crazy too.  But hey, at least it matches all the goofy shapes of the other bushes now.)


(And while the “nekkid” bushes near the front stoop certainly need a hair cut they have started to really fill in around the bottom, above right.)

So far no one has taken the leap off the cliff to the compost pile and several have even pushed out new limbs from areas that we guess haven’t seen the light of day for years.  The only problem is that they all need a good shaping and each weekend lately we have been faced with too many activities plus triple digit heat.  My fear is that by next spring we will end up with some even crazier shaped plants to hack away at and it will take years to get back to some decent curb appeal.  If only I had some energy and …well… no gigantic belly to work around!

By the way, have any of you ever attempted to drastically change the look of very mature hedges or bushes in your yard?  I would love to hear about the process you used and the outcome.  We have read plenty about the “ways to do it right” online, but then we decided to wing it and just see what happens.  If all goes well and we save on the cost of large shrubs along the house we hope to put that savings toward adding more large trees and shrubs to the perimeter of the property.  Why is it that we move into a neighborhood and then spend all our time trying to make our yard super private? 

Oh yeah, because mamma don’t like a long trip to shopping or fast food!

Just bein’ honest!

Kitsch Krafts

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June 29. 2012 09:02

Jennifer H

Heath has "raised the canopy" or "umbrella'd" a bunch of very mature shrubs for people who didn't want to spend the money to replace them. This works good for some, especially if they're covering windows or porches but are tall.

Jennifer H

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