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suzane

11:41AM | 07/15/03
Member Since: 07/12/03
9 lifetime posts
Bvlawn
I just bought my first home and thanks to the 4 foot high overgrown juniper bushes separting the street and the sidewalk, the house (1968 tract ranch) has absolutely no curb appeal. Do I remove the bushes entirely (is this difficult??) or cut them back radically???? I'd greatly appreciate all suggestions! Thanks!

k2

12:16PM | 07/15/03
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Greetings Suzane and welcome,

It's probably worth taking the extra trouble to dig them out altogether. My wife (she's more of a 'plant person' than I am) says that you seldom see other plants growing around junipers (they don't coexist all that well). In addition, whatever you choose to plant instead would probably appreciate not having all those roots in the way.

Hopefully the dirt will be loose enough to not make it especially difficult. You might be able to pry them up with something; perhaps a pick or ??? You'll get the hang of it. And if the dirt is hard as concrete, it will be a good time to do some soil improvement for whatever goes in their place.

As for 'no curb appeal', you are probably taking a good step toward correcting this! The best of luck in your new first home!

Again, welcome!

-k.

suzane

04:31PM | 07/15/03
Member Since: 07/12/03
9 lifetime posts
K--Thank you so much for your quick reply which was the same as my gut feeling that they need to be taken out entirely. I'll do it! Then my next challenge will be to determine what to replace them with! Thanks, again, for encouraging me!

k2

05:55PM | 07/15/03
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
You're welcome Suzane,

Ah yes, what to replace them with!? I recommend spending some time driving through some high-end neighborhoods. Or better yet--at your local botanical garden....see what's out there....take your time...do some learning. For example, azaleas look great--but are only at their best for a few weeks a year.

Most homeowners really aren't very imaginative when it comes to landscaping. The proof of this is the miles and miles of boring grass lawns with the same old border plantings. Some communities even go so far as to mandate this level of uniformity....e.g., requiring 75% bluegrass (and the like). To make matters worse, homeowners become enslaved to bluegrass, with weekly mowing and the like. There are plenty of alternatives, they're just "not done."

So I guess the trick is to find what you'd really like, then figure how to blend that (at least somewhat) into your neighborhood--after all, you don't want to be a laughing stock.

It sounds daunting, but what the heck, it's a long-term project, and it's all yours! So enjoy!

Again, the best of luck on your new home! "See" you on future postings!

-k.

k smith

05:51AM | 07/16/03
Member Since: 07/09/03
71 lifetime posts
if you are going to replace the shrubs, why not cut them way back first, allow time to recover, then decide if you want to replace with something more showy. it could save you alot of hard work and junipers are very hardy plants requiering very little maintenance. if you remove mature junipers, you are in for tough job.

k2

05:13AM | 07/17/03
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
K Smith is correct, of course; getting them out could end up being hard work. I have a friend that took out a mature lilac bush (great plant, unfortunately just in the wrong location) and she struggled with it. It was in an unaccessible back yard, otherwise she could have used a jeep with a winch to help get it out. "Come-alongs" or even automotive jacks may come in handy; anything to make it easier. But then again, maybe luck was with you and hopefully you've got them out by now!

suzane

09:16AM | 07/19/03
Member Since: 07/12/03
9 lifetime posts
I sure wish we could post photos! Anyhow, I was thinking the same thing--driving through other neighborhoods to see what folks have done before I pull out the junipers entirely, which is my inclination. I have a daughter with a huge 4 wheel drive pick-up w/ a winch to do the diry work. The folks across the street have their junipers trimmed to a tidy knee level, giving them a buffer between street and front yard. The owners of the other houses (I'm on a cul-de-sac street with about 8 houses) either removed or never had them (I'll ask when I move in). They all have various types of scruffy low-growing (1 inch) stuff that looks a bit barren and boring for my taste. Thank goodness no one replaced their bushes with that white stone that I've seen cover entire front yards in other neighborhoods! Maybe I watch too many HGTV shows, so I want the wow factor. Anyhow, I'm going for both of your suggestions...cut them back radically while I get other ideas and make the change in the spring after I've stared at the area a while. Anything will be an improvement. Thanks SO much for your suggestions and helping me to talk and think this through!!!!!!!! PS: I love lavendar and it grows great around here but maybe it is too tall for the front. I may put some between my property line and the neighbors, along the driveway. Tata for now...S.

k2

09:41AM | 07/19/03
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Hi Suzane,

"Wow factor"/HGTV--this is a good thing, sure, why not!?

4x4 with winch--sounds like you have a ready-made helper!

Lavender--great idea. Where we are (Colorado) you definitely see good alternatives sometimes. Thyme is also a great choice; my wife has several varieties of it in her garden.

White stone...you're right, that DOES sound rather boring. Perhaps when you're all moved in the neighbors'll get 'plant envy' and put in something interesting. This certainly happens; remodeling can be contagious!

And P.S., you're very welcome! Good luck and happy Move-in day!

-k.

BV003865

12:50PM | 04/11/14
Don't you just love the way some just jump to the conclusion that the best way to attack a problem is total eradication. Thank goodness that opinion was directed at plant life. Sometimes it takes a little thought and consideration before you just destroy twenty or thirty years of growth. Maybe taking time to thin down a growth into an aesthetic form of art or expression is the better approach. However, if the plants just don't hold any appeal to you removal is then an option. I however came to this posting looking for suggestion for pruning and shaping. I did not find that help here.
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