Friday, November 19, 2021

Landscape Makeover at Our New Home

Good morning, readers! What a crazy-busy past several weeks it's been while moving from our loft to our new home. I had several projects going simultaneously, a landscape overhaul one of the most significant, with an interim makeover until I can think through future plans. Below is the before photo of our home from the realtor's listing photo in early spring 2021.

While things looked tidy and trimmed at that time, the home was really buried beneath an over-achieving landscape plan that was sold to the former owner as part of their renovation in 2015. The plan design was much too large (and random) for the small lot. My mission was to change that drastically.  Here's how it looks right now, below.
What transpired to get to this point was a lot of purging. First, we had a huge pin oak removed. It was about 85 years old, and was hovering over our slate roof and at the intersection of two city electric, high voltage wires.
It took three days for a professional team of five to take it down - carefully - and grind the stump.  Here's s a look after the tree was gone, below. 
Another two amazing things these guys did (besides NOT hitting the roof or wires) was manage where the stump would fall, and they managed to not destroy the existing cypress tree I wanted to keep in the landscape. They had the city come out to scope the sewer clean-out line from house to street to ensure avoiding the old terra cotta sewer piping (because a tree that large can, in fact, break a deeply buried line with the weight of its fall). The tree was 18+feet in circumference! Here's the guy who did most of the roping off and directional chain sawing, below. This was taken at the end of day two, before the stump was ground.
The week following the tree removal was all about having the huge boxwoods at the front entry removed and transplanted to the corner. This was done by another contractor. My goal was to create a natural barrier fence of sorts. Of twelve in the original landscape, seven boxwoods were transplanted. Each mature boxwood weighed about 200 pounds! It took 3 guys to move each one and position it.
Before and after boxwoods removal/transplanting:
Here is a view of the front entry, before and after boxwood removal, below.
I planted pansies at the front entry and left the upright boxwoods flanking the stoop. Many other plants were purged, namely barberry, Rose of Sharon, and spindly azaleas. The one wild plant you see pictured above (behind two drift rose plants) is St. John's wort. It's deciduous, and will be cut to the ground in spring before new growth begins. The straw areas have grass seeded, and the mulched areas leave a blank canvas for later plans.

A few other before and after views of other sections of my landscape follow.
The south side juniper, drift roses and nandina remain after purging a Rose of Sharon and cypress (there's still a ROS on the neighbor's property just on the other side of the fence. She gave permission to trim hers, so next year I'll prune beyond what my contractors did on my side). I transplanted a few pass along irises behind the roses. I had given these to my daughter from my former home's landscape in 2019, and she had enough to pass some back. They were originally passed to me from my 75 yr old friend's grandmother!
Just beyond the gate on this south side, the spindly knockout roses were removed, along with the boxwoods and barberry. Three upright boxwoods, a boomerang lilac, and peonies remain, and a pencil holly was transplanted from one of a pair of containers to this area (just one random planting example). Containers flanking the garage doors now hold matched plantings of pansies.
The west side of the landscape was thick with plantings. I kept the Hinoki cypress tree, oakleaf hydrangeas flanking it, two dwarf nandina, a holly bush, a witch hazel and a bottle brush plant. 
Items purged on this west side were a holly tree and crepe myrtle, literally growing on the neighbor's property at the fence line. Also purged were a red twig dogwood, weigela, azalea, spirea, ivy, and a couple other random plantings. 
That, my friends, is what I've been working on in the past few weeks! During winter, I'll think about what else I want to plant next spring, but the purged interim look is definitely more appealing to us right now. 

That's all the dirt I've got on my interim landscape plan! Thanks for visiting.

26 comments:

  1. You have done a beautiful job of lightening up your landscape, opening up your front door. Moving the boxwoods to the corner was a brilliant idea.

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  2. Rita, the yard looks so much better! Good Lord! That tree was HUGE! Good call on removing it. The house is now the star! Have a lovely weekend!

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  3. WOW - you have been busy!! What a difference the corner looks now with that huge tree removed - beautiful! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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  4. Rita, I am amazed at all you and your contractors have accomplished. It already looks fabulous and I know when you finish it will be gorgeous. The removal of the large tree was a job for the experts and placing the large boxwoods in its place was a great idea. The changes have made the architecture of your new home stand out! I can’t wait to see what else you will do! You don’t waste any time making up your mind and getting your plans into action.

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  5. Amazing feat to remove that enormous tree!

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  6. Fabulous transformation! You will not regret taking the huge tree down. That was a tremendous job and you had great workers.I have had numerous large trees like that cut but never that close to the house or power lines.
    You could be a landscape consultant easily in your spare time.LOL!

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  7. Wow -- that pulling out of the boxwoods, especially (and tree) and the things on the side -- it's a WORLD of difference! That had to be a pricey re-do but an important one. It looks like an entirely different spot. Love the boxwood on the corner -- it really looks great. Well done, Rita. I hope you are able to rest a little now!

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  8. Wow Rita, what a difference all that purging made to your landscape! I’ve always wondered why people line their front entranceways with shrubs. Thanks for sharing all the latest “dirt” on your new home. You’ve been busy!!

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  9. Rita, You've made a huge difference in your landscape plans and it looks so clean and modern. I wonder if that huge tree was planted by the original owner or if it was already there when the house was built. It's amazing that it was taken down without incident! We have a builder here that plants magnolias as part of their signature landscape but they always seem to plant them so close to the house! I often wonder why they don't just plant it away from the house to prevent issues as it grows so the homeowner will have we a beautiful tree in future years and not a tear out landscape project. Your yard looks great! Happy Thanksgiving! Clara ❤️

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  10. It all looks fabulous Rita. What a difference. Love the large boxwoods you had moved to the corner creating a fence and privacy. The tree cutters did a great job. I know you are excited about planting in the spring. Can't wait to see what you do. Thanks for sharing the dirt! Happy weekend.

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  11. Love it. I like the boxwoods moved where the tree was and the making of a fence out of them. Opening up the front of the house was brilliant. Too bad the tree was so close to the house and electrical wires and had to come down. That was a disaster waiting to happen. I know in the Spring you will have this looking so pretty. I am excited for you to be back into a house and enjoying having a yard again. Happy Saturday. xoxo Kris

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  12. Love this Rita, and will need to swing back later today to read it thoroughly. Just a quick glance shows a ton of wisdom removing that tree!

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  13. The result is wonderful, Rita. You can actually see the house now. It's a lovely yard and your expertise has really saved the plan. I hope all your squirrels have been rehomed successfully and they're not begging on your back porch. haha. Thanks for sharing these great pics!

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  14. You really know your plants! And, where you do and don't want them!!! Your house looks wonderful. I can't wait to see the inside when you start your magic in there!

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  15. Rita, kudos to you! You know how to get things done. I wish I had your force pushing me to do the same. Our landscape for the new remodel sits waiting. Waiting on bids that I'm not willing to go with! I may do it in stages. First we need to enclose with a fence such as your metal one and get the new stone work in place. I'll deal with planting probably in the spring. It's still difficult to get plants here, so I can wait.
    Thanks for sharing the update. It's looking great!

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  16. Oh Rita, you have really accomplished so much in such a short while. The new landscape really lets the house show through. I really hate to see any living tree or shrub have to be cut but this huge tree hanging over the power lines and roof required removal for safety. You have really worked your magic, I love you were able to use the mature boxwood in the area where the tree was and create a bit of privacy for you from the street. It will be helpful and fun watching what you do in the spring. Great job Rita........

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  17. Rita I love your purging and repurposing! What a daunting task and the results are amazing. I agree with Pam, the home's architecture really stands out now. I can't wait to see what you do next. Here in Florida, everything grows 24/7.... so one can plant in the Spring and by the end of the summer, one has a jungle affect. LOL Landscaping is an ongoing effort unless one removes anything taller than 1 foot and even then a "thinning out" is necessary. Great job my friend. Hugs always

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  18. Oh my goodness Rita. That you have been busy is quite the understatement. Wow! What a transformation - that tree was huge!! I'm totally amazed that they were able to get the stump out. It looks fantastic!

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  19. I had to call Joe in the room to look at the large pin oak tree that was taken down! You have accomplished a LOT in a short amount of time. Great job, and I look forward to your spring plans.

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  20. Great job, Rita! It is not an easy mental or physical process to know what needs to stay and what has to go. Landscaping is much harder to get just right.
    Your property is delightful, and I can't wait to see what you do in the spring :)

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  21. That was a huge undertaking! You really managed to make the house shine, with the landscape purge. It's not easy to have a vision, but you did, and it looks beautiful!

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  22. Hi Rita! It’s amazing the impact of landscaping! Your home is beautiful! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  23. I cannot wait to see what you do in the spring! Moving the boxwoods opened things up so much and will do wonders for curb appeal. Your home is just beautiful Rita and I'm excited to see all the ways you will make it your own. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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  24. LOL....I see what you did there...."dirt" on your landscaping...
    I am amazed that you had so much work done so quickly! It took months for our landscape wizard to get to us, but then again, we had one of the wettest summers and falls on record!

    Your property looks so much better. I think that some people like to sell too many plants, and then everything matures and gets way too crowded. We had the same problem!

    You'll have to share with us what you plant in the spring. I know it will be beautiful!

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  25. Rita, I was going to make this post a feature, but everyone beat me to it with the most clicked. I really enjoy landscape posts and look forward to seeing the inside and outside as you develope it.
    What fun!
    happy Thanksgiving
    RR

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