Please share ideas for rejuvenating foundation design ~

tesla29(Z5 midwest)April 9, 2010

The large, lovely elm at the SW corner of our 50s ranch succumbed to dutch elm disease and was removed last year. As you can guess, we are really missing the shade and balance this tree provided, and its removal left us with a sloping pit I am planning to fill with topsoil this weekend and plant with some creeping, smothering juniper that will thrive in the stifling Kansas afternoon heat and keep the dirt from washing down into my (long-suffering) neighbor's side yard.


1. Suggestions for slope planting? I have access to free vinca, as much as I want from my sister's yard - it thrives in sun here - so if cash runs low I might get that started on the slope now and spring for some actual shrubbery next year.

2. We bought a nice ($$ nursery stock) yellow/red/orange? maple (if I recall correctly it is a "Fiesta") to "replace" the elm, but didn't plant it 4' from the foundation (as the elm originally was), choosing instead to put it slightly in from the farthest window and about 15 feet out into the yard. We've moved it 3 times so far, and I still think it should line up with the s.w. corner of the house. Thoughts?

3. We pulled out 2 of the 5 overgrown yews growing across the front of the house, leaving the 3 you see here that have been cut back by half - they are actually recovering nicely. As much as I dislike yews the trouble of digging them up or pulling them out just wasn't worth it. But now there are the Gaps, as we call them, begging for something. Columnar evergreens? something low? I'd like to draw attention away from those unused basement windows...

4. Anything else you'd like to see disappear or change, please speak up. I have a thick skin and my husband a strong back :)

Thanks in advance for any and all input%Pr

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iris_gal(z9 CA)

I cringe at vinca. Invasive here. But if it is eradicable and would hold the soil temporarily, use it. You may like it so much it will stay! So pretty in bloom.

Draw a line out from the house midway between the corner edge of the house and the left shutter's edge. Plant the tree there. 15 feet away sounds good.

For the yew holes find complimentary shrubs the height of the existing yews. The columnar would fit between the 2 windows but it would detract from Fiesta and chop the flow. You have a strong vertical accent with the other tree.
I like the horizontal-ness of your house.

I wouldn't like a pink dogwood at the front door but the placement between the garage & living room window looks good.

May your husband's back stay strong and your open mind receive continuing inspiration. I was in Kansas once in December and loved it.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 3:06AM
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tesla29(Z5 midwest)

many thanks for replying to my post, iris gal, and I appreciate your suggestions/input.

The vinca does like to take over, but I think this might be an ideal spot to keep it contained, as it will be mown down if it attempts to sneak out of the front of the border, and on each side is brick path/sidewalk. We shall see! I have much more trouble with the dreaded english ivy. It climbs!

My husband assures me the tree can go no further left because of those wires up top. I'd forgotten about that. Maybe we can compromise with 5 feet. I agree with your idea of positioning.

Good point about the vertical interest and not adding more confusion with something tall between the yews. Looking at some hollies today for those spots, as there are a few varieties that seem to love KC. I am considering boxwoods as well, because I already have 3 in front of the picture window. I'll have to decide if the odor (tomcat urine) is worth it. Or maybe a non-evergreen...

That's a white dogwood off the porch - I mislabeled it. I'm not nuts about it either, but Something needs to soften that inner corner. The sweet autumn clematis looks horrible from November to June. Just planted that dogwood and he won't mind being moved one bit.

Thanks again for your thoughts. My allergies are horrid this spring so I won't be working outside for at least a week, but planning and selecting sure is fun :)


    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 2:31PM
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