Can I get a stamp of approval?

peace_rose(5)June 2, 2010

We are in the process of re-landscaping our backyard due to an addition we're building to the back of our home. (I hadn't anticipated what a mess a back-hoe could make!). I'm considering planting 3 euonymous shrubs very close to the foundation. I would like to know:

1 - Is it ok to plant them 12-18 inches from the foundation? There's only about 2 feet between the foundation and sidewalk. Similarly, the space to the left of the window well is pretty narrow. Here's a picture:

And on the other side of the back porch:

2) I've been thinking of planting Emerald 'n Gold euonymous to the left and right of the window well in the top photo, as well as to the right of the window well in the photo above.

The wall in the photo faces East. (So the euonymous would get morning sun and afternoon shade). I'm also considering a Manhattan Euonymous (not shown, but off to the right where there's a lot more room). I really just like these plants and they seem to do well here in Colorado. And I don't have any in my yard, so here's my big chance! I'm very interested in hearing if there is a specific species of euonymous that would do well next to the window wells, or if it's unwise to plant there.

Here's another photo of the whole view:

Thanks in advance for your advice - I've always found it to be spot on!

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G&G Euonymous are good plants, but little weak looking in the winter. Maybe a nice boxwood or small leaf holly would be better. Think about some type of plantings outside of this narrow strip of land, but that depends on what the whole site looks like, which is hard to tell from thses close ups.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 5:09AM
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Unless Manhattan Euonymus behaves differently in CO, that's going to be a headache- it's a plant that will get 8'x8' without even trying. It'll tolerate severe pruning (I can't kill the remnants of the one I tore out in front of my house), but why put yourself through that much work?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 7:17AM
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Yup, eunonymous are absolutely too large for that area.
If it was me I would just groundcover the whole shebang and get some larger, taller plants in nice big pots that I could rotate for even sun and change out if they started to look bad.
You don't want to plant so that you can't maintain the exterior of the home. Will there be an overhang above?
Consider whether rain will be able to reach them.
And yes, a wider shot please :)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 7:37AM
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Although planting them that close to the backdoor will allow you to admire the horrible euonymous scale up close.

Find a shrub (or perhaps vine?) that is better proportioned to that very small area.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 7:41AM
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Depending on where you live manahattan E. is nothing more than rabbit and vole food!

It would be nice if a region was provided by posters, as I don't have advice for folks outside of the NE USA.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 8:35AM
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Oh, I hate it when you guys are right!
But you don't think there's room just to the left of the garden hose? Maybe a boxwood there? My tendency is to want to incorporate one of everything, but then it turns out all hodge-podge. So please reign me in.
I already planted some vinca in those beds. Perhaps I should just fill it all in with vinca? I also have some irises that I could toss in here and there. Any suggestions for keeping it simple, low-maintenance would still be appreciated!
I'm in zone 5, Denver, CO.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 12:12PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

There are obviously a lot of contraindications here but on the other hand, what are we talking, 30 bucks for three plants? Why not go for it and see how it goes?

Personally, I think I would have paved those spaces over and planned beds elsewhere, which would allow you to put plants where they will grow better and would also allow a maximum amount of light into those windows.

But once the beds are there, you might as well try the plants you like and see what happens. If they don't work, there's plenty of time to try others.


    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 12:34PM
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I don't think I would rule it out. I do agree karenl is right to hardscape the whole area and then encorperate the Emerald gold in a bed perhaps in front of the stairs to the lawn side. The bed is small and would do well with perinnials and a thight ground cover that won't creep onto the walkway. Also you have the water acsess to consider. and the exposed utility. I think that a vine as suggested would help with that. If your heart is set on this do try it. You can keep it shaped and looking good with regular pruning. But if you envision its potential I would give it some more space in a bed that works infront of the stairs. What are your plans for this area? I see a nice curve to the right that has potential for this specimen as well.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 3:13AM
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You have a dangerous situation with those wells so close to the walk. The right thing to do is to move the walk, but I don't think you'll do that. The next thing would be to grate the wells so that no one will step into them.

The worst thing to do would be to plant a low shrub or groundcover without protecting the well.

The absolute minimum (which is not safe, either) is to have tall enough shrubs that influence people to keep somewhat away from the wells.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 7:07AM
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You have enough room between the sidewalk and the house for a couple of petunias and a pansy.

You need some sort of a guard over the window wells, preferably one flush with the sidewalk. That's a sprained ankle or busted leg waiting to happen, especially the way the porch steps lead you right to the window well.

Pave over that patch of dirt, and put the plants on the side of the walkway away from the house, far enough away that you don't have to prune them weekly. A mix of tall and mounded evergreens would look good.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 3:07PM
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Maybe planting potentially big shrubs will be a deterrent from using the back steps at all; or at least having to hack your way through to get down without jumping off the front facing the camera.

In addition to good window well covers, add a couple of petunias and a pansy and call those little spaces finished. You've got child there whose safety has to be considered.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 4:07PM
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dogridge(7b nc)

How about a nice trellis with a groundcover underplanting. Clematis would do well in that aspect, the evergreen vinca could cover the bottom part of the trellis where clematis can get leggy. I think euonymous can be espallied, which would look pretty.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 7:29PM
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I would plant perrennials in that spot! If it is sunny, day lillies, and if it is shaddy, hostas. Both easy care plants. and then mulch!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 1:42PM
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njmomma(z6 NJ)

I don't think you have room there for shrubs unless they are really dwarf varieties. I agree that you should either plant perennials or annuals. Also, buy those plastic covers for the wells. Some animals get stuck in those wells and some you don't want to have to help get out.

Go to a garden center and find a perennial that speaks to you and does well in the amount of sun you have there.

If you want color all season long either just buy annuals every year.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 2:32PM
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Looks like it has potential to be a great hot/dry spot for herbs -- is it close to your kitchen? Does it get lots of sun?

Think: sage, lavender, rosemary, thyme, with a few creeping sedums . . .

: )

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 4:21PM
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Thanks everyone!
About the window wells: they are in the process of being fabricated right now. I will feel much better when they are covered.
Kailleanm I really like the idea of using that space as an herb garden, as it's right outside my kitchen. I can't believe I didn't think of that, because I've been looking for a place to pop the herbs into.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 4:57PM
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Put the window well covers on then step back and away from the wells - look at the spaces on the yard side of the walk - THAT is where you want to plan your planting areas. That is where you want to draw everyones eyes. Don't plant the window well areas with anything - you do not wish to draw eyes to that area - give the looker something else to look at. Something nice out in the yard area. There you have space. Once you create a planting in the yard area - eyes will not go to the well areas. Fill around the wells with stone or a very flat ground cover, something plain- unobtrusive. You do not want to draw attention to these areas. It looks like the one side leads to another porch or walkway - perhaps there is space over there to create something nice to draw attention to.
If you feel you must do something -window boxes planted with your herbs could look nice there. Right now you have these new little spaces - so you feel you need to fill them up - but they are really just a small piece of your yard and not the piece you need to emphasize.
Your walkway is narrrow and close to the house - so allow lots of space between your new plants and the walkway - so that the walker does not feel squeezed in. Plan a planting area with something happening up high in it - a bird feeder or bird house - a tall shepards hook with a hanging basket - a trellis - something so that when you are away from the house looking back at - your eyes focus on the happening place and not on the utility boxes.
You can't hide the boxes or the window wells - but you can make them disappear by creating interest someplace else.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 10:30PM
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Please reconsider planting any thing that would be eaten that close to the house due to pesticide applications done during building and ongoing termite protection.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 12:00PM
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