Dutch Colonial Re-Landscaping Ideas...and a Hedge Diagnosis?

zenfoodistJuly 21, 2010


All the bushes in the front of our new home do not do it justice. Any ideas? I'd like all of the existing shrubbery pruned and shaped and then I was envisioning a border in front with perennial flowers. Also a border to either side of the entry path. Any thoughts?

I have enclosed a link to the slideshow of the home. The first shot is of the front. Later images will show the pool area and I am wondering if anyone can identify the large flowering hedges around the periphery of the pool area. I have never seen them before and the owners waxed poetic about how gorgeous the flowers on them are when they are in bloom. I am wondering if these hedges need special care.

Many Thanks in Advance,



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Here is a link that might be useful: other ideas

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 1:02PM
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sleepy33(5b KS)

Hi Lisa,

Are the shrubs azaleas or rhododendron? The ones with the shiny green leaves in the photos? It's a bit difficult since the photos aren't really focusing on the shrubs.

Also, can we assume this house is somewhere in New York state? And what direction does the house face, what type of sun exposure does it receive?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 1:31PM
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I can just look at the East crashing into West photo "enhanced" by our Chinese friend, since some links - like your slide show - just load and load and load on my computer...

Do you know what any of the front shrubbery is (yews, juniper, arborvitae, mugos, flowering deciduous?) - that will determine how far you can prune or shape or rejuvenate without waiting years for any appreciable regeneration or killing the stuff altogether. With some shrubs that have become seriously overgrown, you can only go so far before hitting the "dead zone". Sometimes all you can do is shear off the soft new growth that appears in the spring - which will do little in size reduction.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 4:12PM
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Thank you so very much for your responses thus far! I have no idea what any of the shrubs are. The house is in Queens, NYC and faces East. I am particularly curious about what the name of the shrubs around the pool are.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 7:15PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

I'm another who can't see your photos.

Re. identification of what's currently there, why not post close-up photos on the Name That Plant! and/or Shrubs forums:

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 10:03PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Can't see them well enough in that photo anyway. I agree with going to the Name that Plant forum. I'd also suggest just posting some of the outdoor photos to spare us having to take the indoor tour to get to the outdoors :-) Also, it's hard to take a good long look at the photos we want to see.

What do you mean "don't do the house justice?" If it's just a matter of blocking it, then by all means prune some, tear some right out. I don't know that you'll hurt the scene with any of what you've mentioned, but perennials don't make a formal impression and as such might not match the house style, at least at some times of year.

If what you want is flower colour, punch... try annuals. Perennials have a short period of interest and then that's it. That's why for landscaping impact, they often kind of suck.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 2:24AM
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haven't figured out how to do the whole photo thing yet. Also as we are in contract, and not IN the house yet, I do not have any of my own photos of the house. Just the video that the realtor gave us :( When I get it, I will send close-ups.

Grazie Mille!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 9:00AM
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It's got some lovely mature somethings ... I'm not up on cool climate plants. It doesn't look like they have been overpruned to keep them in a too-small bed.

It looks like two windows are obscured on the left - those two plants may be candidates for thinning or removal, unless they are deciduous and providing summer shade.

Before you make any cuts to the vegetation, identify the plants and make a plan. Pruning at the wrong time can ruin a season's bloom.

I would actually live there for at least one full year and figure out the good and bad points ... you can't unprune! If those are azaleas and rhododendrons you might have a spectacular spring.

Take pictures at regular intervals, from the same spots in the yard, so you can see what fall, winter, spring and full summer look like. You might have some stunning fall color too ... hard to tell.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 12:13PM
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imho, it is beautiful how it is. It has an informal look but not so informal to render it messy. It just needs a little trimming and you should be good to go. Unless you like a highly formal garden.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 7:52PM
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