Pictures:Brick House, Bare Beds,Old Shrubs: Keep or Get Out Saw?

roseofblue(Zone 5 Ohio)August 18, 2010

Just moving into this 80 year old Brick House and we need help with the existing landscaping & bushes! The previous owner pruned the over-grown shrubs, recently and removed almost all of the other plants!



As the pictures show, the house is a classic two story, center hall with this lovely fan window over the front door. So we really want to enhance the entry to our new, South facing, Old Home! These are Yew bushes, that you see all lined up in front and what would you do with these? My husband wants to use the Saw & replace them - please make suggestions for the New Shrubs? After the moving expenses, there is just a little in budget for the plants, but we will only do this once, right! We are concerned that if we start from scratch, it should be done now because removing the shrubs & roots looks like a big job! What kind of bushes & plants are the best look for this house?

There is a rock walkway on the right side of house, where you see the Sun Room and a small entry door. Our dream is to make this South-East facing corner into a knee walled terrace for a sitting area and planting roses on outside of wall and herbs inside where we might enjoy them! Have you seen a little garden area, like this might blossom into someday soon - any pictures to share?

Then there is the empty area in front of the sidewalk that leads up to the front door, currently covered with cedar mulch. And we need Ideas for the Bench area, under the huge Oak tree in our front yard!

By the way, there is a black mailbox on a post right next to the sidewalk as you step onto the front porch - guess this was handy for them. Please suggest a more decorative way to incorporate the mailbox, bet there are some great looks for this & maybe some pictures!! We are zone 6 and the deer do roam!

Love the large leaves & white flowers of Magnolia to accent our House, do you see a place for one or two? Thank you all for any help and Ideas, roseofblue

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tibs(5/6 OH)

Check with your post office before you move or change the mail box. They have stringent rules and if your mail box doesn't fit, you won't get any mail. It will be all down at the post office until you come and get it. I would pull the yews immediately adjacent to the house and don't do anything for a year until you see what you have. Maybe all kinds of bulbs in there. Lovely hone.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 8:55PM
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ideasshare(z6)

tree,bush,stone shape designing are important,my some ideas,maybe you select some:

Here is a link that might be useful: if need more design pics

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 9:53PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

The logical place for the mailbox, to my mind, would be hanging on the wall next to the front door -- but that's the way it was for most of the many houses I grew up in. But do check to make sure that a new location is allowed. If you have to put it somewhere away from the front door, consider a brick pillar that surrounds a utilitarian plastic or metal box (I like the idea but I think I wouldn't want it in front of your house). Many pictures here:
http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&source=imghp&biw=1020&bih=832&q=mailbox+brick&gbv=2&aq=f&aqi=g1&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

You might also see what you can find in the way of old-style mailboxes. Home renovation stores? Antique shops? Estate sales or auctions? Junkyards?

tibs makes a good point about possible bulbs. It would be interesting to know what shrubs and plants the previous owners removed; a neighbor with a loved-looking garden might be able to tell you. Did the PO's take the plants with them or merely tear them out? If the latter, I'd assume that either the plants were in poor shape, required more maintenance to look good than the PO's could handle (for whatever reason), or that there were large shrubs that blocked the view of the house and someone decided the house would be more likely to sell without the landscaping.

Then again, there's that huge bed full of mulch. Could be bulbs ... could be lots of bulbs....

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 10:19PM
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mjjones453

I am not a professional at all, but your average gardener. I myself would pull out the yews, they are not in good shape at all. I would start from scratch. I can see some type of Aborvite planted at the corners of the house. Your house lends itself to a more formal style of planting. I am not real crazy about the placement of the rocks surrounding the garden area, they look like they are laying on the soil. I would dig them in a little, and leavel them.
Not sure what else, Azalea's might be nice. Sometimes your plant nursery's offer free designing, hoping that you will buy your plants from there. I myself would live with no landscaping at least through til next planting season. You need to watch the shadows to see how much sun and shade effect the garden area. Best wishes, Mary

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 1:03PM
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athensmomof3

You might want to try pruning the yews WAY back - like a foot from the ground. I had some goofy looking shrubs like that (mostly boxwoods and a couple of hollys, but some others), and I gave it a shot before ripping them all out.

They now look beautiful! This allowed me to get all new growth and prune them properly from the get go.

Might be worth a shot since the budget is not huge right now !

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 11:58AM
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athensmomof3

Oh and I agree totally that the mailbox needs to be one of the ones that hangs on the side of the house if there is room for it.

If you do decide to heavily prune the yews, I would think about planting something low growing in front of them as well. . .

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 12:02PM
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