Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I love the sound of chainsaws in the morning...

...as well as pick axes and stump grinders. Especially when it means I finally get to fill the garden bed in the front of our house with beautiful plants and flowers!

We bought our house 12 years ago and with it came a boxwood hedge and pittosporum shrub which are located directly in the middle front of our house. There were also a slew of other plants in the garden bed to the left of the front door that I have since ripped out and replaced with plants that I love. The only original plant remaining in that particular bed is a Japanese maple.

When we first moved in, I loved our little boxwood hedge and I enjoyed the old-fashioned charm it gave the front of our house. But over the years, my love of gardening has blossomed and recently, I've felt that the hedge is more outdated than charming. Plus, it's preventing me from planting things I really love because it blocks the sprinklers from the planting bed behind it so nothing grows there. So for years, the space behind the hedge has just been bare dirt covered by river rocks. I have always hated the ugly green shrub (aka pittosporum) which lives smack dab in the front of the house so I'm beyond thrilled that it's going bye-bye.


Due to the hard work of Brad DeFury (owner of *Neighborhood Tree Man) and his team, the hedge and shrub are gone, and the Japanese maple looks shaped up and pretty.

So here's my new garden plan. The overall feeling will reflect what I've already planted in the garden bed to the left of the walkway...

  • I am going to plant a couple of camellias directly in front of the window, ferns and azaleas in front of the camellias, followed by annuals in the foreground.

  • In front of the wall with the house number on it, I'm thinking about planting either a lilac or buying a pretty wrought iron trellis and planting a clematis or another flowering vine.

  • Directly under the window to the right of that wall, I'd like to transplant my Endless Summer hydrangea. Right now, it's on the side yard next to our trash cans. Such a sad place for such a beautiful plant. It'll be much better appreciated in the front garden, don't you think?

My Endless Summer hydrangea

  • In front of the hydrangea, I'll put a few David Austin rose bushes.

  • I'd also like to place a small fountain in front of the big window, but that's a little further down on my "to do" list. I'll just have to make sure I leave a little spot for it.

Photos of today's progress:

The team removed the 30 boxwood plants which formed our hedge.

The hedge and shrub are gone! We've got a pile of trimmings that will need to go out with next week's pick-up. They already filled up our green waste can and you can see in the photo below what's left over. We saved a lot of money though by not having them haul the trimmings away for us.

It looks so bare now, but not for long. As soon as our heat wave passes (100+ weather in autumn--yuck), I'll make a trip to the nursery and start planting.

I need to buy a decorative hose reel box to hide the ugly turquoise hose, which was previously hidden by the hedge. So I suppose the hedge wasn't completely useless. ;)

The remaining river rock and a few stepping stones will need to find a new home before I can start planting.

Check back for more updates on my new garden adventure!


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*I highly recommend the Neighborhood Tree Man for your tree needs. They do tree removal of any size (including stump grinding), ornamental tree pruning, and shrub removal. Their prices are reasonable and the team of workers are very polite. More than once, they thanked me for the work and I noticed (while spying on them from inside the house) that when one of them went to have a cigarette break, he walked all the way out to the street instead of just lighting up by the house. I appreciated that.

We've known Brad for 16 years (he's been a customer at Trader Joe's for as long as Jason has worked there) and he's done several jobs for us all of which we have been very satisfied with. He removed 2 large trees (20+ feet) when we put in our pool 6 years ago. Last year, he removed four fan palms, pruned the neighbors ash tree which was hanging over our pool, and removed one very large redwood, which the previous owners planted in a spot that was too close to the house and provide no shade due to it's north/east location.

If you have a tree/shrub job large or small, I recommend giving Brad a call for an estimate: (559) 313-3979

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