Landscape for House, Part One

Landscape for House.  Here’s the exterior of my home on closing day.  The original owners had done a great job maintaining the house, but just as the inside needed to be gutted and updated, the exterior was totally in need of a landscape makeover!
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The huge, pokey Holly Bushes (Trees) were overgrown to a point of no return.  The thought of removing them seemed pretty crazy!   The bushes were original meaning the roots had been established more than 50 years prior!

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But when Little B saw pictures like this and Stud and my boys went into specifics about an infestation with wasps, the thought of leaving them was totally out of the question!  (The poor little girl has been stung five times and not a single time was she swatting at them or running from them).

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My crazy boys.  They couldn’t just pull the top portion of the shrub to the curb and leave it alone — playtime!

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With the top portion of the shrubs (trees) removed, it was easier to see the trunk and figure out the path of the root system.  We dug a trench around the root and used a 35 pound rock crusher to split each root from the trunk.  The first trunk took us two days, but eventually we  found a groove and removed two on the last day – My Man is clearly a Stud!

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I’m so glad we stuck with it, these beasts were out of control and would have taken any nutrients in the soil from new plants.  For those of you looking to work on updating old landscape, one of the most encouraging words we read was that although Holly Bushes (Trees) are huge, their root system is not nearly as sophisticated as a true tree root system.   Landscape for House ItsOverflowing 6

 One down…three more in the front yard and another six in the backyard!  I’ll share more curb appeal updates soon.

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  1. I want to see more.

    I had to give in and hire a gardener this week to help me with my jungle. I had planned to tackle it over spring break, but a first ever bout with bursitis left me unable to do any major gardening. I just hop I can so some planting tomorrow before I have to go back to school.

  2. Leena Lanteigne says:

    Congrats on your new home! I’m so glad that you’ve been able to get those hollies out! I had 6 big tree-like ones on the side of my house when I moved it. Took me forever to prune them all back before we could dig them out! Bees! Oh, those give me the creeps! Even more reason to get rid of the bushes! Can’t wait to see what else you do! Hugs, Leena

  3. Petra says:

    We are coming towards winter “down here” (Aussie) which is our great time to garden! Wow – didn’t realise Holly’s root systems were so huge! Looking forward to garden updates! 😀

  4. Nif @ Call*Me*Nif says:

    Our house was built in 1969, and I think the bushes that were there when we moved in had been there since then. They were well-maintained like yours, but needed to be updated. What a chore, but so worth it!!

  5. we had 2 in the front of our house…took those beasts out 5 years ago… 🙂

  6. We did something similar on our first home many years ago. What a backbreaking chore. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with your new front yard. That first root/trunk combo has an interesting architectural aspect to it. It would make an intriguing garden ornament.

  7. I finally have a “shrub-free” home and love it, you will not be sorry! Cannot wait to see your landscaping as you go 🙂

    xo, Tanya

  8. I adore the outside of your home!! And I’m pretty excited outdoor weather is {hopefully} right around the corner. My hubby has been itching to get back outside to start sprucing up our exterior. We’ve come a long way, but there is still so much to do! Here’s where we started…


    You guys did a great job tearing out those holly bushes. We torn a ton of stuff up too, and it took weeks! I can’t wait to see how things progress for you guys. 🙂

    • Thanks for the encouragment Gabbi! You two are such hard workers…I always love seeing what you’re up to! XO, Aimee

  9. good for you! we have a lot of trees along our property line and their long reaching roots have been sapping water and nutrients from anything I try to plant for years. We have removed some and I am hoping this summer more of them come down!

  10. I took out several hollies when I moved in to my house 5 years ago. One of the darn things still sends up shoots… and we took out the root ball when we removed it!

  11. Oh wow, so many more to go! And wasps drive me nuts too!
    Have fun landscaping! Can’t wait to see the outcome.

  12. Patty says:

    Wow, that’s impressive! I have some holly and boxwood I want to remove, but have been afraid of how long it will take to dig the roots out. Care to share your boys, lol? I look forward to seeing the evolution of your landscape!

    • You know boys and digging in dirt…they’d take you up on it if you were around the corner! XO, Aimee

  13. Kris says:

    Love your beautiful ranch. Love all the brick. I can’t wait to see more. I can’t wait to get outside and really start to plant and transform my yard too!!:)

  14. It’s that time of year again. I can’t wait to start working in the yard. Happy landscaping! xo Kristin