Holy Hollies Batman! A Landscape Inherited and Transformed

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Our First Project: The Landscape

6/10/2011 from the archives…

What we learned from previous homes was that if you wanted to enjoy the landscape in future years and not shell out thousands you must plan and plant very early on. So, that’s what we did.

The landscape we inherited when taking over ownership and care of this house was overgrown and in my opinion ill suited for the southern facing side of the house. My Wife completely agreed. You can take a look at the photo below.

Front landscape – view from the street as purchased.

The Fortis Homes installed shrubs had all but, taken over the front windows of the house (to the left of the front door) hiding much of one of the home’s better points… the brickwork. Also, the shrubs along the driveway made for a very inhospitable welcome for guests exiting their cars. The driveway grade is not flat but, it was something we were willing to sacrifice in exchange for other factors (proximity to shopping, movie theater, preferred school district). In addition, this choice of shrub and it’s lack of pruning led the plant material to become very woody. The downside of this is that on the right side of the door air circulation was in adequate and causing some sidingand drainage issues.  What did we do and and how did we get those 20 year old hollies out of the ground? Good questions.

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Removing the Old Landscaping

How do you remove 20yr holly bushes and not break your back, or resort to calling a professional? I was very surprised to find the answer was quite simple: Old fashioned hand tools. In fact, a very simple yet effective tool. My first attempt with a shovel and lopers was pointless. So, I searched for some answers and found this webpage.

Now, I readily admit to being more “city” than “country” but, I am also not above good advice (regardless of the source) and it turns out that Michael was right. So, what was this mystical tool with powers to remove 20 yr old shrubs? A True Temper 69-Inch Landscape/Digging Bar.

Me with my landscaping bar… last shrub. Big grin ;-)


 Installing the New Landscaping

We referred to our favorite local nursery for some planting advice/foundation materials and between them and Big Blue we completed the front planting bed.

Landscape Replanted 6/10/2011

That’s one BIG project off the list!


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