Last week it was time for the early spring cleanup in my landscape. Weeds were pulled out and bushes and trees pruned as necessary. Or, in the case of some bushes along the front of the house, pulled out entirely.
The otto luyken laurel bushes were planted at the time the house was built in 2000. They were fine bushes but their mature size was too big for the location and they were planted too closely together. In the past several summers they have been repeatedly attacked with a fungus because there was not enough air movement (due to the close planting) and have had to be treated repeatedly. It was time for them to come out.
A nandina domestica had been planted in the corner to block the view of the white pipes that control the sprinkler system. Again, it was a lovely bush, with great color all year and the added benefit of berries but at maturity it was just too large for the corner it had been allocated. So out it came also.
Now I have empty open space to be planted. I will be looking for smaller sized shrubs that can be planted a little further away from the house so it is easier for a painter to access the front bay window as well as allowing light and air movement for the window frame. But those white pipes are not a pretty feature and do need something planted in front to hide them from view.
In the fall last year I decided to experiment and see if I could get the hydrangeas that had spent the summer on the front porch to overwinter. I cut them back by a good half and relocated them to a cool room on the ground floor. They got through the exile in fine condition but are already covered with green leaves indicating they are ready to go outside. My goodness, I even found a flower bud ready to burst open.
But, it is too early in the season for them to go outside just yet. It is also too early in the season for the plant nurseries to have much new stock in to look at so I can decide what to fill that big empty space out front with.