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August 1, 2017

Foundation Landscape Renewal

We decided to do some updating on our foundation plants on the front of the house.  There is a very large Weeping Mulberry that we are taking down and several Yew shrubs along with a couple of Arborvitaes. 

We had red lava as a landscape accent which we wanted removed.  I learned to hate that stuff and It's a stinker to remove so we had a lawn maintenance company come and remove it for us.  Underneath was some black landscape fabric that had done a good job of keeping weeds out but these days I prefer hardwood mulch for the benefit it offers and I won't need the landscape fabric anymore.  All of this was planted 20 years ago. 

This big trailer hauled away more than double of what you see here of the red lava.  So glad it's gone!

Dan stripped the branches on the old arborvitae and then wrapped a log chain around it and pulled it out with the bucket we have for our garden tractor.  That bucket has paid for itself and then some.  That's how we were able to create our backyard patio area.  We got the tractor and bucket in 1995 and it's been the vest investment for us!

It's quite an effective way to pull out a shrub! 

This one pulled up with a bunch of the black landscape fabric.  He removed the yews the same way. 

Next the weeping mulberry came down.  It's a very strange tree loaded with new growth on the outside but lots of old dead stick like branches underneath.  I liked it at first but it grew too wide and I didn't like it's growth habit with all the dead stuff underneath.  It's a tree I would recommend to plant out away from the house in a spot that it can grow without concern of keeping it trimmed. 

He cut the tree in pieces and we loaded it into the bucket and he hauled it out to the back area of our property.  We're going to do a lot of burning in the near future to dispose of all of the plants we took out. 

We went to a garden center and found this wonderful Japanese Maple tree.  Dan wanted to get a big one and we were quite pleased with this one's size and shape. 

Believe me I did a lot of work though there are no pictures of me doing it!  Dan dug the hole for the big tree and we put it in the ground together.   We slit the bottom area of the side of the pot facing him, then a slice up the center of the plastic.  We opened it like two doors and slid the plant over and dropped it in. He estimated it weighed around 200 lbs or more.

You'll also notice there are two new arborvitae's.  These are called DeGroots Spire Arborvitae and they only grow 6 to 12 ft. tall by 3 to 4 ft. wide so they'll fit this area very nicely.  The old arbs were the wrong type and size so I was constantly fighting to keep them shorter and smaller in width. 

I also picked up two red knockout roses which should triple in size as time goes by.  We also added  a mix of composted cow manure with peat moss to everything to give it a good start and I added Rose Tone fertilizer to the roses. Whenever I plant things like this I always fill the hole with water so I know that way down below it's moist.  As it's being planted I keep watering it so the dirt fills in all around the roots and there aren't any big air gaps.  Once a week I drop the hose on the big tree and allow a slow trickle to soak it good for a couple of hours. The deeper you can get the water to go the better.  The first year it's planted is the most important. 

The yews are 20 years old and I am going to see how they do over the next year.  There are some empty spots that I hope will fill in yet. 

 We actually planted everything July 3rd but didn't get the mulch down until this past weekend.  Everything seems to be doing quite well so I'm pleased and look forward to watching them all grow!  We also started over on the left side by the driveway removing more shrubs this past weekend.  Now to finish that area! 


  1. Very nice change. It looked good
    in the before shots too. I do like the
    symmetry, with the architectural placement
    of the tree and shrubs. You have good
    eye for balancing out the landscape.

    1. Thank you! As we age I'm trying to get things spruced up before we can't do it anymore!

  2. That was a lot of work! The Japanese maple looks great in the new spot! We loved the Japanese maple at our last house by the backyard patio and hope to plant another one here. We have a few trees to pull out, but we're waiting for cooler temps.

  3. Very nice job, Liz! That's a lot of work, but I know you are happy with the new area. We need to do a little planting where we had a tree removed, but it's too hot in Va to do it now. Fall is a better time for us to plant trees and shrubs. Your grass is beautiful, by the way. Our's has that summer look that I dislike. ♥

  4. You guys are the hardest working people in North America!!!! Geez! It's beautiful!!! I wish I had your green thumb...and patience!

  5. Hard work Liz but this area looks so pretty and the Japanese Maple is gorgeous. Those knock out roses grow so well and are very little maintenance. Looks great.

  6. OH!!! It looks great. That was a huge job. I had red lava at one house and absolutely hated it. lol I was glad to leave it behind when we moved. I really like the dark mulch we use but we do have the landscaping fabric under it, too. It gets a little weedy but they can't gain purchase in the soil so they pull right up.

    Your house looks like a new home with that landscaping, Liz. I love it. xo Diana

  7. WOW, everything looks terrific. You and hubby did a great job. Thank goodness he had that tractor.


  8. I love this makeover post. It's so gratifying to look at pictures of a made over area. We are making over lots of area in our yard since we just moved last summer at this time. I'm a newbie garden blogger and I'd love it if you could pop over and let me know what you think.


Thank you for your comments! I don’t always get a chance to reply but I do read them!


Welcome to Home and Gardening With Liz. I have combined my previous blogs “Infuse With Liz” and “Sit With Me In My Garden” into this new blog. I love interior decorating and gardening. I enjoy redefining interior spaces by moving things around and reusing decorative items already found in the home. I also enjoy creating tablescapes and an occasional crafting project. I'm so pleased you've stopped by. I invite you to follow me and I do hope you will keep coming back! Liz
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