Landscaping a midcentury house: Beware the sideburn hedges

landscaping mid century houseTGIF, so we are guessing a lot of readers will be outside, working on the garden and the lawn and landscaping in general. So today, a simple before-and-after landscaping photo that makes a dramatic point about reconsidering those classic midcentury sideburn hedges.

Reader Shann owns a lovely coolonial. All the vintage hedges — they got a major haircut.  In their place and in addition:  Low lying plantings… a window box… a trellis… and some front yard hardscaping — most notably, the sidewalk. Looks like Shann also got a new roof – dark, to play up the shutters.) Trim the hedges and now: We can see the pretty facade of the house.

Folks, those classic midcentury box hedges chucked right up against the foundation and left to grow and grow and grow, choking the front of the house? Well, I don’t think they were  a particularly good idea.

Want to improve your curb appeal? Get those hedge hogs out of there. Or, cut ‘em ‘way down below the windows at least. Layer other plantings in front of them. “Pull” your landscaping out about as deep as the height of the first floor wall of the house. Add some hardscape. Etc. Nicely done, Shann — what a lovely house you have — classic!

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Comments

  1. Chris says

    Both photos are actually really attractive options. I will say, though, that although the hedges in the first photo are a bit tall, there is something to the idea that certain types of landscaping are appropriate to certain time periods. I think it depends on what the individual is going for… some people want their interiors to be absolute time capsules. The same folks might want the exterior to “fit in” with what everyone else is doing. I’m a bit of a purist. The more I can make the inside AND outside reflect the age of the house, the happier I am. Period landscaping is an entire field of study. I love looking at old Better Homes and Gardens magazines and seeing what the current trends were. Fun stuff!

    • Nina462 says

      I agree with you Chris – some people want to retain period styling outside as well as inside. And I have a ton of magazines & I also look at old magazines for exterior plans. My plan next week is to get rid of a spindly holly bush that never has berries. (there are no birdy nests, I’ve checked).

      This is a good time to bring this up Pam. I’m refinishing my shutters – (again, still the cherry red- just need a fresh coat of paint). You pictured my house a couple years back when I painted my shutters from black to cherry red. Feel free to show those pictures again.

      Thanks Pam!

      • Jay says

        You might have a boy (male) holly, the girls produce the berries but only if the correct male is close enough for polination.

        • Nina462 says

          thanks Jay – yes, I know this about the holly bush…..I just don’t like it -it’s too close to the house & scrapes against the siding when a storm comes through (creepy sound in the dead of night!)

          I’m just going to replace with grass -

    • hazeldazel says

      The hedges are more period appropriate but terrible for your foundation. Having woody plants up against the house also encourages termites.

      • Mary Elizabeth says

        You’re not kidding! In my old house, there were not box hedges but a wonderful series of shrubs that previous owners planted to bloom according to season (picture the forsythia, then the azalea, then the rhody, bridal veil, etc.) But they needed to be trimmed way back before the house could be painted. I did that work, then discovered termites and carpenter ants had been loving that damp shade on the siding. Eventually, all those shrubs had to be pulled out and replaced with plantings that were not so close to the foundation.

        The up side to foundation hedges is that sometimes you need something to hide basement windows that face the road on the front or side. Just be sure they are not touching the house.

  2. says

    My 1975 house has a tall 30 year old hedge that looked lovely from the street, but inside it was 90% dry kindling rubbing up against the siding, a real fire hazard. As I began cutting it back, a mockingbird above squawked at me incessantly. Project is now temporarily paused until 3 young mockers leave their nest within. I hope folks realize birds may be nesting in their shrubs this time of year and will hold off cutting back their hedge until after nesting season! PS: Shrubs are being replaced with cacti & other native drought tolerant plants.

  3. midmichigan says

    Back during the MCM era it was difficult if not impossible to find “miniature” species of plants. Unlike today, hedge clippers were not gas or electric and was a real chore. We have classic hedges lining our sidewalk to the front door but we keep them trimmed back so they don’t overgrow and they look great.

    Some shrubbery can get out of hand quickly so occasional trimming is key. I personally like the hedges next to a house but each to his own. Norm definitely made some good points. ABTW, fellow pet lovers, be careful if you have a pet canine that will munch on shrubs or the trimmings. Just a mouthful of Yew will slowly kill them in a day or two. No joke.

    • pam kueber says

      I agree. To be clear: I am not saying I don’t like hedges. I am saying: Consider trimming them… and also, layering in front of them. Or, if you are so inclined, starting over, if that makes sense for maximizing the front of your particular house.

      • david says

        I agree with Pam. I bought a 1940 Bermuda Colonial Ranch in Los Angeles 18 years ago and the first thing I did was to take out all of the planting in the front yard which included over grown bench hedges on each side of the walkway from the sidewalk to the front door. My friend and decorator told me to have new ones put in. I thought he was crazy but…..
        They were small, fresh and perfect. On my own I’d never have thought to do such a thing that’s also why even people with great taste might want to bounce some ideas off of a decorator

  4. Jay says

    It’s not so much a question of destroying a “nice established landscape” but rather the homeowner expressing their own taste.
    It’s really not good to have that shrubbery hugging the house – it needs to breathe.

    • Jay says

      This was a response to the first post, since deleted. I truly believe it’s the homeowner’s choice. I kinda think the original period perfect landscaping over time tends to dwarf the MC modest homes, mine included.

  5. says

    I’m definitely on team redo here. Yews are period appropriate, but they’re also slow growing trees and it’s hard to keep them in control forever. In this case, they are blocking that long window, which is one of the best things this house has going for it. And the old walkway looks like the builder just did the minimum, a 3 foot wide strip of concrete taking a sharp turn and running to the driveway about 4 feet from the house. Period garden books would have also recommended doing better than this. The walkway shown leaves more room for landscaping, includes a much larger front step, and goes to the street, making the front yard more usable and inviting. And the trellis and window box reflect advertising of the day and play up the more picturesque aspects of the house. They may not reflect the builder basic plantings that most tract houses from the period have, but there’s no way I’d keep a new house with what the builder put in either.

    • Jay says

      yes, the houses in my neigborhood had the same type of concrete walk from the drive to the front door and I am surprised that the majority of homes are still this way. I now have a curved walk that is several feet further out from the house then the original straight walk.

  6. Jay says

    I did the same thing at my house the first Spring after moving in. Pruning was left undone for too many years, I wanted to see the brick facade as it was gasping for air what with being smacked by 50 year old yews and hollies. They were blocking the windows. I was unable to see out and it was an invitation to would be burglars to ply their craft in secrecy just yards from the street. As Midmichigan pointed out, plant material was limited then. As a hobby gardener I am always amazed at the new introductions of plants, shrubs and trees, especially the past two decades. Even the so called “dwarf” shrubery I planted 10 years ago has grown so much I can no longer reach to string Christmas lights on them.
    Yes, this weekend I will be outside, working on the rock border across the front bed now that I have accumulated enough rocks.

    I’m in favor of the “after” picture; that nice looking house stands proud with the complimentary landscaping.

  7. Roundhouse Sarah says

    A house without landscaping is like a face without eyebrows, it just looks wrong!

    This is not the time of year to be doing major hedge trimming however! They will try to grow back with all their might in the heat of summer and all the energy going to the new growth with this heat may kill the old growth and then you’ll have a disaster on your hands. Always look up the appropriate pruning time for your variety of plants.

  8. Laurie Louise says

    I love this blog so much! So many ideas, inspirations, memories. Nice post, Pam, and I loved the Swift catalog link too!

    On our little three-acre, nature-preserve-adjacent plot, I plan to do midcen landscaping in front of the house and naturalistic plantings in back–assuming grey water and rainwater catchment are enough to support those thirsty plants. Stage one: goats. Neighbors tell us the last owners brush hogged around the house three years ago and nary a blade has touched it since. Overgrown barely begins to describe it. On my evening walk yesterday, I met a neighbor whose two goats need a change of scenery. Never dreamed I’d say the words “I’ve found someone to lend me their goats!” Adventures in remodeling!

    • Marcia says

      You might check on your goats’ eating habits. I know someone who had several large trees ruined by 3 or 4 pygmy goats. They got a taste for the bark and stripped all they could reach. Not sure if they like particular trees or if they ran out of grass.

      • Laurie Louise says

        Good point, Marcia. I’ve wondered about the same thing and thought I’d research it before I invite them over for an all-you-can eat buffet. We have oak trees with “suckers” coming up all around them, which I’d like the goats to eat, but don’t want them harming the trees. There is wisteria that is higher than the roof line and about 20 feet wide. An object lesson in what happens if you don’t trim your wisteria. Thanks for chiming in.

  9. JKM says

    The first thing we did when we bought our house was rip out 150 linear feet of overgrown boxwoods that had gotten way too big. All of a sudden we could “see” our house and the sidewalk we thought was narrow wasn’t anymore. It made a huge difference and, interestingly, our interiors brighter. Many of our windows go almost to the floor so, until the bushes were gone, one-third of them were covered, blocking light coming in and views going out.

  10. says

    There is a neighborhood near us full of beautiful homes built in the 60s, and many of the yards sport period landscaping. While I love the idea of seeing more of the house (and we did liberate our 70s split from more than one boxy hedge), there’s something about that older-style landscaping that just looks right with those homes in that neighborhood. The whole neighborhood seems like a bit of a time capsule, and we love to go walking there just to admire it all.

  11. Robin, NV says

    I would be very interested to learn how MCM and xerascaping can work together. The water situation out west is pretty dire this year and it seems silly to waste any we have on lawns. I think it would look great in areas like Las Vegas, Phoenix, or Tucson. With the right style of MCM home, it would fit right in.

    I love hedges but they can definitely be done wrong. Left to their own devices they can also quickly get out of hand. I’ve been thinking about putting a rose hedge in front of my house. I think that would look lovely.

    • Diane in CO says

      It’s “xeriscaping.” And it doesn’t mean rock and cactus! :-) Xeriscaping from “xeric” meaning containing little moisture or very dry. Beds (carpets) of groundcover are very mid-century and can be very xeric. Check out gardens designed by James Rose… his 1960’s classic “Gardens Make Me Laugh.” :-)

  12. Kate H says

    Does anyone have suggestions for low, sun tolerant plants that are as evergreen as box hedge would be? No cactus (which is a demon to remove) or holly (ditto).

    • says

      This is heavily about where you are. Most areas have much more attractive native options. I mix cactus, yuccas, grasses, and native flowers but that’s because I like keeping the plants low to show off the house (as in the illustration).

      My main issue with a lot of the 1960s landscaping is that a lot of the plants are highly invasive. I have the Better Homes and Gardens book from the year my house was built and it was landscaped almost perfectly to the book. Unfortunately that means that the easements and creeks near my house are choked with invasives like Nandina and Ligustrum.

      Landscaping is difficult, because it’s alive.

    • Marcia says

      I think Robin’s roses are a good idea. We have drought in Central Texas too, though not as bad as NV. A lot of municipalities plant the knockout roses along highways etc. and they seem to thrive. David Austin also has varieties of old roses designated for hot & dry climate.

    • Jay says

      Here in SE PA, zone 6B; the various forms of Japanese holly are usually suggested for boxwood replacement (cheaper too). There are both upright and groundhugging forms. They do not have the typical spindly holly leaves.

    • Laurie Louise says

      It’s not as structured-looking as boxwood, but I’ve always been fond of low-growing juniper/cedar.

  13. jay says

    Hi Pam!
    My 2nd post didn’t show up, am I blocked? I knew the first post would be deleted because it was a gentle response to the snark post. How ever did that troll show up?

    • pam kueber says

      I am on the run today so I have comments going into moderation. Everything is set free right now… The snark post was deleted – uncivil; a violation of commenting rules.

  14. gus says

    While I think both look nice, I myself prefer the hedges. I think they also nicely serve as a safety feature to help avoid break-ins. Also they seem a lot easier to maintain with just a powered clipper.

    Surprised this article has a negative slant towards the pure mid-century style…thought we were supposed to embrace the past?

    • pam kueber says

      I don’t say you’re “supposed” to do anything. The key focus of the blog: Providing resources. My underlying ethic: Yes, if it’s original, of course, consider keeping it, rather than knee-jerk h***** it because it’s not popular today. And if it’s expensive to remodel — like a kitchen or a bathroom — I personally think that if you’re putting in expensive permanentish stuff, it’s wise to do so in a way that’s sympathetic to the original architecture. However, if the original feature is no longer doing what you want… change it. I do not consider trading hedges, or cutting them back, to be an irreversible sin; it does not violate the Retro Renovator’s Creed, or I would not have featured it. See: http://retrorenovation.com/2012/07/02/retro-renovators-creed-gut-remodel-without-guilt/

      This is an article about getting overgrown hedges off the front of the house — something that I think this reader did very nicely.

      Ugh. This is proving to be a difficult one.

  15. Steve H says

    I like the after photo. The windows to the right of the front door are lovely and such a nice generous length. It was a shame to keep them half covered up with shrubbery (it also can be bad for the structure by retaining moisture). We see this so often in older homes; landscaping that was basically nice, but has just gotten a little out of hand over the years. Unlike other home features, landscaping continues to change and evolve over time.

  16. ineffablespace says

    I think one of the things that just happens is that the hedges just keep growing. That seems like an obvious statement, but after a while it doesn’t matter how much you cut them down from the top, they are going to start getting woody and sparse at the bottom.

    At my parents house, the sideburn-style hedge that was planted in front of the porch in 1970 had to be removed in the mid-80s because it was getting too tall, and too dense to trim any more. It wasn’t helped by the fact that my dad fertilized everything like crazy. The replacements in the mid-80s were never directly fertilized, but the adjacent lawn was. I would say that some of the hedges will have to be removed by the next owner (My dad’s 90, he’s not doing it) because they are starting to overgrow again, even with pruning.

    I don’t know that the heaviness of these hedges was the original intent so much as that the plants around it grow and the house doesn’t :) Coupled with the tendency of many mid century houses to be long, lowish, and ground hugging, the surrounding plantings seem to start consuming the house.

    • ineffablespace says

      Also, we are comparing post-mature before with immature after. Neither one is quite what it would look like most of its life.

      Suitability is another issue. Large blocks of trained single species are appropriate for the more spare midcentury house but may not be enough for the current puffed up neo-eclectic house. And the elaborate landscape designs of today look like a theme park around a simpler house but are right at home around the new stuff.

  17. virginia says

    Great post on a very hot topic. Knew it would prove radioactive when I tapped into it very early this morning. It inspired me to do a bit of pruning up front.

    Here in No. Virginia the summer months can start to feel tropical. Lots of heat, humidity, rain. Fortunately, I’m one of those folks who like a garden a bit on the wild side. I like tidy but not too tidy. And I do like hedges and such — or hedge-like shrubs at the front, but not crazy about the geometric shapes. I like them a bit wild and rounded once they reach a certain size.

    We have in front azaleas, boxwood, a lovely bed of periwinkle, Japanese spindle brush (yellow and green leaves) and some other stuff. It works for us and I don’t mind keeping it a bit higher. None of it blocks the windows.

    I like both photos and the house itself is lovely. My issue with flower beds, which we have in back, is that they must be stocked with perennials. So roses, hydrangea, wisteria, rosemary, lavender, grape leaves too. Peonies, etc. I don’t have a very green thumb and it’s got to be able to survive without a lot of fuss and bother.

    Here in our tract house development, named Wunderia at the time and built 1949-50, it’s fun to see what folks have done to their front yards. The houses are all basically the same with some small variations in the brick work, etc. One of my favorite front yards is made up of a plain expanse of lovely lawn all the way to the front door. No hedges or flowers or plants or anything–trees are in back. Just a nice green carpet that allows all of the little house to be seen and appreciated. It feels very prairie-like and always makes me wonder if the prairie-style did not heavily influence the houses of this period. Low slung and modest.

    Sorry so long but thanks for the thought provoking post. Whatever floats one’s boat is right.

    • Jay says

      Read Alan Hess’ book “Ranch House” for a good illustrated read on the history of the style. Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prarie style do figure into the history.

  18. Wendy M. says

    I think both look nice…the “before” is more retro, but the “after” looks nice and neat and allows the house to be seen.

    I have a landscaping issue and haven’t really seen anything addressing it in the vintage landscaping guides…we live in a wooded neighborhood in Corvallis, Oregon (the Willamette Valley, SW of Portland). It is really difficult to do traditional mid-century landscaping while working around giant fir trees. Has anyone come across and good resources for landscaping that are mid-century appropriate in this kind of setting? I’m happy with our back yard, but the front was completely overgrown when we moved in (no lawn, due to the fir tree in the middle, just mostly native plants, but there isn’t much design to it.) Oh, also- we have a huge herd of deer in our neighborhood and fences are discouraged. Any thoughts or resources would be greatly appreciated!

    • virginia says

      Number one — Lucky you all, Miss Wendy. That sounds divine.

      I’m no kind of expert on much of anything but I love rock gardens and rock garden patios. Always wanted one.

      So envious of the giant fir trees — Sounds like your landscaping is already working at the meta level! Good luck.

    • Allen says

      Since your issue seems to be localized, I’d recommend checking with a local landscaper (perhaps one that has been in the business for awhile or an old family company that may have old photos and resources on file) and your county office or public library may have old photos/files that you can view to see what they did back in the day. I know Oregon has some drop dead gorgeous mid century houses and surely they had some wonderful landscaping to go with them when they were built. Good Luck!

      • Wendy M. says

        Thanks for the feedback! I hadn’t thought about using local resources…I wonder if OSU has anything available? I’ll have to check with them, as well as our library. Virginia- I like the idea of using rocks…I don’t have to worry about what the deer might do to them! I do feel very fortunate to live in a beautiful wooded setting, but when I see all the traditional mid-century landscaping photos I feel like our yard does not match the style of our home. I’ll have to do some more research.
        I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!

  19. lynda davis says

    I do not care for large pruned shrubs unless they are used as a border on a larger property. The second picture looks much more interesting and colorful. I feel also that azaleas should never be sheared. Unless you live on an estate like Ladew Topiary Gardens, natural shapes and plants look best. I have pulled out large shrubs with a chain attached to a car–it works! Most gardens need refurbished and updated a bit after 25 or 30 years.

  20. virginia says

    I read the site early this morning and thought Oh Child, Get Ready.

    Signed off, made coffee, went out to do some pruning and weeding.

    And thought about how long, how many years, it’s taken me to love and appreciate my 1949 ranch. When all about me were having love conniptions over Victorians and McMansions — and Sears whatevers from the 30s (love them — sob).

    It took over a decade for me to fully embrace and understand my house — inside and out. And much resistance to having stuff done that didn’t fly. I got that you don’t mess with the integrity of the space if you don’t need to. Got that from the get-go and glad I did.

    Took a while. Today I have a house I love and have been working on the outside steadily. And the outside is like the inside — It’s good to know what turns you on and what you are willing to commit to.

    I’ve been on this blog for I think almost a year and have been exposed to all kinds of stuff that has made my house so much better. Mirror tiles — hurrah! Love them. And by extension beaded curtains in what we call our Marilyn Monroe Memorial Dinning (sic) Hall which is a closed in porch area — two stories up, overlooking trees and other folks’ backyards. Won’t mention all of the suggestions although Tiki barware might be included.

    Always inspiration.

    My little boy fell in love with Marilyn M when he was 8 and had me turn that space into a room for her, which sounds horrid, except that I’m arty and I made it work. It does work. It’s a pale blue living and dining room summer porch area — with a mini 50s bar included.

    All this to say — Hurrah for the blog and for all of us who love these houses.

    And like all successful blogs get ready for some action. But do keep up the outdoor angle — It’s much needed and appreciated.

    And keep up your sense of humour — The outside brings on the heat.

  21. Diane in CO says

    I’m a professional landscape architect with a vintage sensibility. The “before” photo with “foundation plantings” grown above the windows (obscuring the architecture) is not only inappropriate for that period home (there is no “foundation” to hide, which was the original incentive for the so-called “foundation planting”) but it’s inappropriate in that it covers the lower half of the windows — i.e., compromises the architectural features of a very lovely house. C’mon folks. Visual priorities alone would dictate ripping out that outdated hedge.

    However, I would have approached the new design very very differently…. But, being able to see the entire window outline is a definite improvement.

    Architecture may be forever, but landscape elements are not. They grow, change, die out… Don’t be afraid to rip out the bad you have inherited from a previous owner.

  22. LuAnn says

    Love, love the new hardscaping and window boxes on the second photo. IMHO, the hedges would look better around the perimeter of the yard. Up against the house, they kind of remind me of a turtle neck sweater that’s slowly swallowing the wearer’s face. :)

  23. Scott says

    Its all about finding the balance. Sure, you don’t want shrubs that look like they are ready to devour your house but you don’t want a look appropriate to a contemporary new build either.

    I compromised and left a few of my old giants in place then gave them major surgery, taking then down several feet (in a series of operations) and reshaped them into upside down gumdrops instead of blobs to lighten them up. Keep in mind it might take a few seasons to get these older, larger plants looking exactly the way you want them but if you can have the patience to work towards this there is something that feels good about the continuity of having things the original owners put in still be a part of the house.

    Then to lighten things up installed some curvy shaped beds with some mid-size and lower plants.

    My best tip: Remember and use your favorite trees, bushes, and flowers were from your own yard and grandparents yards when you were growing up and you are always going to have a yard you love and love to work in and one that will look appropriate to an older house.

  24. effika says

    When we moved into our 1963 ranch, the previous owner had left two sections of box hedges (nicely trimmed) and a hodge-podge random garden. (I can’t do any better, so it was fine.)

    During the summer, some holly branches appeared. Investigation revealed three stumps that had lost the rest of their foliage to an axe some time ago. I was impressed that the bushes were trying after losing so much, so I let them grow.

    Three years later, those three holly bushes are vigorous and thriving. I have to prune them back twice a month, else they’ll take over the whole front of the house!

    Nothing else grows very well in the garden due to the shade from the lovely mature oak trees, but those holly bushes are in heaven!

  25. brenda says

    My suggestion is always the same regarding landscaping: Plant NATIVES! Better for your yard (less maintenance), better for the environment (no pesticides/herbicides) and better for the wildlife! Eliminate as much lawn as possible and plant natives! OK…I am getting off my soapbox now. lol

    • says

      Absolutely agree. Even if you want a more garden-y look, you can accomplish that with natives. Help the bees, butterflies, and other critters.

  26. Kelly Montano says

    I love period landscaping. However, I made a deal with my fiance. He gets to decorate outside and I get the inside. He likes a more meandering, native, weedy, xeriscape look, which is the responsible thing to do here in Colorado as it is so dry. I have to hold myself back from running outside and sculpting all our bushes into topiary shapes while he is at work and lining our center walk with annuals, which is totally NOT his thang, so the super tall grasses, weedy looking flowers and the haphazard wild gardening stays. A deal is a deal. I can’t say it looks terrible. it is pretty in a Colorado mountain meadow sort of way. I just would rather go to the mountains to see it rather than my front yard. :)

    • Carl Youngblood says

      I’m with you. I live in Colorado but I just don’t like that “weedy” landscaping. I like minimalism. To avoid having to water a lot of grass, I used wood chips and rocks in some areas and planted some of those sculptural-style evergreens. Since the entire front of my house is glass, I did the lawn all the way up to the foundation with no plants there at all. I do like the idea of using Asian-style landscaping that is mentioned in another comment.

  27. Mary Beth says

    Another trend that lit like wildfire in our ranch neighborhood was to use pergolas either parallel to the foundation or to achieve carports and walkway covers. Let the vines scramble over to soften or hanging baskets of seasonal blooms for color. Free standing trellis and or a run of fence, again parallel ( tethered to the house usually 5′ away to avoid drip line) to provide privacy keeps the vegetation at bay. In southern climes I’ve seen decorative concrete block used effectively for this purpose set in crushed stone, sort of floats the look of the house.

  28. Claudia Rainey says

    I’m a landscape designer, and I think Midcentury homes do well with either modern (very simple and textural) landscapes or oriental style, or a combination of the two. Many, including my own, come with overgrown hedges and foundation plantings. Mine was all boxwoods. I have moved and replaced most of them and have planted a flowering cherry and some native muhly grass so far. The key is to keep the plant palette simple and focus on texture and year-round interest rather than flowers.

  29. says

    I am a native plant advocate myself. Our house originally had box shrubs that over time nearly enveloped the whole front of the house. Besides covering the natural look and lines of the house they also create other problems – places for animals to hide out, prevent easy access to parts of your house, etc. I’m in the midst of a re-landscaping our house now with much more lower profile shrubs and flowers in the hopes of it not overgrowing as significantly in the future.

  30. Janet says

    Hedges next to the house, junipers in particular, are serious fire hazards. If they catch fire, the flames go up right under the eaves and catch the roof on fire.

  31. Christa says

    A big section of my mid century house is hidden behind enormous rare varieties of camellia trees. I’m debating taking them out. They’re so pretty but they take up a lot of room in my little yard and really are out of scale to the house. I wonder if there is some sort of plant exchange out there or some landscaper who would want to come and take them to use on another project.

    • Scott says

      If they are still good looking trees, and more important structurally solid, I’d think about what those trees do for you as far as protection from the elements and sun. Could removal of the trees cause your summer AC costs to skyrocket?

      Also keep in mind new trees of any reasonable size are astounisingly expensive not to mention the cost involved in removing the old tree and its roots which is a pretty messy and invasive procedure for your yard as well.

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