Major Trimming/Cutting


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My son's front yard is out of control and he needs help. He and his wife would like to sit on their ground level porch to relax and watch the children play. Please have a close look at the photo then suggest what needs to be done to take control of this overwhelming bed. Plants can be reshaped, cut back and/or removed. Please be detailed since my son is not a true gardener.

Thank you,
Big Lou

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Oh, wow, some "landscape professional" had a fun time with that yard! Landscapers plant, they don't live with the plants.
I'd remove the hedge and the shrub to the right (looking at the photo) of the sidewalk. If something is needed there, a low growing perennial like lantana "New Gold" would work. It needs minimal care (a little trimming in the fall) and water. It wouldn't get high enough to interfere with seeing the children, and it would add some color. That sure is a "one shade of green" yard!
Where that shrub is to the left of the sidewalk is an ideal spot for a container plant, again something colorful, either annual or perennial. Since you are in north Texas, I'd recommend something annual like coleus or even bouganvilla (which isn't a true annual, and if put in the garage during winter, might survive).
That is a pretty house, and with some judicious replacement of plants, it will look even better (and be able to be seen!).
 
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Oh, wow, some "landscape professional" had a fun time with that yard! Landscapers plant, they don't live with the plants.
I'd remove the hedge and the shrub to the right (looking at the photo) of the sidewalk. If something is needed there, a low growing perennial like lantana "New Gold" would work. It needs minimal care (a little trimming in the fall) and water. It wouldn't get high enough to interfere with seeing the children, and it would add some color. That sure is a "one shade of green" yard!
Where that shrub is to the left of the sidewalk is an ideal spot for a container plant, again something colorful, either annual or perennial. Since you are in north Texas, I'd recommend something annual like coleus or even bouganvilla (which isn't a true annual, and if put in the garage during winter, might survive).
That is a pretty house, and with some judicious replacement of plants, it will look even better (and be able to be seen!).
Think I am confused. Do you mean remove the tall holly beside the entrance and all the shrubs along the porch? While leaving the holly tree beside the actual end of the porch/house?
 
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You aren't confused at all, and have interpreted my somewhat muddled post very well.
Yes, leave the holly at the right end of the porch, remove the flat-top shrub hedge along the porch, and remove the tall holly by the entrance. That tall holly is going to grow over the sidewalk and make getting to the porch and front entrance of the home very difficult.
 
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Thank you. When I can I will edit the photo to show your basic recommendations before passing them on to my son.
 
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I definitely agree with @marlingardener - that's a whole lot of dense green (uninteresting) shrubbery concealing what appears to be a very attractive house. Plus of course your son & daughter-in-law won't be able to see past that big green wall to watch the kids.

I'd also remove just about every one of those shrubs and replace them with hardy perennials. Not sure what grows well and is native to Texas but either something low-growing, or taller but not very dense.

If they have a good independent (not big box!) garden center nearby, I'd suggest they take some photos there and ask about options.

I'm the sort of weirdo that would leave a little room for the kids to grow some easy veggies - squash or tomatoes or something. :)
 
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Thanks everyone! I will pass along your recommendations.
 
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If they try to trim the large plants directly in front of the house they will end up with nothing. I can pretty well guarantee that inside the branches there is nothing but dead wood. I would cut them close to the ground and dig them out.
 
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Mgmine is right, the plants need to be removed, not trimmed. Digging them out will be a chore, but well worth the effort when the front looks so much better.
 
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The trick to digging bushes out is to first cut them down but not completely. You want to have something to push on. Once cut down and out of the way dig all around the roots and cut the roots with an ax. Then use a long 6' steel pry bar and get under them and push the bar down. Don't try to use a shovel it isn't strong enough for the leverage you need. The roots will come out of the ground and the bush can be removed. Depending on the type of plant it can be fairly easy or hard.
 
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It looks like that big bush to the right of the sidewalk is already half blocking the entrance to the house & porch! :eek:

Like @Beth_B said, I'd take a picture to a local greenhouse/nursery, and find something native to TX, low growing, and colorful!!

I'd also either plant some flowering annuals, or a flowering perennial ground cover in and among that row of short shrubs in the front. Depending on if they want to replace the annuals every year. (That pretty house just needs some flowers! :D)
 

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