Hope everyone had a good weekend! With the relatively warm weather I decided to take a break from the basement this weekend and do some long overdue work this weekend on the front yard. I have been meaning to take out the overgrown yew in the front yard for about 5 years, it just never seemed like a priority. This shrub was there when we bought the house, although it was about 1/4 the size. It was a bad choice for the front (although there were a lot of crazy shrubs in the front back then). Although a yew can make a fine plant in other locations (nice dense evergreen), I find that in this location it is constantly trying to outgrow its space and block the pretty half round cedar shingles on the bay window. It was also blocking the light to the area that will be the workshop in the basement. So out came the sawzall! Which is becoming one of my favorite tools! It took a while and we had a GIANT pile of branches but I was able to cut it down the ground.
Fortunately after the shrub was cut back and a few weeds were pulled out the soil was in good condition and ready to go. So what to replace it with? I was looking for something that offers better coloring and year around interest (especially winter color). I was also looking for something with red highlights to work with the coloring on the house.
What finally sealed the deal for me was the clearance sale at Home Depot. They had several varieties of Nandina (Heavenly Bamboo) for $9.97 a piece. I have admired one in my neighbors yard for the past couple of years. In the end I went with Nandina Domestica ‘Gulf Stream’. This plant only grows to about 2 1/2′ tall (yeah no pruning!). It won’t get berries like the typical domestica (which grows up to about 7′ tall) but the leaves stay on the plant year around and they have a lovey reddish tinge to them. I bought 3 and decided to pair them with a couple of the pink muhly grasses that I bought earlier this fall and hadn’t found a home yet.
Why did I live with that boring overgrown shrub there for so long? Of course now I need to paint (and fix) the basement windows soon! Did anyone else get anything done in the yard this weekend? I’ve still got several more shrubs to get in the ground before it freezes.