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Thread: Bushes and Weeds

  1. #1
    Senior Member fidgiegirl's Avatar
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    Bushes and Weeds

    The yard is pretty wild. I am wondering about a few issues in the front yard.

    First, there's this huge, huge overgrown shrub. I think I may have missed the boat on pruning it, but wanted to get your opinions on it. It's a little hard to see, but I'm going to post a few pics.

    What would you do? Hack it down? Take out the big parts? Some of the shoots are tree sized!

    I can't really identify it. It bloomed for a short period in these pretty white blooms that were almost tubular. It is not a common bush.

    The other issue is the weeds on the slope. We want to replace with a ground cover (we think we get sun on this north-facing slope from about 11:30 until ??:00- still observing that . . . ). But anyway, I don't know of any ground cover that could overtake these weeds. Please tell me we don't have to nuke them . . . we are less than half a mile from the Mississippi now and I so hate to do it . . . but not sure what else to do.

    Help?




    Untitled by fidgiegirl, on Flickr
    Here you can see the weeds as well as the shrub, located to the left of the pine, obscuring the neighbor's house. We'd like to get the pine out but not willing to part with the $$ to have it done.


    Untitled by fidgiegirl, on Flickr
    The shrub, closer up. It is so dang tall!


    Untitled by fidgiegirl, on Flickr
    The shrub from the other side. Maybe someone knows what kind it is?
    Kelli

    My gluten free blog: Twin Cities Gluten Free
    Our house remodel blog: Our Fair Abode

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rosemary's Avatar
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    Look for the "Ask a Master Gardener" link on the county extension web page. I have sent images of plants before and they have been able to identify. They could probably also provide pruning advice.

    My favorite groundcover is strawberry plants, and if you would like some, I have a ready supply for free. They are tall enough to shade out grass! Only thing is, the rabbits like them... so if you have rabbits in your neighborhood, they need fencing.

  3. #3
    Senior Member fidgiegirl's Avatar
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    Thanks, Rosemary.

    I took your advice and contacted the Master Gardener service. The person who answered thought it was probably some kind of viburnum. He said now is the time to prune shrubs that have flowered, so that is good to know.

    Further research on pruning overgrown shrubs reveals that we should remove the oldest, woodiest growth first, and no more than 1/3 of the shrub every year. Just doing that will make a huge difference. What I read recommended against topping off the shrub, so that's good - I had thought of doing that! Whoops! Will try to post pics once we do the deed. Maybe tomorrow . . .
    Kelli

    My gluten free blog: Twin Cities Gluten Free
    Our house remodel blog: Our Fair Abode

  4. #4
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Beautiful house fidgiegirl!
    When you first said how big it was and that the flowers were tubular, I had fears that it was the invasive honeysuckle bush.
    Hmmm.....Viburnum flowers are not tubular (that I know of). Did you take a sample of the leaves to him?
    I would probably get a second opinion.
    Ground covers can get tricky, since most of them can spread even to places you don't want them to!
    Having said that, how about something like periwinkle? (vinca minor)

  5. #5
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Periwinkle is now listed as an invasive in Ontario so don't go there. I have a lovely ground cover of periwinkle in front of our house and will not give it up but the newest landscape listing says not to plant it.
    "How will you serve the world? What do they need that you can provide? The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is." (Jim Carrey)

  6. #6
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Yeah, I don't know about the bushes, but what a fabulous house!! I've always thought I'd love a Tudor-style house.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  7. #7
    Senior Member peggy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CathyA View Post
    Beautiful house fidgiegirl!
    When you first said how big it was and that the flowers were tubular, I had fears that it was the invasive honeysuckle bush.
    Hmmm.....Viburnum flowers are not tubular (that I know of). Did you take a sample of the leaves to him?
    I would probably get a second opinion.
    Ground covers can get tricky, since most of them can spread even to places you don't want them to!
    Having said that, how about something like periwinkle? (vinca minor)
    This is what I thought looking at the third picture. The leaves don't look like viburnum at all, but do look like bush honeysuckle. Did the flowers look kind of like honeysuckle but a bit smaller? Did they have a scent? You may cut this bush hard, and some shrubs you do 'top' so to speak, namely those spring bloomers who bloom on old wood. So, to have lots of blooms next spring, you cut back top 'end' growth and the new growth this summer will be your flowering branches next spring. Lilacs are this type, and forsythia.
    Here are a couple of links to pictures of the bush honeysuckle.

    http://www.fosc.org/RIP/BushHoneysuckle.htm

    http://adventurefarm.blogspot.com/20...invasives.html
    Cut off a branch with leaves and take to almost any garden center for definite identification. I'm betting it's a bush honeysuckle. Although these are invasive here, and just pop up everywhere, they can be kept under control and really be attractive in bloom. Unfortunately they aren't attractive any other time of the year which is why most who choose to keep them have them sort of in the background.

  8. #8
    Mrs-M
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    Oh, wow! What a dream yard, Fidgiegirl!!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member fidgiegirl's Avatar
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    Well, all, I probably should have looked before pruning, as you all have lots of good advice! Still not identified, but at least now controlled. We are even getting more light in the living room, and discovered that our bridal veil push, stuck behind the overgrown cow of a shrub, was being strangled by a grapevine. So in general, the front yard is gonna be a lot more happy after this.

    Now to deal with the brush . . . hmmmmm. . . hard to deal with when we have no truck. We have a few ideas though, and we'll figure it out

    Before:

    Untitled by fidgiegirl, on Flickr
    It is the shrub underneath the spruce tree, to the left. You can notice it growing taller than the neighbor's roof.

    After:

    Untitled by fidgiegirl, on Flickr
    Ahhhhh . . . we also removed dead lower branches on the spruce.

    ETA: Weird, I used the exact same procedure to post my Flickr photos in this post and many times in the past, and don't know why the "before" pic won't show up. You can visit the hyperlink or check the OP but that's just kinda weird.
    Kelli

    My gluten free blog: Twin Cities Gluten Free
    Our house remodel blog: Our Fair Abode

  10. #10
    Helper Gregg's Avatar
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    No great advice, but did want to say you have a beautiful home!

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