We have a lot of bushes. I mean a lot. Were I to guess, I’d put us somewhere in the neighborhood of 100+ bushes on our property. The previous owner loved lining any and all boundaries with bushes. We have them around the perimeter of our lot, dividing the “front” back yard from the “back” back yard, surrounding the deck and patio, defining the garden plot, and so forth. We’ve got a lot of bushes.
More specifically, we have a lot of overgrown bushes. Some are nearing the 10-ft mark. And most bushes when allowed to get over 5-6 ft tall, get pretty unattractive and “leggy” as I like to say.
This spring we spent a lot of time cutting back our azaleas, and they’ve finally regrown to a point that I feel good sharing the final product.
It’s probably best that we start from the beginning. See our blog header up there? That’s what the bushes looked like when we moved in. Not terrible but on their way to overgrown. We vowed to cut them the following spring after they bloomed. We failed. What would one more year matter right? Holy moly. Here’s what we were dealing with this spring after they bloomed.
Yikes, right? I’m short but not that short. Those bushes were almost 9 ft tall. it was insane. And oh so ugly. See all that legginess on the left? Ugly.
So we spent the better part of a morning cutting them down as close to the ground as we could manage. Here’s what we had at the end.
Pretty ugly, I know, but we had to scalp them in order to let them grow back properly. If you only prune a little, your fast-growing bushes will be out of control again before you know it.
After a few weeks, we had this.
And then after a few more week, we had this.
They were alive and thriving, but so were the weeds. We dealt with the weeds and let the azaleas do their thing. And it paid off. After about four months, we have this finished product.
It’s nice that the plants don’t swallow me whole (like above), right?
We plan to continue that line of monkey grass all the way across (see it on the left?). We’re also going to put down some pine straw this winter when it comes down from the trees (our neighborhood is full, and I mean full, of pine trees). Everybody knows azaleas love pine straw right? That whole pH thing. We usually just snag all the bags that our neighbors put out by the road. Free mulch! Then, in the spring I may plant some summer-flowering plants, so it has color this time of year. Overall, I’m happy with our 4-month results. What do you think?
We’ve got friends coming to visit this weekend, which means a welcome break from house updates. What about everyone else? Any fun weekend plans or DIYing going on?