Landscape renovation is an important part of home improvement, adding to the curb appeal of a home or business. Most first impressions of your home, and its level of maintenance and value are made from the street. Even with conscientious trimming and maintenance, all foundation plantings get crowded after 15 years. That’s when it is time to renovate!
Depending on how close your trees and shrubs were originally spaced, and what types of plants were used, this overcrowding could begin much sooner, sometimes as early as 5 to 7 years after planting, especially if pruning has been minimal.
The current trend in our area is to ‘over-plant’ or plant way too much. While this style of planting creates an established look much sooner, it also creates a need to renovate foundation plantings much sooner. This is especially true when the wrong plants are used for plantings close to a house — plants that grow too fast, or much too large for their allotted space.
Most of our client’s home improvement inquiries regard overcrowded plantings that are over 20 years old. At this advanced stage of growth, shrubs are blocking windows and overpowering the house. A once inviting front entrance may now be overgrown and hidden. These overgrown plantings can crowd sidewalks, getting visitors wet as they brush past them on rainy days. They also give houses that ‘abandoned’ or neglected look.
It often comes as a great surprise when clients learn that foundation plantings have a limited lifespan, and should be renovated once they are 15 years old. If the right trees have been planted in the right places in lawn areas, they can remain much longer. It’s the close proximity to foundations, windows and sidewalks that create an earlier need for foundation planting renovation work.
While you can attempt to salvage whatever existing plants are still in good shape, and will still blend with new plantings, it’s been our experience that ‘starting from scratch’ makes the most sense in the long run. Mixing new plantings with old plantings often creates too much of a ‘generation gap.