landscape makeover suggestions wanted
I posted on the landscape design forum and would appreciate input from our fellow northwest gardeners who know the climate well and can appreciate our quest for more natural lighting in a clearing in the woods at 500' SE of Seattle.
How would you update this almost 30 year old landscape?
Would you bother transplanting the established shrubs that have been karate-chopped the past 4 years? The occupants before 2009 did very little pruning & rhododendrons had branches laying on ground making it difficult to mow, so that could be what started the excessive pruning.
We thought we could use the larger shrubs as an instant screen next to the garage, but not between garage & house. That would create more privacy for the front there since there are 2 other backyards nearby on that side. Until the big trees are gone we don't have a spot for the larger rhododendrons to go, so I am so tempted to take out the chain saw to just make them smaller so they could be moved to a temporary spot. At over 10' some of those aren't going to be very easy to move and camp doesn't have a working backhoe at the present time. Renting a bobcat is an option, but probably not large enough for the job either. The first occupants of the house who planted the shrubbery are still around at our camp and she was pleased that we were moving in to take proper care of the rhododendrons. I have avoided telling her we're thinking of moving them or even removing them entirely because they are just too much work to save. I wonder if she'll notice if we work fast enough to replant...
Other screening ideas include using wood fence panels plus evergreen shrubbery and/or vines on trellis. The backyard is more private, but the forest is currently only 10' away with blackberries, stinging nettles, and underbrush that is going to take more time to remove. I didn't even include any photos of the backyard on the landscape forum.
I've identified shrubs such as: highbush blueberries, 3 Pyracantha, several resprouting 18" tall Camellias from 4" calipers, David's Viburnum by the front porch, big leaf Rhododendrons, and a few smaller leaved Rhododendrons currently around 5'. We already dug out the plants & roots of English holly and yellow archangel Lamium from the King County noxious weed list as well as spread cardboard & compost topped with wood chip mulch over the weedy bed of blueberries & smaller rhododendrons on the right (east) side of the home.
There are 2 dwarf conifers under a window to the left of the porch that are suffering from lack of light and moisture: dwarf Alberta spruce & a pine. We may leave them to see how they do once the others are removed; however, the spruce is within 3' of the siding and the pine is within 3' of the porch.
Hoping you'll have some good suggestions!
Here is a link that might be useful: landscape makeover on Landscape Design Forum