I would like your reactions to this thread.

whitegarden(Z5 MA)July 6, 2011

I ventured over to "Landscape Design" forum today and found this thread:


What do you think?

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carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

I occasionally dip into the landscape forum and have realized that many of the people who answer questions there are actual professional (or at least widely experienced) landscapers. Some of them tend to get impatient with broad questions, but that thread, I think, brought them together and politely. I've read Inkognito's comments before and he's usually short like that.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 9:20PM
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cloud_9(z5 CT)

My reaction is that at least she left 6 trees and four rocks to accent her parking lot. Why do you ask?
: D

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 9:27PM
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I agree with cloud 9 - she created a parking lot. Has she considered the environmental impact of removing so many trees? What is going to happen next time we have an intense rain storm? My other thoughts include - Only 9 months in the house and she is tearing the whole yard out. And early July is a crappy time to put a lawn in.

Obviously she doesn't live in my town. First, she would never get a permit to water her lawn this time of year. Then the conservation commission in my town wouldn't allow her to remove so many trees, especially with a seasonal pond. We're planning a garage addition to our house - we have to document every tree on our property, and our plans to protect the tree during the construction. I'm at $5K in survey work and haven't even hired the architect yet!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 9:54PM
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terrene(5b MA)

LOL @ Cloud. I surf the LD forum every now and then, and actually saw that thread. Refrained from replying because my first reaction was - OMG this poster spent $13K on GRADING!! Who sold them that idea? That Landscraper must be laughing all the way to the bank.

The OP cites the fact that there were too many ticks. Well yes, ticks like shrubbery so let's spend $13K and decimate all plant life in the back yard. And who knows how the heavy machinery has affected the roots of the remaining trees.

It's understandable that they might want to have a lawn and "tick-free" area in part of the back yard, maybe for a playset or something, but the whole back yard?? Now they have to spend more money seeding, weeding, watering, hardscaping, and whatever. I think they will be a bit overwhelmed when the weeds start to appear everywhere in that freshly disturbed soil.

Now if her yard were overrun with invasive plants I can understand doing a lot of clearing. I do it the hard slow (cheap) way though - pruning saw, loppers, weed wrench, herbicide, and occasionally some help from a buddy with a chainsaw or brush mower.

Oh, and I won't comment on the "helpful" responses of some posters.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 3:16AM
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whitegarden(Z5 MA)

So I am not going crazy. Thank you. I was horrified by what they did to that property. I drafted a comment but decided not to post it. I still might though.
This is the problem with a forum called "Landscape Design." People go there and think it is a substitute for hiring a professional and then do that kind of thing. I might stay away from that forum if I can. Now that I have passed the train wreck I might not be able to stay away.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 9:46AM
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meh. people love to hear themselves type and show off their expertise.

But I read the whole thing and didn't see any reference to $13k???

I'd never spend that much, personally. I wonder if for a lot less than $13k, I could get myself a small, used front loader, and have some fun doing all that myself. If I was going to have it all torn up like that, I'd be putting in a sprinkler system and sod - might as well go full-tilt toward the golf course look!

I think ultimately the yard will look fine. I'm not a big fan of beds bordered with plastic and filled with mulch (but admit to have a small one exactly like that in the front yard - sort of a stop gap till I figure out what else to do). I like the idea of the rocks, but would probably put a patio in at the bottom of the stairs and move the rocks near there with small perennials around them. I'd put something large like a rhododendron or something between the trees and go for lots of shade perennials that I can clump together and mow right up to the edge of to avoid mulch.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 10:48AM
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terrene(5b MA)

WG, I am curious what your reply would be? Why don't you post it here and let us see. (I feel a tiny bit catty talking about the thread "behind their back". ;)

Froofy, the reference to 13K is in a 2nd thread that she started a little further down the page, but then told people to ignore it and reply to the other one.

Ditto, I haven't spent 13K on anything in this house - maybe the roof will cost that much. No way would I spend that kind of money on landscape work (along with, I assume, some tree removal, disposal, maybe some loam?). I was told by a contractor once that excavators often clear lots much more than necessary during a build/tear down, so they can charge more for their portion of the work!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 11:17AM
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whitegarden(Z5 MA)

@terrene, I feel a bit catty too but the whole thing disturbed me so much that I really did want to know if I was alone in my opinion.

You've got mail.

@Froofy, maybe it will "look fine" after years of trying to battle what they have done, but what a huge waste! They needed professional advice before they decided to do this. I can see the landscape contractor laughing all the way to the bank with their $13K and not giving a damn about what they destroyed. Oh well. And I am with you about the investment. I take on smaller scale projects and hope they add up to the right thing in the end. I think it produces a better result anyway. Incremental change is always more prudent and less wasteful.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 11:38AM
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LOL to Cloud 9.

I almost always appreciate Ink's comments on the LD forum, but have to admit that his tone keeps me from posting over there!

WG, I'm relieved that your reaction had to do with to the destruction of that wooded yard. I'd assumed you were distressed by the tone of the LAs who replied to the "innocent" OP. Can I get some mail too?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 2:01PM
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whitegarden(Z5 MA)

Yes, I forgot to acknowledge cloud9 specifically. Great post cloud9. I wanted to know when the chaulkers were coming over to put down the lines for the football field.

As for the tone of the other posts I credit their restraint, assuming they were as horrified as I am by the whole debacle. But here's my question - where were they when she was posting about her idea to clear-cut her entire property? Did they try to advise her otherwise or just figure it wasn't worth it?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 2:49PM
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I used to go to that forum but stopped several years ago as there was so much general nastiness.

Ink is a character. He used to post on a lot of forums and seems to enjoy stirring the pot. But he has been around GW a very long time and is well tolerated by most.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 4:50PM
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terrene(5b MA)

WG, I didn't get an email?? I tried sending myself one, and haven't gotten that, so apparently the GW email's not working. (That must be why I never got Idabean's email re: the swap.) I'll try sending you one.

I posted a reply over on that thread. Couldn't help myself. Tried to be diplomatic.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 1:55PM
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Nicely done, Terrene! Very diplomatic, all things considered, although I don't suppose the OP will appreciate learning that she's violated wetlands regs. I think it needed to be said, though.

Probably not a good time to invite her over to the NE forum, huh? LOL.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 4:46PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Well I wanted to say something. Isn't that what these forums are for? I don't post frivolously, I take care of property and hire landscapers and contractors on a regular basis. Course there's nothing that can be done now because the grading is done. Apparently there was a preceding thread on the OP's project and I'm kinda curious what was discussed there.

Re: the wetlands regs. The OP would not necessarily have knowledge of them, or have thought of it, but certainly that excavator would know about them. However maybe the seasonal wetland was dry when the work was done.

...maybe we should let this thread drop, lol

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 6:29PM
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Since the planet is obviously going to hell, I find it arrogant foolishness that conservation commissions can require $5000 plans to remove trees and a lot more extremist idiocy.
I agree that big lawns are wasteful, but they also reduce ticks, ants, other insects, mold, voles, rabbits, deer and woodchucks and other plagues and pestilence.

If someone owns land that ought to be able to do what they want a long as it isn't grossly harmful to others.

True conservation would entail removing all roads, dwellings, and Homo sapiens. .....and of course no gardening.

And I'm a liberal, just have a bit of common sense.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 6:33PM
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Charles wrote:
"If someone owns land that ought to be able to do what they want a long as it isn't grossly harmful to others."

But what is "grossly harmful"?

The town I live in - we have strict conservation laws. The town voted for these strict conservation measures at town meeting. And that is part of the attraction of living in my town - we have lots of open space, and we try to protect the open space we have. We have large lots, large setbacks, and you have to have your neighbors approval before you can put on an addition. A lot of people may not like these "rules", but clearly many people do since real estate sells at a premium in my town.

Our town also had serious flooding issues last Spring. Neighborhoods flooded that had never had water issues before. Turns out that new housing had been built nearby (though not adjoining), large amounts (afew acres) of trees had been removed. When the rains came, the trees were not there to suck up a lot of that rain, the removal of the trees changed drainage patterns, and now we had houses under 3' of water.

So - is 3' of water in your house grossly harmful? What if it had only been a few inches? Is that grossly harmful? What if some endangered Thompson Turtles end up being killed by herbicide and pesticide run off from these golf course lawns? Is that grossly harmful?

So I would say that it is my business what you do on your land.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 7:17PM
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I'm with pixie_lou; my town also has strict conservation requirements, and most residents approve of them. The Conservation Commission is mostly dedicated volunteers, however there's little money for enforcement when homeowners ignore those regulations.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 8:37PM
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I think the deed is done and what was said is there. My impression is that OP weathered all comments very very well. She actually avoided getting in a snit with ink, and got good info from him in the bargain.
She's not an experienced gardener and didn't have a "reason" or a garden vision to guide her first landscaping decisions. Her first several thousand dollars would have been better spent with an excellent design/build landscape designer.
Right now she would benefit, I believe, from a landscape designer who has a creative vision (that includes large curves and deep beds) and who can give some depth to the clear cut landscape. And who knows trees and shrubs: OP has a great clean palette for some beautiful plants. I hope she is encouraged to create a beautiful landscape with unusual plants.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 9:20AM
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terrene(5b MA)

I agree that big lawns are wasteful, but they also reduce ticks, ants, other insects, mold, voles, rabbits, deer and woodchucks and other plagues and pestilence.

Charles, methinks that you should consider living in the city. LOL

Idabean, that is a great idea. That homeowner has a blank slate and a designer could suggest something beautiful. They will have their work cut out for them though. It is easier in steps.

I wish I had more blank slate here. This lot was so overgrown and infested with invasive plants that one next door neighbor called it "the forest" and the other thought it was an undeveloped lot when they moved in. To create the gardens here has required 6 years of labor (so far), help from friends with chainsaws etc, and tree removal twice ($4K).

There were many times I could have used a Bobcat! However the negatives - they tear up the landscape, disturb tree roots, destroy soil micro-organisms and wildlife habitat, guzzle fossil fuels, and cost $$.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 1:09PM
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