Monica Thein
Monica Thein
  • Hometalker
  • Alpharetta, GA
Asked on Apr 3, 2013

Landscaping

TriciaMonday WestParadise Designs Inc.
+18

Answered

I just planted a Japanese Maple in my front yard - just in front of the bay window. I love it but the I don't care for the three bushes to the right of the Japanese maple and behind the Magnolia tree. If I remove the shrubs, what can I put there instead? Also, what plant/shrub should I put on either side of the sidewalk, flanking the front door? Thank you.
q landscaping, gardening, landscape
q landscaping, gardening, landscape
21 answers
  • Lovely tree, but in my opinion it is planted way to close to the house. As it gets bigger the leaves and branches will overpower the house and cause issues with gutters and pests. I see this issue a lot in my area where landscapers and builders plant to make the house look pretty, without any regard for five, ten or even longer down the road. We have removed many a great tree for this very reason. Check the mature growth size of what ever it is your planting to be sure once mature it does not over power the house. It may look a bit odd sitting way out of place for a few years, but over time it will fill in and look great without all the issues caused by over crowding the home. Fill the surrounding areas with smaller shrubs that can be removed as the larger ones begin to fill out with time. Lots of great plantings require constant pruning when planted in the wrong place. This fact alone makes it more expensive over time and it not really as healthy for the trees and plants if they have to keep getting cut back every few years, and between each cut back you need to wait for the tree/bush to fill back in. Good luck you have a lovely home.

  • Monica Thein
    on Apr 3, 2013

    Thank you very much for your comments and for responding. I did address the fact that I wanted to be sure it wasn't planted too close to the house as both magnolia trees were planted too close when the home was first built, and my landscapers assured me that it was not planted too close. If you have any recommendations as to what I can plant on either side of the sidewalk, flanking the front door, I would appreciate it.

  • Southern Trillium LLC
    on Apr 3, 2013

    Monica, do you know the variety of Japanese Maple that was planted? By knowing the exact variety, we can verify if it is too close or not. It is difficult to tell in the photos, but it appears that the maple is within 3-4 feet of the bay window.

  • Monica, I could not tell you what to plant as everything I touch dies. I just know from doing home repairs and prep to sell for people I cannot tell you how many times we end up cutting down some really nice trees that were planted to close to the house and were causing damage. You will however get some great ideas in the following days from some great people here on HT!

  • Designs by BSB
    on Apr 4, 2013

    How about encoure azaleas? :-) You can grow/shape them your desired height - and they flower 2x a year! Along the sidewalk I would flowers or creeping ground cover. 2 ground covers I love the color of .. Yellow Jenny and Blue Haze (which flowers!)

  • Monica Thein
    on Apr 4, 2013

    Thank you!

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Apr 4, 2013

    The dwarf Indian hawthorns are great plants for lining an entryway. Look for a cultivar like "Georgia Petite."

  • Monica Thein
    on Apr 4, 2013

    Thank you!

  • Monica Thein
    on Apr 4, 2013

    I wanted to let you know that the Japanese Maple is a Tamukeyama.

  • Southern Trillium LLC
    on Apr 4, 2013

    Monica, here is some info on the Tamukeyama variety. Tamukeyama is a very popular upright, red leaf dissectums. Most consider it to grow to over 10 feet tall and 8-12 feet wide. Even considering the narrowest of width, the tree will grow to touch your windows/house. Yes, they are not the fastest of growers, but I would still say it is too close. We have planted Tamukeyama's in different cilent's yards and they grow fairly quick compared to other dissectums. I would recommend moving it farther out from the house, and if you don't want a tree that tall there, switch to a different variety that will stay lower. There are more than 700 varieties. I have a friend that has one dissectum that is over 20 years old and although it is nearly 15 feet wide, it is about 4 feet tall. Sad to say, but this happens all the time even with landscapers. It actually happened with my own mother-in-law out of state. She hired the local nursery to install some plants. When she sent me a pic, I had to break the news that they planted a Coral Bark Japanese Maple 4 feet from her house. Coral Barks can grow to over 20 feet tall and wide. She was quite upset that the reputable nursery brought that tree as a 'fair' alternative to the one that I told her to have installed in that location. She had to get the local nursery to come and move it to another spot on the property where it had room to grow.

  • Monica Thein
    on Apr 5, 2013

    This is not what I wanted to hear but I appreciate your answer. I will contact the company who planted the tree and let them know what you told me. What is so frustrating is that I specifically told them that I wanted to be sure that it did not grow too close to my house as did the magnolia trees. I also told them that I really wanted a Japanese maple in that location but told them that if it was not the right tree for this area to let me know. This is a reputable landscaping company and I did my research before hiring them to do a large project in my yard. Thank you for your time. I truyl appreciate it.

  • Southern Trillium LLC
    on Apr 5, 2013

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news Monica. I hope it is resolved easily.

  • Southern Trillium LLC
    on Apr 5, 2013

    Monica, if you want more information to share with your landscaping company, here is a great document that lists many varieties with a description and size. You can share this with your landscaper. http://www.gardendesignnursery.com/Maple%20Descriptions.pdf This grower specializes in Japanese Maples and is located outside Athens. Maybe you can find a variety on this list you would like and specify one to your landscaper.

  • Flanking the door we would use Ilex " Dragon Lady" this is a narrow holly, evergreen with red berries in fall. To replace the green bushes behind the magnolia, maybe cherry laurel which stays somewhat low, but does better in shade.

  • Jeanette S
    on Apr 5, 2013

    Unless you get the harsh afternoon sun, I would not cover up the front of the house and would use drought resistant colored grasses. You have a good start for a beautiful low garden with those large rocks. I would add pebbles and the put in some more open shrubs/trees at the end of the windows. I am thinking Yucca type plants, both tall and low...there is a variety of different greens and colors. Even a windmill palm...which will survive in Atlanta...would look great at the right end of your house. I would plant less in a straight line, but would make it very interesting. Soon it is not going to be a matter of cost of sprinkling our plants, it is going to become one of availability (allowing watering).

  • Monica Thein
    on Apr 5, 2013

    Thank you everyone for your recommendations. I am very grateful for your advice.

  • Susan
    on Apr 8, 2013

    You could planet Loropetalum commonly known as Chinese Fringe. They are a nice shrub and the coloring is very pretty

  • Southern Trillium LLC
    on Apr 8, 2013

    The only Loropetalum that stays small is Purple Pixie. All the other varieties, even those that claim to stay small, will grow beyond 5 feet tall. We have tried nearly every variety over the years and that is what we have found. If you want to stay under your windows and keep maintenance to a minimum, the other Loropetalums are not a wise choice.

  • Paradise Designs Inc.
    on Apr 10, 2013

    The best way to address a new landscape is with a cohesive design plan. Even if you don't/can't do all the work at once, it provides a framework for planting in stages. It strikes me that your reputable landscaping firm was not a design/build firm. Seek out the help of a landscape designer who can give you a quality design plan.

  • Monday West
    on Oct 30, 2014

    Thanks for great information which you have shared here.Awell designed yard or garden creates a wonderful point of view for any residence.Bring out the beauty of your house by considering a professional landscapingdesign makeover who will give a spectacular look to your home landscape.

  • Tricia
    on Sep 27, 2017

    Hate to tell you this but depending on the type of Japanese maple you have, you may have it planted too close to the house. My neighbor has one that drapes and it is placed like yours in a flower bed. It works well there. I have one that is 20' from my house and more like an oak tree. Mine is 25 years old and at least 30' tall. I can't tell from your picture what the top of yours looks like. This bed looks like it gets a lot of shade so hostas would be good on each side of the door and maybe even between the maple and magnolia (can't see past the magnolia on the other side) but you might want something a little larger right beside the door. Maybe nandenias behind the magnolia?
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