Saturday, August 18, 2012

Formal or Free Form?

The first order of business around the new place is an attempt at making it seem occupied and less like the Addams Family home. Cleaning all the weeds and volunteer trees out of the overgrown hedge is already a major improvement in the curb appeal. 

DSC_2545

The question then becomes, what do we do with the hedge itself? I personally prefer the free form look. I always figured if mother nature wanted her shrubs to be square she would have designed them that way. I also like the way it hides the house from the street. You really have to know where you are going to find this place in a car. My third argument is that the nearest neighbor to the south also has a free form hedge and for the sake of continuity ours should be the same. The engineer however wants a formal hedge. Either way nothing can be done immediately as trimming a hedge during drought seems like a sure fire way to kill it. So what would you do? Formal or free form?

Another debate is what to do about the dead trees out front. They are located between the sidewalk and the road and are dangling precariously above the power/phone/cable lines. Technically this house is not incorporated as part of the town. So who owns the trees? Or more importantly who is responsible for trimming them? The town, the homeowner, or the utility company?

DSC_2549

This one is shedding bark into the street at an alarming rate. 

DSC_2552

And there is another completely dead one that seems to be actually holding up the utility pole.  Anyone know who I should call? 

22 comments:

Wendy said...

Call the utility company first. Find out who's problem it is. Different locations have different rules.

Milah Frost said...

If the engineer is willing to trim the hedge then my vote is go formal. As far as the trees on the street, I noticed those when I drove by, I have no idea who is responsible for them but your right...they need to be taken down. :(

thecrazysheeplady said...

You say Addams family like that's a bad thing...

Don't trim anything in a month without an 'R'. I vote for free form.

Nancy said...

Yes, call the utility company about the trees. As for the hedge, do whatever keeps peace in the family. ;oD

I'm gonna tell Mom! said...

I agree with calling the utility company first, but don't expect them to do a pretty job on your trees.
And I vote formal hedge.
kim

csndyrn said...

I wouldn't prune anything during this drought unless you are planning on taking the hedge out eventually. Just adds extra stress on the plants that they don't need now. Wait until after a hard freeze and they go dormant. Then do what you want.

Karen Anne said...

As for the dead trees, I would call the utility company pronto, so they don't take down a power line in the first storm.

I would expect them to take the entire trees out, since they're dead. Unless they have no money to do so. tell Mom is right, if they only do some trimming they will leave you with massacred looking trees.

Hedges, sigh. I would go with whatever leaves you with the least ongoing maintenance, unless the engineer is going to take care of that. A big hedge is an ongoing maintenance headache.

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

I would call the utility company, I would think it would be in their best interest to "trim" or remove the trees for you.

If your entire garden is going to be "wild" then keep them as they are. But if you are going to have a formal garden, then keep them boxed to continue the look.

Now a third option would be to keep them high and slightly rounded at the top that would give you a combination of both looks . . .

Have fun!

Tombstone Livestock said...

I agree if the Engineer is going to do the maintenance on the hedge let him have it his way ...... or let him do it once, fertilize them like there is no tomorrow while he's not looking, then when he sees how often he has to do it he will decide it looks better wild, LOL And yes call the utility company they will have the answer.

Congratulations on trying to get settled in and making this home "yours" BTW love the pictures Milah posted of the looms in Sheville.

bsue said...

I agree with some of the others, I prefer freeform but if he wants formal I'd sure make certain he is the one to take care of it. It is a chore for sure. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

dynochick (Jan) said...

I vote formal but actually I would take them out. I had a hedge once and it only looked good after trimming. Lilac trees make a great privacy hedge and do not need trimming plus they are age appropriate for your lovely home.

Call the utility company but tell them the trees are on their right a way and they are going to fall on the power lines. If you ask who is responsible they will always say YOU ARE....LOL So don't ask, just tell them you are giving them a heads up because the next storm will probably take the trees down and the power lines with them.

LOVE LOVE LOVE the house.

Angela said...

You might give the hedge a haircut to trim it up a bit since it prob hasnt had one in some time. This would make it grow better and fill in any bald spots. Taking out any deadwood would keep it healthy. But I like the unformal look myself. Sept is usually a good month for tree planting and trimming since it tends to be the start of the rainy season and heavier dews.

Karen Anne said...

What are the plants in the hedge?

What's the word in the previous residents? You mentioned the lawyer inherited the house? Was it occupied by an older person?

Christine said...

I'm not exactly sure, but it seems to just be your average privet hedge.

The house has not been lived in for about 4 years. The old man used to spend his winters in Florida until he could no longer maintain this place. It was the lawyer's father. The son maintained all the utilities and whatnot thinking his family would maybe use this as a vacation home but never did. Tried to sell it a year ago for an outrageous amount of money then realized it wasn't really worth what he thought it was. He then updated the kitchen and bathrooms, adjusted his asking price to a more reasonable level and we bought it the day after it went up for sale.

Jayne said...

I agree with everybody else about the trees--start with the utility company first, although around here they're notorious for chopping the middle out of the tops of trees and leaving the rest. Ugh. And I second Dynochick's idea about lilac bushes. Love them. If you're keeping the hedge, I vote for free form.

Karen Anne said...

If you plant lilacs (you probably know this) they will sulk for 3-5 years before they really start growing, so don't rip them out too soon :-)

I need orange said...

Start with the utility company. If they do anything, it will probably be for free.

If they won't do it, I'm guessing it will be your problem.

Free-form. Agree 100% about "if plants were supposed to be square".....

Florida Farm Girl said...

I'd be shuddering at the thought of a privet hedge down here. They take over the place and you can't get rid of them. Don't know how they behave up there.

Kim said...

We have old maple trees under the electric lines that have been "trimmed" to near death by the power company. If you ask, they will send someone out to determine if the trees really need to come down and then put you on the list for "when they have a crew in the area". Since our trees were put on the list a few years ago, I am guessing you have to keep bugging them about it. Love the new house and my vote for the hedge is free form.

Benita said...

This all country girl says free-form. The less extra work you have to do the better.

Pam ward said...

My vote is free form!

goatgirl said...

I don't care what you do with the hedge....I just want to live in that house!