Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on whether I should move the Savannah Holly I planted recently back a little toward the house, or leave it where I had planted it. In case you missed that post, I planted a Savannah Holly tree at the right corner of my home as kind of an anchor plant for that end of the house. The landscape plan created by a landscape designer last year indicated the tree should be approximately 8 feet out. In my effort to not plant it too close to the house, I went a bit overboard and planted it 10′ 6″ out.
Here’s how it looked at 10′ 6″ out from the corner of the house. It just looked too far out to me…very disjointed from the house itself. I ask what you guys thought and your comments were great and insightful…thanks so much for those! I haven’t done a tally but it looked like you guys were split down the middle. Some folks said move it back, others said to leave it where it was.
A few folks expressed concerns about moving the tree closer to the house, fearing the roots could become invasive. Fortunately, that isn’t usually a problem with the Savannah Holly because it’s really just a shrub that can be grown into a tree form. Here’s some info I found online that explains a bit more about that.
As you can see below, it indicates at its mature width, it can reach 10 feet. Actually, most of the info I’ve found online indicates it can become even wider but most folks keep them pruned to around 6-8 foot wide in the home landscape.
Since they do well when pruned and actually like to be pruned per my landscape designer, you’ll even see them in areas where there’s limited space.
In an ideal world, I would love to have left it 10 feet out but I knew once I added the gardenia shrubs in front, I would have reduced that patch of grass running between the large front island and the island with the holly tree down to a really small strip, something I didn’t want to do.
I called the designer who drew up the plan and she said it would be fine to move it back to the 8 ft indicated on the plan but not any closer. Yesterday the person who originally helped me plant the tree and the other Savannah Holly trees visible in the side yard, came back out and we moved it approximately 2 feet back, leaving it 8′ 6″ from the corner of the house. It feels more connected to the house now and I do like how it looks. I think it would have continued to nag at me if I had not moved it back.
Before I share the other things we got done yesterday, I have to tell you what happened this morning. I’ve been searching for someone to help me do a little light pruning on my magnolia tree as well as assist in keeping the other trees and plants I’m putting in maintained during the year. I don’t ever want things to get to the overgrown stage they had gotten before.
I called a company that does this and only this for a living. Pruning and maintaining trees, shrubs etc… in the landscape IS their business. The owner came out this morning and as he walked down my walkway, the very first thing he did was point to my newly moved Savannah Holly and ask, “Who planted that there?” I was stunned! Did I have some giant, “I just moved my Savannah Holly back two feet” sign on my forehead?
I gulped and held my breath as I told him I had. I’m sure I looked petrified as I stood there just waiting for him to tell me it was too close to the house. I REALLY didn’t want to have to dig it up and move it, AGAIN!
He didn’t say anything after I answered, so I asked him why he had asked. He said, “Because it’s exactly where it should be, which is extremely rare.” I kid you not, that’s what he said! He added that everyone always plants them way too close to the house. Whew! I began to breathe again.
In full disclosure I told him where we had originally planted it and how I had moved it back a couple of feet just yesterday. I also revealed that a boxwood shrub would be going behind it on the corner, or at least that’s in the plan, and I was worried ultimately the tree might shade it out too much. I added that, if that does happen, I guess I can always remove the boxwood or maybe even limb up the Savannah Holly a bit more.
He told me that boxwoods can take some shade and it would probably be fine. Also, I may not let the Savannah Holly grow that far back toward the house. The end result was I felt okay with the decision to move it, especially after I began placing the gardenias around it in front. Is that not crazy though that he just zoomed in on that tree? That cracked me up. I don’t know what I would have done if he had said it was too close and needed to come out two feet. lol
My helper and I got a lot done yesterday. Moving the tree took a couple of hours. We had to go really slow and be super careful since the sprinkler system and the gas line for the gas lantern runs near this area. I marked out the area where the grass needed to be removed so the island could be extended for the Double Mint Gardenias I purchased recently.
To mark the area, I placed the garden hose where I wanted the island edge to be and using some spray paint I already had, I sprayed where we needed to dig out the grass. I decided to err on the side of removing too little because I didn’t want to find I had removed more than I should…it’s hard to put back!
Here’s how it looked with the grass removed. I think I may chop away a bit more of the sod before I get busy planting these because the pruning guy who came out today told me I have the gardenias a bit too close and that they don’t do well when shaded.
In addition to moving the Savannah Holly and removing some of the sod to make way for planting the gardenias, we did a little light pruning on a Crepe Myrtle up near the road and then began work on this side of the yard. The messy looking shrubs on the left all needed to be removed to make way for the evergreen shrubs I’ll be putting back. The tree will be transplanted this fall after it goes dormant. I’ve been reading up on transplanting Japanese Maples and it turns out they do very well if transplanted after they are dormant.
Notice the magnolia branches touching the roof of the house. When my termite guy came out to do his yearly inspection, he told me I needed to get those branches off the house. They are also a squirrel highway to the house. Yesterday we tackled that, too!
Here’s how this area looks now. Magnolia branches are off the house and the squirrel highway has been closed down for good. The shrubs have been removed and over the next few weeks as I wait for the maple to lose its leaves, I’ll be finalizing/purchasing the shrubs that will be going back in this area.
We’re in the ugly stage right now. Just like with a kitchen renovation or a major room renovation, there’s always that “it-has-to-get-worse-before-it-gets-better” stage. Yep, that’s where we are now.
Today the pruning guy shared a place where he thinks I can purchase larger shrubs like boxwoods, so I’ll be checking with them to see what they have in stock. In the meantime, I need to decorate my front porch for Halloween. I’ve been so busy digging, I haven’t had a chance to give that area much thought.
Looking forward to sharing some pretty pics before long…shouldn’t be too much longer now! Thanks for coming along on this journey with me. It wouldn’t be near as much fun if you weren’t here cheering me on. Okay, now where is that bottle of Advil. 😉