Over the years, bag worms killed an evergreen that was planted alongside the house. Shane managed to destroy what the bag worms didn't kill with his incessant pruning. We had some lovely junipers (ground cover whose fingers gently stretch and reach). Had is the key word. As the junipers tentatively reached to touch the flagstone, Shane took his shears and chopped off their curious digits from leaving the garden bed. At first, I was disappointed because I like a naturalized look. But there was no point in aching over it. What was done was done.
Some time later, I noticed that the holly bushes featured a summer buzz cut. And the once carefree junipers had been shaped into circles. Shaped. Into circles. This should not be! Fortunately, we decided our eighth year here should be the year to make over the front of the house.
I don't have before pictures of the flagstone, or the slightly bowed porch. I almost wish I had taken pictures of the massacre Shane had made of the bushes and ground cover. I don't know if you'll believe that he could do such a thing. Just remember, I've described him as orderly, neat and tidy. In fact, when we had a landscaper come out to draw us a garden plan, I found myself telling her what Shane would want over what I thought we should have. I explained what he had done to the juniper. She looked disturbed by this. We both shared some awkward, nervous laughter over it. When I asked Shane to give me a brief description of what he wanted to achieve in a front garden, his words were, "uniform, orderly, green."
My word was "charming."
Here's a before shot (we had the walkway replaced and the front porch made over at this point. Shane had taken it upon himself to remove some of the bushes. These others were red tagged for removal by the landscaper.)
And here's the after. I'm actually very happy. Shane got lots of uniform, slow-growing, round green things. I got a white flowery crepe myrtle that has an interesting peeling bark. And purple cone flower for color.
The kids and I had a nice, fall afternoon to enjoy the landscaping.