Do You Really Need More Trees?

When you’re surrounded by 30 acres of forest, do you really want to plant more trees?

The emphatic answer is yes. Some landscaping can soften angles, break up expansive walls, and give your home that finished look.

When you’re busy with major renovations, it’s easy to forget about the outdoors. We’ve added a few plantings here and there along with a few trees on a small scale, but last week we had a chance to go shopping at a local nursery.

With the well room, the garage, and the girls’ wing, we have three-stories of wall with just a few windows. In order to break up that side of the house, the MR planted a pair of weeping Alaskan-cedars.

Trees in Back

They look a little small now; but don’t worry, these babies get big. They can grow to 90 feet in the wild and about half that in cultivation. The MR left room for a path around the side of the house to the well room, so we won’t have to fight through those branches in coming years.  I love their droopy Dr. Seuss-ish look.

Perhaps that why we also picked up a pair of Weeping Norway Spruce to flank the front door.

Schleppy little trees


Can’t you imagine these schleppy little trees decked out with lights and ornaments for Christmas? The white box planters were a gift from the MR’s grandfather over 20 years ago. Gramps made them for the sun room in our first house. They had gotten quite shabby over the years, but Papa Larry gave them a fresh coat of paint, and I think they look great on the porch.

Now that we’ve moved around to the front yard, it’s not just plants the MR has been adding. With a couple of clear cedar 4×4’s, the MR constructed a hangar for the bell.

Bell Hangar 2




With just a small push, the bell rings for about 9 1/2 minutes. I’m hoping it doesn’t keep us up on stormy nights this coming winter.

While the bell adds interest and style, this poodle pine caught the MR’s eye.

Bell Hangar at an Angle

I think this planting bed is shaping up nicely. We also added a Japanese, variegated willow. We had one at our old house, and I just loved it.

New Willow 2


The new growth in the spring looks like fabulous pink feathers. While it’s hidden in a corner now, it has plenty of room for growth in the future.

You know I’m a sucker for nostalgia and plants that remind me of the past and good times. Well, I couldn’t pass up this honeysuckle. We had a beautiful vine that covered the front porch at our last home. The MR planted it in the corner of the garden next to the tennis court.


It pays to know the owners of a nursery. They gifted us four large plants covered in yellow-plum tomatoes. I put them in the planting bags I used last year. Let’s hope they do better than the potatoes did.


We have visions of the honeysuckle covering the chain link fence and lending its sweet scent to the evening air.

Finally, we purchased a few red-twig, variegated dogwoods to plant above the barberry lining the driveway. They looked amazing last winter at the Northwest Flower and Garden show. We only bought six as a trial. If they thrive, we can buy more; if not, we’re not out too much money.

Red Twig DW Circled


I circled them, so you can actually see them against the backdrop of grass and berry vines. It would be nice to have a hedge hiding the wild that’s always creeping up on us. Those black lines are, drum roll please, you guessed it–sprinkler lines.

Along with planting giant trees, the MR has been putting in a sprinkler system for the far side of the driveway and the slope above the tennis court. The hillside is so steep, the water just runs off it. With a slow drip line, the plants will have a better chance of doing well.

These bee balm have been struggling for a few years now. We’re hoping the sprinklers will help them flourish.

sprinklers around bee balm

No the sprinkler lines won’t just lay on top of the ground forever. The MR is making sure the system works before burying them–a smart and cautious way to go.

And finally, while you and I thought this post was all about landscaping, the dogs were certain it was about them. I mean obviously I took the camera outside and wandered around all morning so I could capture them in the best light. You already saw Bogart in the background of the honeysuckle. Here are a few more dog photo bombs for your viewing pleasure.

Dog Flower Collage


What have you been adding to your landscape?



5 thoughts on “Do You Really Need More Trees?

  1. So fun to see where all the plants live now. Papa is so proud that your MR learned his ‘second trade’ when we had our landscaping business.and they worked together during your MR’s school days. Nice way for father and son to bond as well. Proud parents.

  2. Love all of the additions. I especially love the bell. We have an old big school bell off our back deck, left from the previous owner. It reminds me of the one at my grandparents farm. Grandma would send me out to ring it at dinner time (the noon meal). Everything is going to grow so nicely into your landscape!

  3. Pingback: Taking a Look at August | big white house on the hill

  4. Pingback: Sweep & Scrub | big white house on the hill

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