This is what the despicable barberry bushes looked like on July 20:
Crazy naked! And significantly less pickery.
I figured they would fill out this summer, and that the red tip would get better with more sunlight. I am happy to report that is just what has happened so far.
They’ve gotten redder, which is because of sunlight hitting the leaves. They’ve filled out more than they’ve gotten taller (and I’m perfectly okay with that). The one on the far right has really filled out! Most importantly, the painter is able to get in there and do the job without risking his safety. This fall, the bushes will likely all get cut down to about 6 inches. If I can handle Round Two.
The red tip on the left is hard to see because of the sun, but it is reaching to the front of the house now. There are some new trunks trying to grow, which would be very nice. This is a good lesson on why it is important to cut down the barberry. It’s going to need a lot more TLC to reach its former glory.
Here is the red tip on the opposite side of the front of the house.
It took a few hours, but I was able to clear out three brown bags worth of dead trunks and branches from this guy. And by dead, I mean they broke off, dried out. I had requested this for years, but it was never done, and I just got tired of it. This should give you an idea of the extent. Those stumps were thick with multiple trunks of deadness. There were more dead branches coming from the other trunks, too. Oy!
With the dead stuff gone, the red tips are filling out more on the inside. This fall they can be cut down significantly, and bush out next spring. Unfortunately, this will be short term, because the plan is to remove this area next year during a retaining wall/sidewalk renovation.
We’ve learned that our plans don’t always come to fruition, though. Because we may need to wait a few more years for that giant project, I went ahead with making this plant healthier. It is a nice snow block, but not much of a sun block. It sort of hides the trash cans, but not totally. It is an awesome Husker red in the fall!
Hopefully, these measures will prove beneficial to the curb appeal by next year. It would be really nice for the landscaping to match the structure.
One thing’s for sure, there is always something to be done around the house.