Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Should it Stay or Should it Go? May 24, 2009

Filed under: pruning,shrubs,structures — greenwalks @ 10:07 am
Tags: , , , ,

We are attempting to wedge a 4′ X 4′ X 6′ high playhouse into our small backyard for my daughter to goof around in, and debating whether or not to completely take down or just limb up an uninspiring, very plain (probably?) shrubby dogwood or leave it to screen the neighbors during spring-summer-fall. During my deliberations, I was reminded of one of the Clash’s most famous ditties and changed it around a little…

Blog friends you gotta let me know
Should it stay or should it go?
If you say that it is mine
It’ll be here til the end of time
So you got to let know
Should it stay or should it go?

Place where playhouse will go

(Unknown dogwood(?) is in middle between white lilac on left and red twig dogwood on right)

Not always leaves leaves leaves
It’s just okay instead of trees
One day is grey, next is green
So if you want us not to be seen
Well come on and let me know
Should it stay or should it go?

UGL (Unidentified green leaf) - dogwood?

(Leaves are pretty ho-hum, I don’t even remember flowers or fall color, but it’s tall at the moment and is the only thing blocking the neighbors on that side.)

This indecision’s bugging me
If you dont want it, set me free
Exactly what it’s supposed to be
Don’t you know which plants even fit me?
Come on and let me know
Should I cool it or should I blow?

Dogwood leaf string?

(A Master Gardener taught me a trick once to test if a leaf is a dogwood – gently pull it apart and see if there are any “strings” holding the separated parts together. This one seems to qualify.)

Should it stay or should it go now?
If it goes there will be trouble
And if it stays it will be double
So you gotta let me know
Should it stay or should it go?

Limbed up dogwood

(I started by limbing it up, to see if the playhouse would even fit underneath. The bad pruning cuts would be shielded by the house and the lilac and dogwood would provide a kind of canopy for the little inhabitants.)

Deadline is Wednesday, since the house is arriving the next day. Cast your vote here in the comments! Honesty counts.

For a classic Clash concert video from 1982, click here. Joe Strummer, RIP.


14 Responses to “Should it Stay or Should it Go?”

  1. Jen Says:

    Unless it’s putting shade somewhere that you don’t want it, I’d be inclined to leave it. I wonder why it doesn’t bloom though? The kids are more likely to be out there in the summertime and it will help keep things cool and shady .(hey thanks for the dogwood test tip!)

  2. Kim Says:

    I’d leave it if there is room and if you like its look. It seems like the corner would be bare without it.

  3. Catherine Says:

    Karen you’re going to have a new career! I was thinking of you when I put my clematis through rehab last week.
    I think it should stay. It’s pretty and it’ll probably look cute shading the playhouse. Hope you show how the playhouse looks, I wish we had room for one.

  4. Let it stay – there is no putting it back once it is gone and a little green screen is always a good thing!

  5. Aerie-el Says:

    Should it stay or should it go,
    I don’t know but I’d say sho’.
    Do what you think, that flow,
    And I love that song, for sho’.

  6. Melanthia Says:

    I’m all for keeping it! We took out a lilac so the little guy would have more room to run. But oh how I miss that lovely tree/shrub.

  7. Grace Says:

    Most emphatically: LEAVE IT. For me, the privacy is very important. It can take years to get back that screening. Also, my playhouse (well my kids’ playhouse) received almost a full day of sun and would get unbearably hot. And our hot playhouse was a magnet for wasps. The shrub will absorb some of the heat and filter the rays to help keep your little ones from over exposure.
    …Just my two bits.

  8. jean Says:

    Karen I agree with everyone above that you should leave it. I am trying to create some privacy from neighbors in my own garden but it is taking so long for everything to grow.

  9. Racquel Says:

    I vote to leave it since it should provide a nice backdrop for the playhouse! πŸ™‚ By the way I love this corner of your garden, very lush!

  10. kristi Says:

    I hate to see a tree go, but if your not attached to it then maybe it should uproot it.

  11. Megan Says:

    I could see making a case for keeping it, but since that side of the vote is already well represented…
    You describe it as plain and uninspired. Sounds like you don’t love it. There are plenty of plants out there to love. I have always worried about taking things out of the garden, but I have never once regretted it if I knew they were wrong for the space, and I’ve always replaced them with something much better. Once you get rid of something that you don’t love, suddenly you have this exciting potential in it’s place.

  12. easygardener Says:

    Tricky decision! I see the need for privacy and greenery but would be tempted to replace it with something more attractive given that you find it rather dull and boring. As Megan says – think of the planting opportunity!

  13. Cynthia Says:

    I see I am a little late on leaving this comment when it comes to your deadline but for what it is worth I too vote for letting it stay. I only wish I had privacy like that right now! We have been thinking about planting some living hedges for just that and my only complaint would be how long they would take to fill in. Can’t wait to see some pics of the playhouse! I do hope you share some.

    Oh, and thanks for putting the Clash song in my head now. πŸ˜‰

  14. I’m late in commenting, but that might be a mock orange? The leaves remind me of my mock orange, which is just now blooming a sweet orange fragrance that I love! Sorry I am no help about whether or not to keep it…perhaps its already gone?

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