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- Get Answers to your Landscaping Questions -

John Sullivan - Lead Designer, Olympic Landscape
Welcome and thanks for visiting.
I'd like to hear from you with any questions you have about landscape design, plant selection, or anything else related to landscaping. Please post your questions below.

John Sullivan - Lead Designer, Olympic Landscape

Ask John a question





Questions For John

    Kim from Enumclaw
    June 5, 2010

    My husband refuses to remove our large overgrown shrubs in front of our house, for privacy issues. I would like an updated look and with some privacy for my husband's peace of mind. Our house is a rambler with a large, high peaked front entrance. We have a large window that looks toward the road. Any suggestions on plant material? Please help!!!!!

      John
      June 7, 2010

      Privacy screen suggestions

      Kim, this sort of question comes up often and the discussion can disolve into marriage counseling if I'm not careful! The way homes are now landscaped, the taller shrubs are placed away from the house to provide screening at a distance. Some large plants transplant well (Rhododendron and Hydrangea come to mind) and we often re-use these in the landscape. If you sent pictures to me at john@olympiclandscape.com I might get a better idea of your situtation. The selection of plant material will depend on the exposure, or the direction the house faces. Let me know if I can be of further help.

    Bill from Tacoma
    May 8, 2010

    I have a 20+ ft Eucalyptus tree in My front yard and would like to sell it. I have no idea what it's worth, or the exact species. I can E-MAIL pictures if needed. Your help would be appreciated thanks.

      John
      May 10, 2010

      Moving a large Eucalyptus

      This sounds like an interesting tree; it's hard to put a price on a tree like this. We do not transplant or buy plants from established gardens because risk of transplant death. Tree nurseries root prune trees every year so that they can survive transplant shock. You might try Plant Amnesty, Seattle, and list it on thier 'Adopt-a-Plant' section. (www.plantamnesty.org) You can't sell it there, but at least the tree migth be moved to another garden where it can be saved.

    Kay from Tacoma
    May 3, 2010

    Hi John; I'm looking for ornamental grasses that don't get huge and turn ugly in winter. I have both full sun and very shady planting areas that I'm thinking of.

      John
      May 4, 2010

      Ornamental grass choices

      An evergreen grass for part sun or shade would be Carex, "Ice Dance', green with a white stripe; grows 18" high and wider. For full sun, try Blue Oat Grass (helictotricon) which grows 30"x30". A small grass for sun would be one of the Blue Fescues, growing to less than 12" depending on variety.

    Linda from Lakewood
    April 28, 2010

    I travel to Washington DC on a regular basis and enjoy the Eastern Redbuds when they bloom every spring. I am wondering how they would do in the South Sound area and whether you think it's a good idea to plant them here. Also, can they be shaped by pruning - most that I have seen are 'in the wild' and appear a bit scraggly. Thanks - great website!

      John
      April 30, 2010

      Do Redbuds bloom here

      Most of the varieties of Redbud sold here are Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis), native to the east coast. They need considerable cold in order to bloom properly. Nursery grown trees are groomed and trained so they look less brushy and examples you buy at nurseries will be a bit neater than wild trees. A favorite here is 'Forest Pansy' with magenta/maroon foliage.

      Linda from Lakewood
      May 1, 2010

      Got it! Thanks, John!

    Denise from Browns Point
    April 26, 2010

    My HOA limits the height of trees in our neighborhood to 15 feet. Can you suggest a few species that will stay under that height, but still offer something interesting?

      John
      April 27, 2010

      The Right Sized Tree for Your Space

      First to come to mind are the Japanese Maples (Acer palmatum). Many varieties to choose from, from red-leaf to green and in between. Perhaps eventually taller than 15' but easily shaped for lower growth. Less known would be the Japanese Lilac (Syringa reticulata). A weeping tree would be 'Snow Fountains' flowering Cherry (Prunus x 'Snofozam') which grows 12'x12'. There is also a flowering plum called 'Big Cis' (prunus x cistena 'Schmidtcis') with purple leaves/pink flowers. It grows 12' x 14' tall.

      Denise from Browns Point
      April 29, 2010

      Thanks John!

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