During our eight years at The Cloister at St Henry Bonney and I took a number of actions regarding the trees, shrubs and plants surrounding our Cloister home.
- Dogwood in Front Yard- This one was starting to die. The lifespan of a Dogwood is 15-30 years. This tree was probably planted in 1984 when our unit was built. I don’t believe in “old growth” if it means having an ugly dying tree in the front yard. We cut it down, removed the roots, and seeded the area; we now have a simple front yard without a tree. And we like it that way. Frankly the front yard is too small to hold a tree.
- An overgrown shrub and a Magnolia tree had been planted on each corner of the building- These were small when initially planted but had grown taller than the rooftop and 10 feet wide. Branches were chopped off to the trunk when they grew into the side of the building. Actually we had ¾ of a tree on each corner with a wedge cut out where the trees faced the corner of the building. Roots started to work their way under the slab and into the lawn. We cut both pesky growths down and removed what roots we could get to.
- Original Roses at the side of the building looked beautiful but roses take work and careful tending beyond what Bonney was willing to do. They have been removed.
- According to the new HOA requirement, the foundation planting areas and bed should not exceed five feet from the front, side, and back of the unit with an 18 inch clearance from the building. The origional Homeowner’s Manual calls for a 12 inch clearance from the building but apparently 12 inches is not enough to give the HOA painters room to work when they paint the outside. Our Holly bushes in the front are weak and scraggly looking, they need a new start. Experts say that Holly type shrubs should be cut back in late Fall. This fall we will have our landscape helper Mr. Garcia heavily cut back the shrubs to within 6 inches from the ground, prune away weak or wild-growing canes, by cutting them back to ground level.
- Our remaining foundation planting area looks nice and neat with Iris and Day Lilies greeting us in the springtime. The rest of the planting area has attractive plantings of Dusty Millers, Marigolds, Lantana and other annuals.
Below is “The Cloister News” HOA regulations section on “PLANTINGS” which is worth reviewing.