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This is my front garden.  Most of the shrubs were here when we moved into the house, nearly eight years ago.  In the back, two sprawling rhododendrons flank an eleven foot arborvitae.  I need a taller stepladder every winter to string the Christmas lights all the way to the top of that arborvitae, and last year I had to buy an extra string to accommodate its new height! 

The next layer forward features burning bush, and in front is the brilliant red barberry.  I love its color, but not the thorns. It needs to be pruned back at least twice each growing season; otherwise, it reaches out and grabs visitors as they pass by on the sidewalk, and they are never to be seen again! 

There was originally a second barberry in the right hand corner, ready to snag anyone who cleverly snuck past the first one.  Five years ago, we dug it up and replanted it in a less dangerous spot.  We replaced it with a purple rose of Sharon my husband and children gave me for my 42nd birthday.  Now it exceeds its bounds, and I am debating whether to dig it up and relocate it early next spring (or perhaps this fall) or to leave it where it is and keep it trimmed back so it doesn’t impede progress toward our front door.

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