I am such a happy duck! My uncle was here all day yesterday removing and disposing of the laurel hedge on the east side of our lot. It is much a major difference! I realize that now we have a view of the not so pretty apartment building behind us, but with time that will change. For now I am enjoying being able to see sky from my kitchen window (which is hard for me to see out of anyway, but that is a totally different rant.) With the hedge gone our backyard seems so much larger and we have more square footage for the boy to play.
Sadly my happy oxsalys did not survive the work, but I'm confident that it will return and hopefully will take advantage of the new area and will continue to spread. The 3 ferns I had growing in the bed beneath the laurel also took a real beating, but again I know they'll be happier next year.
The next step is for me to mount the bamboo screening along the remainder of the chain link fence. When we took out the one laurel to the left of the maple as a trial run a few years ago, I ordered enough of the 6' high screening anticipating the eventual removal of the laurels.
The other important step is to kill the laurel stumps. When I had an arborist provide an estimate she said that due to the proximity of the other trees' root systems that they couldn't grind out the stumps. We'd have to kill them with chemicals. I don't love this plan, but I need to do a bit more research.
I'm reading up on all the material provided through the Backyard Habitat Certification Program as well as some gardening books from my mom before I head out the nurseries. Since we have a small space I need to not go crazy and plan wisely. I already am smitten with a native Douglas spirea and think I want to add another snowberry.