On Sunday, Mr. Deplume borrowed a friend's chainsaw (we really do have tools of our own, just not the correct ones for this particular job) and went to work on the rest of them. Within an hour or so we went from this (the bush-free part of the house to the left of the screen is where the bushes I removed had stood):
I count it as an improvement, although removing the one very large eyesore revealed many little ones. There is a water meter, electric meter, air conditioning unit, furnace vents, a few miscellaneous wires and boxes for phone and electricity, a defunt cable hookup and chunk of broken veneer on the foundation we hadn't noticed before. Of course there are still 40-year-old yew stumps that need to be dealt with, as well. I foresee a bunch of my summer being involved in installing trellises and fences and camouflage plants. 'Tis the fun of home ownership, I suppose.