after (April 2010)
It had to go. It was sad but it was way overgrown and was planted right back in the foundation. The stump that Patrick wound up digging up looked like it came from a medium-sized tree. And this was a lilac bush. Now the corner looks naked but at least our foundation is no longer at risk.
I'd like to get some sort of evergreen (that doesn't look like a "Christmas tree" -- Patrick is adamant on this point and he isn't adamant on very many points) which could live in a container to cover up the meters and such on the corner. This is the approach to the house (although it is actually the back of the hosue) and I don't think that the meters make a very attractive welcome mat.