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In the Garden

Shrub suggestions ... Front of House

Started 1334565033.787 in In the Garden | Last reply 1335518585.78 by Lilysmom

I am finally getting around to doing beds along the front of my bungalow. The color of the house is a soft butter yellow called vintage cream. I am in Zone 5 and looking for four season interest and color in shrubs. Morning sun, about six hours.

Any suggestions ... hardy shrubs, low maintenance only pleaseSmile.

TIA.

LM

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ameliaann1334572371.99396 PostsRegistered 1/19/2006PA

Viburnums are native to North America, easy to grow and tolerant of many soil types and conditons. Most varieties flower in spring, have berries in late summer and fall and have pretty fall foliage.

Happiness is a warm puppy...

stevieb1334572485.79731802 PostsRegistered 11/4/2007

I love Nandina, pretty leaves and berries for a good part of the year. Bridal Wreath is also very pretty.

gardensla1334574393.20319845 PostsRegistered 9/7/2006Los Angeles, CA

I don't know how much room you have so can't recommend specific varieties (nothing worse than a plant that gets too big for its footprint) but here are a few ideas. Remember that it is always better to do 3-5 of one shrub rather than a polka dot mix and match bed. You may only get to select 3 or 4 varieties but the garden will be spectacular and you can always layer in annual color and seasonal bulbs if you get the urge to hit the garden center one weekend.

Hollies, rhododendron, yews and boxwood are hardy and easy care and would be good choices for evergreen shrubs to form the backbone of the garden. They're not especially exciting but the reason you see them everywhere is that they work well and aren't fussy.

Once you have your stawart performers you can then add in deciduous shrubs for seasonal wow factor.

C. sericia (dogwood) has bright red stems that show up well in the winter. Grasses left unpruned also look gorgeous in the winter.

Spring is easy because there are nearly endless choices. I like all the flowering fruit shrubs (don't bear fruit) like flowering almond, flowering plum etc. They give several weeks of color before leafing into a nicely shaped shrub. I also love all the viburnums, daphnes, and can't live without sambucus (flowering elderberry) either in lime or the beautiful black version both of which are wonderful contrast in a bed of shrubs.

Summer's easy care roses and reblooming hydrangea are must haves. Select a colorway and plant with abandon (I think white roses and blue hydrangea would be lovely against your buttery creamy yellow house--I would avoid pink).

If you have any space left, I would add Caryopteris (blue mist shrub) for it's late fall color. It combined with a reddish grass (grasses tend to bloom in fall as well) is striking and as long as you don't overwater are easy care.

If you have the ability to do vines either on tuteurs or on your actual house, you can get a lot of bang without sacrifing space on the ground. Climbing roses would be romantic, climbing hydrangea is slow to get going but the flowers are wonderful, and honeysuckle smells like nothing else. Most climbers get big so plant in moderation and be patient!

Hope this helps. I'm sure others will have lots of suggestions.


Last edited on 4/16/2012

Last edited on 4/16/2012

Fortīs fortūna adiuvat

StylishLady1334576909.434166 PostsRegistered 11/25/2009Florida

Wow. Gardensia seems to have covered the topic well. I was going to add that yews and junipers are good cover around house foundations back in the northern latitudes. Down here it's Podocarpus, Ilex, and Eugenia.

JustJazzmom1334585905.83728460 PostsRegistered 11/12/2007My garden, of course!!

Going to suggest as border plants Japanese skimmia which are low growing and have berries on the females. Get at least one male for 3-4 females. The berries are in the fall and the shrubs are evergreen that like shade-- morning sun is good. The plants should be labeled male or female before purchasing.

White astilbes like 'Deutschland' are nice perennials that come back every year and are about 18" high.

You may want to consider Japanese Hakone grasses too which some varieties turn burgundy colored in the fall and give a flowy effect. Some are variegated and some are not.

☼The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. GBShaw☼

smokymtngal1334588060.6373023 PostsRegistered 12/8/2007

I used to live in zone 5 and didn't have much luck with Hollies. Nandinas won't grow there either. Some of the plants mentioned here I consider too "shrubby" for the front of the house (but maybe I'm wrong in what you're looking for). I like the front to look well manicured and evergreen, if possible. I would suggest boxwoods or yews as a base. If you are working around windows, you can put taller yews (or some junipers) where there aren't windows and shorter yews (or boxwoods) underneath windows. These plants aren't exciting but will stay green all year. Then you can add some color with various perennials or dwarf shrubs like potentilla or barberry or one of the small spireas. Bridalwreath is a better border or hedge plant. Most Viburnums get 8 to 10 feet tall, and they are spectacular in a border or hedge setting, but I wouldn't put them in front of my house (maybe at the corners, though).

Doc-Mom1334593432.3216317 PostsRegistered 6/14/2006

O/T sort of.

Now that I am out doing more yardwork I have noticed that number of our shrubs now have dead spots on them when last year only two hollies did.

I have them sprayed regularly for insects etc. I am so disappointed to see this.

Suggestions on what to do. Do I have them removed?

Two years ago I toyed with idea because I thought that with age the others would start doing this...and now they have. My friend has been taking out shrubs the past few years because of dead spots and now I'm thinking I should have back then.

Whoever said diamonds are a girls best friend... never owned a dog.

Don't try to win over the haters, you are not the jerk whisperer.

JustJazzmom1334595970.64328460 PostsRegistered 11/12/2007My garden, of course!!
On 4/16/2012 DocMom said:

O/T sort of.

Now that I am out doing more yardwork I have noticed that number of our shrubs now have dead spots on them when last year only two hollies did.

I have them sprayed regularly for insects etc. I am so disappointed to see this.

Suggestions on what to do. Do I have them removed?

Two years ago I toyed with idea because I thought that with age the others would start doing this...and now they have. My friend has been taking out shrubs the past few years because of dead spots and now I'm thinking I should have back then.

Could it be due to winter damage? Are they evergreens? Got the name of the shrubs? Some insects are host specific. If they are broad leaf evergreens- do you apply an anti-dessicant in the late fall to them to prevent winter damage which causes browning of the leaves and shows up about now once the weather warms up. Check the undersides of leaves for egg masses or cases or for brown spots. Look at the stems for spots or scale insects too.

☼The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. GBShaw☼

Doc-Mom1334596232.2216317 PostsRegistered 6/14/2006

JazzMom...they are yews, hollies, Hynoki Cypress and a tall blue green evergreen tree.

I have them sprayed throughout the season....but now I'm not so sure they are doing the right thing...grrr.

I know my flowering trees are looking much better but not the shrubs.

ETA: The winter was extremely mild here in South Central PA

Last edited on 4/16/2012

Last edited on 4/16/2012

Whoever said diamonds are a girls best friend... never owned a dog.

Don't try to win over the haters, you are not the jerk whisperer.

JustJazzmom1334597616.1528460 PostsRegistered 11/12/2007My garden, of course!!

Yews can get mealy bugs or scale; hollies can get cottony maple scale-- look under leaves for oval edged rectangular white egg casings. Horticultural oil sprayed at the correct times can kills the egg cases and crawlers that hatch by suffocation. Under the leaves spray the oil for the cottony maple scale.

Blue spruce (?) can get mites and just keeping the needles moist helps make that dry hot environment inhospitable for mites. Horticultural oil applied to blue spruces causes the blue to become green so do not use that to get rid of mites. You may want to consult a certified arborist for their ideas and more accurate diagnosis. Its hard to diagnose by monitor here! :)

☼The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. GBShaw☼

Doc-Mom1334597909.35316317 PostsRegistered 6/14/2006
On 4/16/2012 JustJazzmom said:

Yews can get mealy bugs or scale; hollies can get cottony maple scale-- look under leaves for oval edged rectangular white egg casings. Horticultural oil sprayed at the correct times can kills the egg cases and crawlers that hatch by suffocation. Under the leaves spray the oil for the cottony maple scale.

Blue spruce (?) can get mites and just keeping the needles moist helps make that dry hot environment inhospitable for mites. Horticultural oil applied to blue spruces causes the blue to become green so do not use that to get rid of mites. You may want to consult a certified arborist for their ideas and more accurate diagnosis. Its hard to diagnose by monitor here! :)

Thanks so much!!!!

Whoever said diamonds are a girls best friend... never owned a dog.

Don't try to win over the haters, you are not the jerk whisperer.

Lilysmom1334656058.7673240 PostsRegistered 11/24/2007

What wonderful recommendations!!! I am going to print this and spend some time looking at photos. Smile

My home is a long bungalow (90') so I have alot of room. I won't get this done in one year. I have a list going and will definitely add to it. Vibernums are on my list. I have on tiny one in my yard. Hydrangeas definitely. Red twig dogwood. Evergreens are a must here in Atlantic Canada especially for winter interest.

Holly grows well in my yard in the right spot. Love the idea of red grasses. I don't want to get ones that go wild though.

What do you think about an Ivory Silk to anchor the ends of the home? I love when they flower but they don't last very long. They do well here.

LM

Buck-i-Nana1334658060.688237 PostsRegistered 9/26/2007South West Ohio

Some great suggestions! I might take some of them for myself :)

Word of warning about boxwood (which is why I will be planting some shrubs myself). Some boxwoods develop a really bad cat urine type odor. I had heard this before, and was skeptical, but then started noticing it in my garden. It's gotten really bad, and they just have to go so this coming weekend, weather permitting, I will be digging out 7 boxwoods.


ETA - I have a few Viburnum and they have the most wonderful scent when they are in bloom. I wish they woul stay in bloom all summer!

Last edited on 4/17/2012

Last edited on 4/17/2012

Enjoying my retirement 1 cup of coffee at a time.

NOT invisible anymore, so get over it! I'm not gonna disappear :)

JustJazzmom1334668836.728460 PostsRegistered 11/12/2007My garden, of course!!

The English boxwoods-- Buxus sempervirens and their cultivars have that cat urine smell. Currently boxwoods here are getting a fungal disease in addition to boxwood miner (an insect that tunnels into the leaves) and scale. Looks like boxwoods are going to not be planted as frequently as they once were.

The Korean Spice Viburnums or carlesii viburnums are the most fragrant of the viburnums with their pinky/white flowers. I just received from Klehm Songsparrow Nursery a cultivar called Viburnum carlesii 'Compacta' and it should grow eventually to 3-4' wide and high. Plant other viburnums --mix the cultivars with one of their parents to get berries in the fall.

If you have Viburnum burkwoodi 'Conoy' or 'Mohawk' get a Korean Spice Viburnum and plant with them to get berries on all the plants. If you plant all of the same, they recognize each other as 'clones' and will not have berries.

☼The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. GBShaw☼

arrianna1334671838.7135072 PostsRegistered 10/20/2010

Hedges/shrubs are not low maintenance. IMO They quickly overgrow their boundries, and hedge trimming is not easy work. Neighbors of mine planted adorable little bushes bordering their driveway. Those same bushes 7 years later are 6 feet tall and 10 feet wide, not what they were looking for. I like the ornamental grasses, they are cut back in the late fall, and they need very little maintenance.

Lilysmom1334676268.5873240 PostsRegistered 11/24/2007

JustJazzMom, thanks for the Vibernum recs. I will google the ones you have named and take a look. Can you recommend any that flower other than pink? I know there are white ones. Are there any others?

DocMom, good luck with your issue. It is always a disappointment when something goes takes a turn for the worse isn't it? My home is only six years old so I have been in major planting mode for the past five. I deliberately left the front of the house until I learned more about what grows well here and more about gardening.

I want to get this right so I will be out with the measuring tape and and getting ready to prep the ground around the house for planting. I have a couple of great articles about planting away from the foundation.

If I get really ambitious, I will try to learn how to post photos so you can watch with me.Smile

I really appreciate the feedback. It is always helpful. LM

JustJazzmom1334684691.33728460 PostsRegistered 11/12/2007My garden, of course!!

There are doublefile viburnums and these generally flower white, they get very large-- look under Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum. Good article-- mentions some smaller cultivars at the end of article.

☼The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. GBShaw☼

Lilysmom1334696826.123240 PostsRegistered 11/24/2007

Thanks Jazz. Off to check the link. LM

YouGoGirl1335384881.781828 PostsRegistered 2/11/2007Michigan

Neon-flash Spirea, Goldmond Spirea, Magic carpet Spirea, all nice scrubs they

don't need much pruning, alot of color in 4 seasons, Potentillas are nice too.

HSpy31335436544.693214 PostsRegistered 3/16/2012Huntingdon PA

Look at some catalogs. They have some pre-planned garden items that come with shrubs and plants to match nicely. There's no guess work. It comes with a blueprint of where the plants should be placed. We did this when we first started gardening about 4 years ago and have gotten many compliments. Over the past couple years we've added Cottage Farms and Roberta's in with them and even started 2 more beds.

H.

Lilysmom1335451444.4273240 PostsRegistered 11/24/2007

Hello gardeners. Checking in to tell you what I have so far. Nothing is in the ground yet. We need to do prep work at the foundation and get the ground ready to receive plants. You will recall that house is butter yellow with accented brick in two areas.

We have three red twig dogwoods, three hollies ... two female, one male... two of them varigated, very pretty (look like Euonymous (sp?)), three gorgeous full heather in deep burgundy. I saw the Hanoki (or is it Hynoki?) Cypress OMG beautiful. I have to read up on these. If they are fit for zone 5, I must have at least one. Must be hardy though.

I want something next to the front steps on either side to put Christmas lights on. My inclination is to go with dwarf Alberta spruce as they love it here. I have several on the property and they are thriving. Any other suggestions?

It is early to be gardening here. Garden centers are just starting to stock up.

Arianna, thank you for your comment on shrubs. I take your warning and I am going to be careful not to overplant and to plant low shrubs with some higher where height is ok. I am trying to choose ones that will not go crazy.

Yougogirl, spirea is a good suggestion. They do well here. I will check these out. Orange potentilla is on my list.{#emotions_dlg.rolleyes}

Any special thoughts for in front of the brick? It is a red/brown color with more brown than red.

As always, thanks for your thoughts. LM

BonnieBelle1335451555.0219677 PostsRegistered 4/13/2007

For me personally, anything that doesn't need trimming and maintenance.

susan kay1335452481.353946 PostsRegistered 6/28/2011

How about cypress mops? I have 4 in the front of my house---two, centered, and one on each side, about a foot in front. Low maintenance. Also, love crimson barberry. Gorgeous color.

JustJazzmom1335456337.01328460 PostsRegistered 11/12/2007My garden, of course!!
On 4/26/2012 susan kay said:

How about cypress mops? I have 4 in the front of my house---two, centered, and one on each side, about a foot in front. Low maintenance. Also, love crimson barberry. Gorgeous color.

Some of these as one of my sons calls it 'Ever-yellows' get to be about 5' wide and deep. So plan accordingly-- they make a nice accent plant for all of the greens seen-- the yellow looks nice its a golden yellow to my eyes not a lemon yellow.

☼The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. GBShaw☼

susan kay1335457360.67946 PostsRegistered 6/28/2011

So many suggestions, I know you'll have fun trying to figure out what is right for you. I would sketch it out, as someone suggested. One big mistake people make is not checking to see the heighth/width of the plant when they make a purchase. Fortunately, I always read the "tags" when I purchase plants--everyone should. My mops are about 3-1/2' by 3-1/2' after about 8-1/2 years--exactly what I anticipated. Never hurts to read online about the plants that you want to put in your final plan. Nurseries give a ton of information online about their plants and flowers.

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