fothergilla

pcthompsonApril 17, 2012

I would really like to incorporate FOTHERGILLA into my Landscape Design. Here is my issue.

I have an Federal/Georgian style 2 story pinkish-red brick home. With windows on each side of the porch/portico. The garage bumps out on the side giving the front an L shape.

I have a Baby Blue eyes Blue Spruce on corner opposite the garage. Under the windows (3 casement, 7' wide) on the garage side of the house I am planning 3 Globe Blue Spruce to provide consistency and balance out the blue spruce on the corner.

The others plants on the front of the house will be evergreens (hollies, Arborvitae, azaleas, rhododendrons, boxwoods, etc). I am still looking.

Along the garage, which has two windows about 7 ft a apart, I was thinking of doing a mass planting of fothergilla either MT Airy or Blue Shadow. However, I am thinking this might be too much blue. The area in front of the fothergilla will have an ornamental tree and a small kidney shape bed for annuals and small perennials. This will be bordered by the a sidewalk leading up to the porch from garage,

I need something along the garage that will stay compact, not grow above the window edge, stay compact, and have visual interest through most of the year. The fothergilla seems to have that plus it is hearty and easy to propagate. Should I stay away from the fothergilla or are there more suitable Cultivars?

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bahia(SF Bay Area)

My personal take on using Fothergilla's is that they work better if planted as foreground contrast against background evergreen foliage, and also be given the space to grow naturally. Trimming to keep them hedged below window sill height just doesn't seem the best way to show off their best qualities. Yes there
are cultivars that are said to stay
lower, but take them with a grain of
salt. I also wouldn't really consider
them as another dominant blue
addition to the garden; but more as a
spring blooming shrub for moist
shade with good fall color.

They aren't a commonly used shrub here in california, but I was admiring some in bloom while at the local nursery here in Berkeley just yesterday.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 1:22PM
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gardengal48

I pretty much agree with David on all his points :-)) The "blueness" is maybe more obvious in photographs than in real life.....certainly not the same intensity as a blue spruce. And this is a shrub best left to grow to its natural size and shape. There are some dwarf forms - Fothergilla gardenii selections - that will ony get about half size of the larger species. If you really want the blue, look for Fothergilla gardenii 'Blue Mist' - only about 3' at maturity.

I love this shrub for its fragrant bottlebrush flowers and stunning fall color.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 6:02PM
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