Easy, Basic Question (bushes)

schicksal(8)May 10, 2014

I'm trying to figure out what to do with this area. It's about 6 feet deep x 15 feet wide. It faces northeast so the only direct sun is in the morning and the house is located in Charleston, SC.

We would like to put something simple in that won't require much attention but will also stay small and not try and grow into the sidewalk like the holly bushes I took out did. Are there any kid of bushes like boxwood maybe, that will stay under 2' tall? I was thinking maybe that would look good closer to the house unless there's too much shade there. We don't have a ton of time to do yard work so I was trying to keep things simple. Maybe some small bushes in the background + a few little things in the foreground?

The area on the other side of the sidewalk heading towards the street has river rock as a bed material and we'll probably do the same with this side since it doesn't attract bugs. The bushes in the background are azaleas. They wouldn't work so well in this area because the windows in the picture will be a lot larger in a year or two. I also plan on getting rid of the monkeygrass and virginia creeper over there. Here's our embarrassing view...

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Lily777 .

A mixed border garden would be lovely with a few shade perennials and a dwarf conifer for year-round color. Both yews and hemlocks grow well in part sun/shade and there are varieties that grow by spreading horizontally. Best of luck.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 11:40AM
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Cool, thanks. I have a dumb question though... what's a mixed border? Is that where the plants are all together instead of in distinct rows or groups?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 11:50AM
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Lily777 .

that's not a dumb question at all. yes, a mixed border garden includes a variety of plants. this can enable you to plant some perennials that bloom early spring and others that bloom late spring, for example. Or you may want some color contrast such as plants with gray/green foliage mixed with lush dark green, etc. I like that better than a row of a single plant, but it's up to you. Some like a more formal garden look.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 5:31PM
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Lily777 .

Also, a dwarf rhododendron would do well there if your soil is acidic. That's another factor to consider: soil type. I recommend talking to someone at a local garden nursery or a master gardener in your area - should be free.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 5:38PM
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Ok, cool thanks. I was planning on going to a local place nearby to get plants so hopefully that will help a bit with the final selection. The soil here is acidic. We started with basically nothing here - the plants we have were put in sometime between the 1950s and 1980 and more or less left to do their own thing. So far landscaping has been me running around with a chain saw, taking out overgrown holly bushes and loquat trees planted inches from the foundation.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 8:48AM
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Considering that the window is low to the ground and there is nothing to hide, I would plant the entire area with a single low groundcover ... preferably one that has some color interest since it is so near the entrance. For added interest you could place a taller plant right below the street number ... something like Siberian Iris. (No trimming.) If the groundcover were evergreen, it would help the winter interest.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 8:59AM
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