shrubs for shady front yard

mack26May 5, 2010

Hi, I'm planting some shrubs in my front yard of a home I purchased last fall. The previous owner had some kind of holly planted next to the house that they let overgrow and was reaching up to the second floor windows. They were too big to trim back to managable size, so I cut them out completely. Now I am looking for a replacement. The front yard is entirely north facing, so gets minimal direct sunlight in the mornings. The soil is typical VA clay. I live in Northern Virginia, zone 7 I believe. I'd like a shurb that is evergreen. I plan on trimming it back so that it doesn't get any higher than about 5 feet. I still want to be able to see out the front windows. I've kind of narrowed it down to three types, all seem to have their pros and cons. Help me decide and "pull the trigger" or suggest another option. The three I've narrowed down to are Inkberry (I. glabra) (shamrock or densa so that it remains within the 5 foot range), yew densaforma (so this is a good hedge about 4-5'), and a type of blue holly, I believe either blue maid or blue princess. I'm going for a solid hedge in front about 4-5'. Let me know what you all think, pros and cons. Thanks.

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Given your criteria it doesn't really matter what you choose: buy the cheapest.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 6:13PM
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mack26, could you post a pic? Perhaps that would elicit more help. However I fear you have entered into that place where you have already formed opinions and are planning foundation plantings which seem not to be what Landscape Designers here do.

My best advice as a gardener (not by any means a Landscaper) is to amend that "typical VA clay" if you really want anything to grow well there. You might also look at the landscaping that high end homes in your area have or at pics on the net. Might help you 'think outside-the-box' with the best landscape plan for your property.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 11:27PM
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How shady is shady? Any of what you mentioned will thin out if it's dense shade. If you go with the yew, make certain you have drainage away from the shrubs- they don't love our clay soils, but will tolerate it if they're not sitting in water.

Have you looked at skip or otto luyken laurels?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 6:08PM
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