What to put at driveway entrance?

tabbaldwinJune 19, 2011


We have a plan by a landscape designer, and we like it all except for the driveway entrance. We tried to contact her again, but I guess they're busy and not returning emails. (She had 2 different types of euonymus on either side.)

Anyway, we want Crape Myrtles on either side of the entrance and chose Natchez so that they could get tall and form an entrance "arch" eventually AND to help block the view of the new house going up across the street.

Any ideas on what else would look good in the area (pics below)? Both sides are identical. About 5' wide at its widest. The Crape myrtles are not centered (because of pipe). The area gets mostly sun.

Here's some pics:



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Plant different color evergreen shrub,form some color belt.your space is enough,don't need to prune bush.I thought curb appeal be important to big space.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 1:57AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

You have a summer-flowering, deciduous tree. Balance the other end of the bed with a relatively low evergreen shrub, wider than it is tall. If you like odd foliage colors, consider gold thread cypress. If you want flowers, consider a shrub that blooms at a different time from the crape myrtles.

I don't know how likely you are to have difficulties planting above the culvert in the middle of the bed; you might have to try different things. One possibility is the groundcover of your choice, provided it doesn't clash with the other blooms in the bed, and with some spring bulbs mixed in. Consider a long-branched groundcover like one of the prostrate junipers or kinnikinnick, planted in the deeper soil to either side of the culvert and encouraged to grow toward the center of the bed. Or you could go with bedding annuals.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 11:08AM
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Thanks for the replies. I think I do want evergreen---most things in the front of the house are evergreen, excepting crape myrtles and a forest pansy redbud. I've seen the gold thread cypress and do like them. How many would I do on each side--3 or 5? Other things with it? If my purple pixie lorapetalums do well, I might like them there as well (but that area gets hit with the lawn sprinkler system, and they supposedly hate wet feet). I've never heard of Kinnikinnick before, but it sounds interesting (just googled it). Southern gardening is new to me (even though I grew up in the south, I spent my first homeowner years--17 of them--in central IL).


    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 9:09PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

I don't know exactly how large your bed is, and I can't say authoritatively how many gold thread cypress would fit. Probably one, maybe three (odd numbers look better than even numbers in groupings). It would depend on the look you want, the size of the shrubs you find, and how much else you plan to put in the bed. Here's NCSU's fact sheet:
and Monrovia's page:

I was surprised to see what they said about the size! (Mature size normally means 10 years, so you can expect it to increase about 6" in height each year, and a bit more in width). The ones I notice around here are small shrubs, mostly no more than 2' tall, and certainly seem slow-growing. My parents had two at their previous house. In 19 years, I doubt those shrubs ever reached 3' -- but my father loves to prune, and they needed short shrubs in that location.

I'm a first-time homeowner, just getting around to redoing the Previous Owners' foundation beds. My gardening experience was mostly in my teens and 20s, when I lived with or near my parents (Northern California, southwestern Connecticut, Chicago's western suburbs), and since then helping in their gardens when I visited for vacations. How we all ended up in the South is still a mystery (ancestors on both sides left North Carolina and Virginia 200 years ago and went to Ohio).

I discovered kinnikinnick when researching low evergreen groundcovers for a future bed with too little sun for juniper to be happy. I really don't know to what extent kinnikinnick is used around here, but if I can't find it locally, I know it's in the Fedco Trees catalog (part of a great seed company in Maine). Oddly, kinnikinnick turns out to be related to the manzanita I loved as a child in California (mostly larger shrubs or small trees -- and a terrible fire hazard). I have some low groundcover manzanita which should spread to 5-6' wide, which I hope will fill in around a maple tree in the middle of a large perennial bed; that variety is from the Rockies.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 1:07AM
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There are many varieties of threadbranch chamaecyparis. Most do get larger than that space would hold comfortably. Gold mop is one of the smaller ones and could work. It may look good with purple barberries.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 4:54PM
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Thanks for the replies. I'm liking gold mops. I think they'd look great with something purple, but hubby doesn't like barberries---so, what about Purple Diamond lorapetalum? I could put one closer to the road and in towards the drive (as opposed to the crape, which is further from the drive) and then curve some gold mops through from "top" to "bottom" (of pic), making an "S" of sorts from the crape down to the street.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 9:29AM
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