Amateur needs design tips for tiny area

seeker12September 4, 2013

I'm stymied as to how to redo this tiny area. It is 10' x 4'. The low round evergreen (left) will be removed and replaced by the dwarf Alberta spruce (pictured). At the porch/entrance end is where I will replace the low Japanese lantern; nothing grows there as it's subject to heavy rain overflow from gutters and some ice in winter.

This is Zone 5 along Lake Erie so that means cold, snowy, windy Winter; cool, wet Spring; and warm Summer and Autumn. The area faces North and receives only a couple of hours of sunlight in the morning; most is blocked by a large mugo pine.

An Asian-style look with a few plantings with mulch between is my preference so that it's appealing, calming, not fussy or overcrowded.

The dwarf rhododendron I took out never bloomed as I suspect it was sun-starved. A japonica didn't thrive as it was damaged by snow and ice, but a small mugo pine was okay.

The sidewalk edge is planted with tete a tete daffodills which will be supplemented with more and also with crocus. They're smiles after Winter!

Stumping me is how to achieve a pleasing flow from the corner where the dwarf Alberta spruce will be to the low Japanese lantern at the porch/entrance end. It also needs to be rather low maintenance as well as slow-growing.

Should I add a slightly smaller dwarf Alberta spruce around the corner from the relocated taller one? Followed in some pleasing height/color/texture arrangement of things like a bigger diameter mugo pine or a larger japonica that might withstand winter's insults, or a Tiarella Pink Skyrocket for a bit of color, and/or other slow-growing evergreen or shrub?

I have a couple of pinkish rocks that can be added to the arrangement, too. Something is saying three but not four odd number seems to be wanting.

We're talking a "rank amateur" here who is delighted when anything put in the ground actually grows!

Your advice, design tips, ideas, plant suggestions will be welcomed and appreciated.

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I recommend one of the cold - hardy Camellia japonica varieties; any plant with the 'Winter' designation, or one with Korean rootstock should be able to handle your situation. Camellia also espalier easily to free up bed space.

Here is a link that might be useful: PhoenixScape

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 4:05PM
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What a lovely plant, glambert. Thank you for your recommendation. Now to find one with a Korean rootstock or a Winter designation. Internet here I come!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 1:50PM
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