Shrubs That Look Good All Year Long?

harryshoe zone6 eastern PennsylvaniaFebruary 4, 2010

I am about to remove a giant juniper hedge which runs across my front yard. The front yard is north of the house. My soil is acid and winter is moderate with temps rarely below 0.

Yes, the clean slate dream!

I am thinking of two beds each consisting of a small tree(s) (Redbud, Japanese Maple?) with some shrubs. Holly and azaleas come to mind and grow great here but I am wondering about something different.

Any suggestions for shrubs and small trees?

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Some ideas for small, ornamental trees would be: Cornus mas, cornus kousa, cotinus (smoke tree - there a several beautiful cultivars), stewartia pseudocamillia, helesia carolina (silverbell), chionanthus virginicus (fringe tree).

    Bookmark   February 4, 2010 at 4:17PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

The vibrunum is king

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 4:14PM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania


I didn't mention Viburnum because that is my default mode tree. There are 10 on my half-acre lot already.

I was thinking of a grouping of one of the Doublefile cultivars. The 2 Mariessi (sp?) I have are only 2 years old and already full and very pretty for 3 seasons.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 11:48AM
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picea(6A Cinci- Oh)

Conoy viburnum is very attractive. If you like variegated plant cornus Kousa Wolfeyes is very nice.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 9:31PM
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gardenscout(z6 NE RI)

Holly and azaleas come to mind

When I bought this house I promised myself I wouldn't plant Holly because the leaves can be so painful when working in the gardens. Don't get me wrong, they are beautiful, but those damn leaves are like cactus. So I just enjoy them in other people's yards instead.

And as for Azalea... The last few years I have realized that I only enjoy them for those two weeks while they are blooming. The rest of the year they are really starting to bore me.

I am lately starting to enjoy Pieris, because it has so many different stages. In addition to being evergreen, the flower buds develop in the fall and stay all winter for a lovely effect.

Also a big fan of the viburnums not only for the flowers, berries, and foliage, but the branch structure is almost perfect in winter. Also consider a mass of Red Twigged Dogwood. You can't go wrong with those for all year beauty.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 12:43PM
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Just a note on the prickliness of holly leaves. Not all species and cultivars are prickly at all. I only ever grew one that was worse than a cactus--I think it was the Chinese holly (beautiful shiny leaves but extremely sharp). But all my current hollies are not bad at all (Blue Prince/Princess, China Girl, Nellie Stevens, Japanese holly, inkberry, and one with shiny round leaves and practically no prickly points (forget the name of the last one). Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 12:30PM
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Firepower Nandina is a homerun shrub in my garden. This is winter color.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 9:52PM
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