Evergreens for part - full shade

GardenMomma11(5a NY)April 14, 2014

I am re-doing the landscaping in front of my home. My area is about 60' long by 6' wide. We have quite a few tall oaks in our front yard so the house gets maybe 3 hours of sun in the morning; first when the sun is below the canopy, and some around noon. The home faces south east. For the rest of the day the front of the home is in full shade.

My question is, what types of evergreen shrubs would work best in this location? I am looking for something columnar shaped (5-10' tall and 2-3' wide) to flank the front door then something rounded (3-4' tall) to plant under the windows. I don't really want a solid hedge. The only plans i have so far is for a few burning bushes. One is already established (5' tall) and a few others that i have transplanted from else where in the yard.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Shrubs are not my forte.

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WendyB(5A/MA)

Holly's would work for you. Ilex mesaerve 'Blue Princess' (and Prince for pollination) are easy to come by and shape as needed. There are some more columnar varieties of holly that I am not familiar with. Generally they are pruned pyramidal or rounded, but can really be pruned pretty much anyway you want.

I had 3 6'+ pyramidal Blue Princesses in a lot more shade than that and they did awesome. Berries every year.

Boxwood 'Green Tower' would be good too.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 2:56PM
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GardenMomma11(5a NY)

Thanks so much for your response! It has actually reminded me of a few questions I have about Hollys.

We moved to this home in late 2011. The yard was pretty over grown with lots of English ivy, brush, other unidentified vines, and trees in odd places. The neighbors say the former owner was an avid and experienced gardener, so I have been trying to make sense of all the mess.

We have taken out 2 old Hollys that were badly placed. Both were about 4'x4' wide but no more than 2-3' tall. One even still had a label that read "blue princess 1993". You can imagine my surprise! First of finding a 20 year old tag and secondly learning the habits of the bush through research.

What I'm trying to say is, they are beautiful bushes. I am open to choosing them again, but I'm not sure what caused them to be so short? Was it lack of or excessive pruning? Or as you mentioned possibly a lack of price plant? They seemed very misshapen. Some of my neighbors have beautiful hollys that are tall and shapely. I would like mine to be the same. I'm starting to think this woman wasn't such a great gardener.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 7:58PM
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WendyB(5A/MA)

excessive pruning. Maybe she wanted them short for some part of a design. Wrong plant. Japanese Holly -- Ilex crenata -- would have been a better choice for that shape shrub.

Makes me wonder what my extensive gardens I left behind will look like in a couple of years... :(

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 9:27PM
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WendyB(5A/MA)

3 Blue Princesses - unpruned (well... except the pruning that the grower did)

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 9:35PM
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