help with shrub/hedge selection

thunder_dd87May 20, 2014

Hi all,

I'm a total newbie, so I apologize in advance! I am in the process of cleaning my flowerbed in the front of my house. I am trying to decide on what shrubs I can plant in this area (picture included) to give a hedge-like appearance, especially because of the stained brick. I did some looking online and was thinking about photinia plants...but I noticed some people absolutely hating those. I was drawn to those shrubs b/c of the color factor.

Also to note, the area in the photo isn't nearly as narrow as it looks. The picture was using the panorama view.

Any other ideas? My house faces SW, gets a good deal of sunlight. Also in zone 7.


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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

where are you ...

and how deep is that bed ..

i would favor putting the hedge on the opposite side of the walk .. and planting some perennials in the spot you are thinking about ...

i mean.. look at that juniper.. i bet its dead on the brick side.. and basically half a plant as compared to how it is supposed to be shaped ... and that is probably because its supposed to be a 6 foot wide tree at that height.. and it is planted in a 3 foot wide space ...

plants are planted... to HIDE the foundation .. not on the foundation ... and had the builder understood that.. he would not have given you such a small space between the house and the walk ...


    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 10:25AM
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Hi Ken, thanks for your input. I'm living in central Oklahoma. I'm not quite sure how deep that bed is.

I'm definitely open to planting perennials there instead of hedges as it would also do a good job of covering the stained brick (and be colorful).

This post was edited by thunder_dd87 on Tue, May 20, 14 at 11:00

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 10:57AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

From the picture it looks too narrow for any shrubs other than lavender, Perovskia, Caryopteris or box or something else dwarf. Photinias would need constant pruning if they are to be kept small. They were first really popular here about 20 - 30 years ago and many planted then and left unrestrained are now small trees.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 11:11AM
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davids10 z7a nv.

almost any shrubs you plant would block the sidewalk-anyway your house and windows are kind of pretty so why hide them-what you plant depends on exposure if thats on the south or west you might need some tough guys

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 2:17PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

To me, you'd need year-round curb appeal. That rules out perrenials, unless they are evergreen... and there are not that many for your zone - especially in hot sun.

Ideas for smaller woody shrubs would include:

Dwarf Yaupon holly
Dwarf Burford holly (will require shearing maybe twice a year)
Carissa holly
Hoogendorn holly
FirePower Nandina (will take cutting back every several years and will surge back from the ground.)

India Hawthorns may not be hardy in your zone?

I'm afraid Helleri holly would spread too much.

Photinias would be a constant battle to keep small. There are some on my way to work at this one house where they were planted next to the foundation and 'let go'. They are now well over the peak of the house in height. Yikes!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 8:38AM
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such great suggestions!

Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 7:19PM
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seagreen_turtle(Z5 MI)

I've just been reading our follow ups since yesterday and seeing the narrowness of the bed. I took a bunch of pictures of small shrubs at a my place but they're likely not small enough for that bed though maybe the balsam fir pistol would work. here are the pictures anyway:

If you go to the url and click on each picture the titles tell the species.

Here is a link that might be useful: balsam fir dwarf, hollies, sumac, alberta spruce dwarf rainbow's end, dwarf blue spruce

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 8:58PM
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seagreen_turtle(Z5 MI)

piccolo not pistol for balsam fir - after a long day at work typos happen to me.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 9:00PM
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Thanks for taking your time out to take those photos, seagrean.

I went out and measured the depth of the bed. It is at about 34"
Still too shallow for most of them?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 11:54PM
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After doing some reading and browsing, I'm wondering if it would be possible to plant taller shrubs against the brick between the windows and maybe smaller shrubs/ground covers/flowers in between under the windows. I realized if I wanted a hedge along the area, they would have to be ridiculously low in order to prevent severe window coverage. Thoughts?

I understand to create a good hedge, the shrubs should be placed closer together. What do you think about being able to plant two shrubs per spot?

Here is a better photo of the area with a less panoramic lense view.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 3:16AM
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seagreen_turtle(Z5 MI)

I think the balsam fit piccolo would be fine. If you want holly look for sky pencil as it will will grow tall but not wide. the alberta spruce dwarf should work in between windows. Box woods can be sheared to stay within your dimensions. These are just a few suggestions. There are small blue confers (junipers) that could work. They are low growing but could eventually became a little wide.

I tend to let things grow over my walk a little sometimes but I know that's not for everyone. Have fun with all that blank garden space to fill.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 8:40AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

A southwest exposure in zone 7 is going to get a lot of HEAT.

Would not do alberta spruce unless you water, water and want to deal with mites.

For larger upright shrubs along wall between windows, maybe:

Greenspire Euonymus, or Spartan holly, Steeds holly, Blue Maid holly -- these will require pruning -- for height

...and Hoogendorn holly, Carissa holly or FirePower Nandina below windows.... or maybe a bed of variegated Liriope although that may not grow tall enought to hide the water stain. Also possibly Abelia 'Rose Creek' or possibly Euonymus 'Emerald 'n Gold' or 'Gold Splash' (a larger leafed version of E 'n G -- if you can find it) below windows for a golden contrasting color.

This post was edited by dave_in_nova on Thu, May 22, 14 at 10:12

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 9:52AM
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fantastic. Thanks again all.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 8:15PM
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mary4b(4b WI)

How about the Fineline only gets about 2' wide when 6' tall, not sure how tall they might get with age. This variety is non-invasive.

Here is a link that might be useful: fineline buckthorn google images

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 1:37PM
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