Question about Magic Carpet Spireas/foundation plant ideas

grullablue(5)May 3, 2009

I am looking for some foundation plantings this year. Everything I'm getting an eye for just won't work for my spot. My house faces north, and doesn't get a lot of sun in that spot. We have a gray brick house, and I'd like some color there. I'm not much for flowers in that area, but a shrub that happens to flower is ok...

Has anyone planted these spireas in the shade, or partial shade, and how have they done? I'd like something that won't get too tall to grow up to the windows, but I don't want something that is too small either, I want them to be seen! And I would really like some colorful foliage if I can get it, but I understand that a lot of those shrubs that offer the colorful foliage other than in the fall do best in the sun. I'd love some advice! I sure do like these! I also really like the pygmy barberries, but I'm afraid they need sun as I'm thinking I'm at a loss here!

Thanks for any input!

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hlollar(5 CO)

Two that come immediately to my mind is the red twig dogwood and the oak leaf hydrangea. Both have several dwarf sizes that will work in the area you are talking about. I love the dogwood for the intense color in the winter, and the hydrangea for the intense color in the fall. Both you can keep within your size that you need.
Two of the hardiest hydrangea that I've seen are 'Annabelle' and 'Limelight'. The last two aren't oakleaf, but still would work. make sure you know if it will be dry shade or moist shade...that makes a huge difference in what you plant. Good luck and have fun!

p.s. The spirea probably would work, but usually you don't get the blooms, and the growth will be very slow.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 9:30PM
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boxofrox(z8 PNW)

I have a lot of 'Magic Carpet' in various light conditions. It seems the more sun, the golder/redder/oranger. You still get multiple colors with more shade, it just more of a lime than a gold. I use them against purple foliage as well as darker greens. In your spot, you could use the previously mentioned hydrangeas and I would add 'Kayasume' to that list because of the dark reddish foliage. Even some sarcococca (dark foliage and sweet, sweet fragrance). The spiraea will not get nearly as big so you could plant it in the front. Not sure the depth of your bed but they can be tucked into almost anywhere.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 10:25AM
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Thank you for the posts! I looked up that red twig dogwood, and that definitely warrants looking up more! Thank you! Have not yet looked up the hydrangea, but will do so! This spot does get some morning sun, but once it hits about 10, the overhang on the house blocks any sunlight the rest of the day. I do like that dogwood! I was hoping to stick with something reddish/burgundy/purplish, it would look nice against our gray brick, even oranges or something other than green, but I do like this! I like the winter interest, love the red twigs, as I was originally going to put evergreens there, but I just didn't want "plain" evergreens.

The depth of the area I can plant is about 4 feet. That photo in the "useful link" is beautiful!! Are those yours?

Thanks for the input! I've been trying to do a search just on "shade shrubs" to get ideas. This area is also pretty protected from winds, as my house has an attached garage, that's actually in front of the house, so it's kind of an L shape. So we get a lot of wind from the west, but the garage and house blocks it in this area. I have my tamukeyama japanese maple planted out front as well...which will of course be my "centerpiece!" I love my JM!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 5:02PM
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I wish I had a bit more shade in our garden, there are so many interesting plants for shade!
Unfortunately, Magic Carpet has very dull colors in shade; the more sun, the more color.
Check out hydrangea 'Lady in Red' with red stems and leaf veins, hydrangea 'Little Honey" and 'Golden Sunlight' have yellow/chartreuse foliage; variegated daphne and variegated pieris japonica has green and white leaves. Golden mop chamaecyparis will brighten up your shady garden year around. Shade-loving Korean forsythia 'Suwan Gold' stays very compact and has yellow foliage from spring till fall, I grow it and love it.
Deutzia 'Chardonnay Pearls' is a very adorable compact shrub with chartreuse foliage.
Also, you can accent the edge of your new bed with heucheras which come in so many colors, I like heuchera 'Georgia Peach', 'Midnight Rose','Frosted Violet', Lime Rickey', and heucherella 'Stoplight'.
Good luck with your new project, I am sure it will be a beautiful shade garden.

My deutzia last spring

Pieris 'Mountain Fire', its new leaves are red.

My baby variegated pieris 'Flaming Silver' was purchased this spring for under $7.00. It also has red new growths.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 9:39AM
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alla pa, I LOVE your pieris moutnain fire especially, but like the other one too!!! Wow!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 4:18PM
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boxofrox(z8 PNW)

Two other options for you would be dicentra 'Goldheart' which I have also become quite fond of and acanthus 'Tasmanian Angel'. Both have a lot of unique character.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 5:22PM
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boxofrox(z8 PNW)

This is a baby picture of the acanthus.....

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 5:25PM
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Have you considered Itea Little Henry Virginia Sweetspire

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 9:23PM
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Here is my Magic Carpet that grows in the shade. It gets a couple of hours of late afternoon sun. Faces northwest.

Looks best up against dark colors. Great fall color and early spring color too.

Here's my Peiris Silver Flame:

If you look closely you will see some of the foliage got nipped by frost. After the new growth color settles down, I will snip it all again to get rid of the dead foliage and that will generate more new growth color. Who needs flowers!!

Other dwarf pieris are available too.

And Dicentra 'Gold Heart' is awesome:

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 7:45AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you are VERY LIMITED with only 4 feet to work with..

and most everything listed.. will outgrow said space very fast..

unless you learn and use.. renovation pruning on flowering shrubs ...


    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 8:47AM
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If someone is still reading this thread you may find the newest series called Double Play perfect for foundation plantings. Big Bang is my favorite. Great color and short.

Here is a link that might be useful: Big Bang Spiraea (spirea)

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 5:25PM
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