companion shrub for a hydrangea

KatherynIridaceaeJuly 10, 2014

OK so I have a flower bed in front of my house, (see picture below), The bed is centered under a long window. I HAVE to have a hydrangea planted under the window. It's a physical need to see big blue flowers underneath it in the summer. I would like to plant evergreen shrubs beside/staggered in front of my hydrangea, an informal foundation planting is the look I'm shooting for. I'd like something with seasonal interest, preferably blooming in fall or winter, but I know i'm already being too picky. :) And it needs to be a max of about 4', so I can actually SEE my favorite bush!
the soil is a mix of clay and loamy amendment, it is at the top of a slight slope so it shouldn't stay wet, but will get a lot of water from the gutters/roof/me etc. and has a roughly southern exposure. It gets direct light at about 10AM until 1PM then pretty bright filtered light (through trees) until 4:30. or so. There were BIG loropetalums taking up the whole bed before. I have since murdered them.

I can't for the life of me decide on a bush, I'm hoping someone has a suggestion. I believe there's a bush for every planting situation and need. My bush has to be out there somewhere!

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Camellia sasanqua would foot the bill pretty good.
They grow really slow, evergreen, hardy to your zone, behave themselves, lol, take trimming really good, you can even esperille them if you wanted to.
They bloom in Nov. to Dec.
I have a 6 year old that is mabey 3 feet tall now, to give you an idea as to how slow they grow.
Also, hardy gardenia, Chuck Hayes.
But the gardenia will bloom in spring, not winter, grows painfully slow, but foiliage is nice in winter time.
If you don't mind trimming, an albelia would be beautiful there, they are evergreen and I have Kaliedopscope, 3 colors of leaves, beautiful foliage. I trim mine into a small bush every fall, it's beautiful. Worth it just for the foilage.
I don't think daphne would live in 7b, but you could try it.
It is evergreen, and blooms in winter. Just mulch it up real good.
That is all that comes to mind. Your zone isn't too far from mine, so I thought I would try to help.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 11:10PM
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Hi, in front of my living room bay window, I have 3 Emerald Gaiety Euonymous planted in front of my Annabelle hydrangeas. They are very slow growing, totally maintenance free for me, and provide green interest in the winter.

You may want to consider planting them as well. Or, for a more formal look, why not plant some green velvet boxwood in front?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 8:45AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

'Bonanza' camellia stays lower and more spreading. Would be really nice.

I also like Abelia 'Twist of Lime' for contrasting variegated foliate planted in a mass. Really seems to hold its variegation well. I have 'Mardi Gras' too, but like Twist of Lime better.

Also consider Abelia 'Rose Creak' for its reddish calyces that are held a long time on the plant. Stays more compact than most abelias.

Euonymous 'Emerald n Gold', if trimmed regularly, form nice variegated mounds.

Azalea 'Chinzan' -- I'm a HUGE fan of these -- forms a nice compact spreading mound (very small leaves) to maybe 18" high x 3 or 4' wide over time. Blooms in June, but stays a nice green all winter. Does better with a bit of shade in late afternoon. If you can find them. It's similar to the Gumpo type azaleas.

There are also some nice, more compact Indian Hawthorns that might do OK there. They prefer full sun though.

This post was edited by dave_in_nova on Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 8:30

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 8:28AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

KatherynIridaceae, is it certain that a Hydrangea will be blue in your soil? If not the colour might influence your choice of a companion.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:41PM
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