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Front bed needs some color!

Posted by Patty16 none (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 8, 14 at 21:57

I would love some suggestions on my front bed. We've been in this house for 3 years now and are finally ready to get working on the front bed. The beds were so over grown when we moved in. we completely removed all shrubs from the left side and some from the right side. The right side will be next year. The bed is large about 20 long and at least 10 feet deep. So far I have planted the following.
- 3 hydrangeas in back row
- 3 green velvet boxwoods middle row
On end I have a red dragon japanse maple
Either side of stairs in a japanse Holly.

I am worried I have too much green color with the boxwoods and hydrangea leaves. I still have p,entry of room in front of the box woods. I love the dwarf blue spruce color. Can I add that somewhere? Maybe a yaku rhodi in front of holly? I need color! I am rethinking the hydrangeas and going with something else as I haven't yet planted them yet... Someone suggested a few happy returns and Roxanne cranesbill in front but I feel that is still too much greenery. I am wondering if I should take the middle boxwood out and plant something different. I would love to hear your thoughts!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Front bed needs some color!

More pics


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RE: Front bed needs some color!

Be careful not to create a hedge in front of another hedge. That never looks good. Some street trees would help with the wide open empty sky and with framing views of the house.


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RE: Front bed needs some color!

Yardaark, that's what I am afraid of and I would love suggestions. The area gets afternoon sun from 1:30 on. I love the burgendy barberry but that is now illegal in MA. I am desperate and want to get this area done but I am not loving it! I need to cover up the foundation as there is a large gap between the ground and window. We will be planting two trees once we get this area figured out! Thank you for your help!


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RE: Front bed needs some color!

"I love the burgendy barberry but that is now illegal in MA." No problem really. You'll just need to get a prescription for medical barberry.

Limit the hedge to a single row. That there is room in front of boxwood now doesn't matter. If you want something in front use a LOW groundcover, annuals, etc. ... not another hedge. The box will swell and fill the space in time.


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RE: Front bed needs some color!

How close to the house is the Japanese maple? Looks way too close in the picture you've shown. I wouldn't plant a tree any closer than 6 feet from the house foundation, even a small ornamental such as a Japanese maple.

Nor any shrubs closer than 4 feet. Gotta give them room to get sun and rain out from under the house's guttering AND, more importantly, to keep their roots from digging at your foundation.


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RE: Front bed needs some color!

Needs some diversity... how about some kind of fastigiates, and ornamental grasses?


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RE: Front bed needs some color!

The overriding landscape deficiency is the lack of trees. After years the house still has the "new subdivision" look ... as if it is not permanent or established. The house looks big and very much set on top of the ground as opposed to being charmingly nestled into its surroundings. It looks like that's going to be a tree form directly below the left-most window. It would be better to continue with large shrubs compensating for slope and concealing foundation.


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RE: Front bed needs some color!

The japanese maple bis 5.5 feet from house. We will be planting trees around the house but are focusing on the beds right now. Any suggestions for shrubs for the bed? Thank you!


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RE: Front bed needs some color!

What zone are you in?

I would like to comment on your spacing and placement. I will second the comment that the Japanese maple may be too close to the house. What variety of Japanese maple is it and what is the mature size? Divide the mature width in half and then move the tree so that it is at least that far away from the house.

The holly looks too close to the steps.

The hydrangea (still in pots?) seem too close to the house. Also, they are deciduous (lose their leaves in winter). Evergreen shrubs are a better choice right next to the foundation, especially if one of your goals is to hide the foundation. Also, depending upon your zone, southern exposure may be too much heat/sun for most hydrangeas. Here in zone 7a, we would not plant hydrangeas on the south side of a house. They would wilt and struggle. However, panicle hydrangeas such as oak leaf can generally take more sun than the pom pom varieties.

I agree with Yaardvark's suggestion about trees. The general rule of thumb with landscaping is trees first, then shrubs, then smaller plants, ground cover, etc.

Without knowing your zone, it's not possible to make shrubbery suggestions. One strategy that can be successful, however, is to drive around your area and see what is thriving in other people's yards. See what combinations of plantings are appealing to you. Take pictures. In your case, see what is thriving in very sunny yards.

Hope this helps. Good luck.


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