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Another forsythia or is there something more interesting?

Posted by olreader 5b CO (My Page) on
Tue, Dec 10, 13 at 23:17

I would like to put in another bush on the left in front of the downspout. And maybe replace the existing bushes eventually.

There are two big bushes in this photo and they look the same most of the year. The one on the right is a Ribes alpinum according to a tag I found, but I have never seen any blossoms or berries. The one on the right is forsythia.

I don't have any complaints except that these two are a little boring, especially the Ribes. What I like about them:
grow tall and upright (not floppy)
dense foliage, woody stems and substantial

This is Colorado near Denver and the photo is looking north, so there is lots of sun. I don't think too much water coming down the spout will be a problem.

I read that maybe currants need several plants to fertilize the flowers etc? But I haven't even seen flowers, maybe they are small. Maybe i will ask in fruit forum if other kinds of currants (that are probably tastier) would get big enough and be hardy enough. But do any of you shrub people have ideas for other plants?

Here is a link that might be useful: Here is something I found on Colorado shrubs

This post was edited by olreader on Tue, Dec 10, 13 at 23:40

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Another forsythia or is there something more interesting?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Wed, Dec 11, 13 at 4:36

A blue conifer such as a dwarf spruce or juniper.

RE: Another forsythia or is there something more interesting?

how wide is the bed

is there a sidewalk.. or a gravel path???

have you considered REJUVENATION PRUNING of those monsters ...

if in fact.. they are what you say ... you could most likely cut both to the ground.. and have a nice, smaller.. tamer plants come mid next summer... cut after bloom.. google that term ..

as it stand now.. there is no room for more ... prune these down ...


ps: arent there two downspouts in the pic????? .. again... how much soil in front of the house at the first???? .. how much of a footprint are we talking ...

RE: Another forsythia or is there something more interesting?

The bushes are in an 8 foot strip between my garage/driveway and my neighbor's lawn. It's covered in landscaping rock that the previous owners put in. There is no path now because the bushes take up all the room, that's fine with me. I don't think I could plant anything except vines if I wanted a walkable path.

I cut down about 25% of the stems at ground level in April/May 2013, this photo was taken six months after that. They looked much better after the pruning.

Because there is a curve in the road drivers and walkers can see this view from a long way off, it's straight in their line of sight. I really like the big size of the bushes, I want something big to contrast against so much white. My neighbor has nice landscaping, you can see his apple? tree and there's a similar size purple Norway maple and bushes etc. not visible in the picture.

Yes, there are two downspouts that look very close to each other in the photo, one of them drains to the 8 foot strip near the bushes and the other to the driveway.

RE: Another forsythia or is there something more interesting?

This site is very sunny and windy. I like that the big bushes give shade to the garage in the summer, and being deciduous they let the sun warm the garage in winter. I'm not sure if they really make a difference in the temperature but it's a nice idea.

I like big conifers but I'm not sure about dwarf conifers with such a big backdrop, I think they would look dinky for many years. I don't think I could afford a big dwarf conifer.I think the white garage could give a good background to a dwarf spruce or to a small deciduous tree/bush with interesting branches.

Here in Colorado I don't mind deciduous trees/bushes with bare branches, there is lots of sun and blue skies and often snow on the ground, and the grass stays green until early December.

The forsythia and currant look messy, but the advantage is that's it's hard to see flaws in individual branches or their overall shape. And you can cut off stems at the base to keep them from getting too big.

I have other plans for the part of the strip next to the driveway. There was a big rose of sharon that I took out, and I planted a zelkova from the arbor day foundation which is only 3 feet tall now. Once the zelkova (or some other tree if it doesn't make it) gets some size I think everything will look better.

I didn't like the Rose of Sharon at all, it was about the size of the two bushes put together and it looked pointless (there was only one, so it wasn't like a hedge), and I didn't like the flowers because they looked wilted or something.

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