angnortheast
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What to choose for landscape of the front of the house

I am a beginner gardener and a new home owner in New Jersey area (zone 6b). I prefer low maintenance flowers which come back every year. I had an idea of planting hydrangeas alternating with boxwood in the front of the house and a lilac bush on the front corner. My husband brought up a concern that both hydrangeas and lilac bushes look very bare (just sticks) in the winter and will take away from the curb appeal, and that evergreen bushes would be best option. How do homeowners / landscapers feel about planting these types of buses in the front of the house ? Any other advice / ideas much appreciated.

ButterflyLady29
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Re: What to choose for landscape of the front of the house

There is a building on the Columbus State University that has a quince hedge in front of it. During the growing season it looks spectacular. During the winter, not so much. But that is expected in the north if you want flowering shrubs. And it is a matter of personal taste. I think boxwoods are horribly ugly. Mugo pines and dwarf Alberta spruce are my favorite evergreens.

Any foundation planting needs regular pruning. There's nothing uglier than a small house totally dwarfed by overgrown evergreens. And if the branches are too close to the house you can't get between the shrub and house for maintenance.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: What to choose for landscape of the front of the house

I like a mixed planting with a few evergreens, some spring bloomers, something with fall colors, and something with winter interest. A classic for winter interest is red twig dogwood. Once the leaves are off, the red stems are beautiful, especially in a snowy landscape:

Image

Other winter interest plants are things with berries that keep them through much of winter, like the winterberry holly shrub, beautyberry (gorgeous purple berries that stay on for a long time), etc. Another is crabapple trees. They have beautiful spring flowers, then later they get the little "apples" that look like large red berries that stay on almost through winter. You can't eat them like apples, but you can make crabapple jelly. There are dwarf crabapple varieties like Firebird that don't get more than five feet tall.

Image

Ornamental grasses add structure and interest through the winter:
Image
I really like pink muhly grass, but there are lots

When you think of evergreens, don't just think of conifers. There are lots of beautiful broad-leaf evergreens, many with spring blooms as well: mahonia (oregon grape-holly), azaleas, rhododendrons, kalmia (mountain laurel), euonymous, ilex, leucothoe, pieris, etc.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

angnortheast
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Re: What to choose for landscape of the front of the house

thank you for quick response and such great ideas. I love the idea of blooms in different colors. I will look into this. Is it still not too late to plant those shrubs ? (Oct 7 on east coast )

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rainbowgardener
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Re: What to choose for landscape of the front of the house

Not too late....
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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rainbowgardener
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Re: What to choose for landscape of the front of the house

You didn't ask and you haven't shown pictures, but just in case: for more front yard landscape ideas check out the threads in Similar Topics at the bottom of the page.

This is a post I did about gardening for four season interest: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... hp?t=35084

Here's one with some principles about foundation plantings: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 12&t=56975
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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