twalton8
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Landscaping are these plants right for the area

I was hoping somebody can tell me If what I am planting will look good together. I have a 12' X 7' area I am working with and my plans for this area are as follows: Burning bush in the background with a blue rug juniper arond it, two hosta, a sun perennials ( Campanula 'samantha'), Daylilies (stellas), and possibly a mum or two? Also I was planning on put a drawf alberta spruce inthe corner by the driveway. I hope someone can help me out! Thanks in advance.

Todd :)
Todd Walton

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Wellll, let's look at eventual sizes...

Burning Bush (an invasive in my neck of the woods) will get to be 6-8' tall and 8-10' wide (that's if you got Euonymus alatus 'Compactus', the compact form). Blue rug will spread out to around 8-10' in width, so with two plants you have overflowed your area. Sure you can prune, but it's easier and better looking to use plants that fit the space.

You're bouncing around the color wheel quite a bit there; I like to pick a theme plant (and color) and use more of that plant (and color) to give a cohesive feel to the garden; i.e., if 'Stella' is your theme plant then gold flowers are the theme, reds and oranges with a little blue (maybe foliage) thrown in to cool it down...(Helenium 'Mardi Gras' springs to mind...)

It's a small space; either ditch the shrubs or find dwarf plants. I'd stay more perennial here with maybe an evergreen to anchor it. But review the space and how it fits the rest of the yard and house and DEFINITELY review eventual sizes of the material you want to put in...

Scott

twalton8
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thanks for the advice

I was hoping for color year round since the area will be next to the main entrance of my house. The dwarf burning bush is only 4' by 4'. The blue rug juniper says that it will be on 5' by 5' so that should be a good contrast in the fall when the burning bush turns red. The stella's will be in the spring/summer when the rug and burning bush are green. any other comments or suggestion that you would put in this small space?

Todd
Todd Walton

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Those tags that say 4'x4' and 5' circ. are LIES propagated by an industry that wants to sell you more plants than you need. :twisted:

Refine, refine, refine. I teach an Advanced Master Gardeners course in Basics of Landscape Design and that is the key focus of my class. Find the elements you want to present and then boil them down to their common denominator; i.e., what is the least amount of 'Stellas' you can use to present them in a meaningful way? (I say three) I like the sequence of bloom idea, and the evergreen element, but don't you think the evergreen element should be the dominant feature? SO instead of a burning bush maybe an upright juniper? (I like 'Wichita Blue' or for a native touch 'Emerald Sentinel' , a fastigiate red cedar) Want a deciduous, screaming red fall color to flip with the groundcover juniper? Try lowbush blueberry and get spring flowers and and summer berries to boot! No more invasive plants in the picture and you get your features plus some new ones. Look for My Favorite Mum in a garden center near you; these are true hardy perennials (Korean parentage). While they are more expensive you won't need to buy them year after year...

Have fun, but be careful out there...
Scott

Scott

twalton8
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to clarify

So what you would recommend is to do the lowbush blueberry with a blue rug juniper underneath and then some hostas and daylilies to offset them?

I also would like to put a dwarf alberta spruce on both sides of the driveway so there would be a spruce in this landscaping as well.

I also wanted to ask you to clarify the three stellas that you recommended should they be in one location of the area or spread out so that they are able to give color throught the entire area.

Todd :?:
Todd Walton

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Nope lowbush blueberry INSTEAD of blue rug (I don't like them as they are so flat they don't block weeds).

With the DAS, look to eventual size; because they grow so slow people tend to use them in tight spaces but they get to be twenty feet and half that around (If you're in a Zone 7 or warmer area 'Jean's Dilly' is an extreme dwarf form that stays very small. Perhaps a Hinoki cypress? They are much smaller and tighter and that space demands smaller and tighter...

Three 'Stellas' would be scattered in a isoceles triangle towards the "front" of the bed; you could mass more, but in tight spaces less is more (a philosophy you seem somewhat resistant to embrace :wink:)

Scott

twalton8
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reply

let me get this straight. Throw out the idea of using the burning bush all together and just go with the lowbush blueberry in the spot where I had planned on putting the burning bush and blue rug juniper. Is that correct?

Thanks for the info on the DAS. I did not realize that they got that big. I found a alberta blue dwarf alberta spruce and the website says that it will get 5 - 7 feet tall and only 18" to 2 feet in width. Is that true?

Also, on the stellas if I put them in the a triangle shape near the front of the bed, how far apart should they be placed?

finally I found the jean's dilly and I do like that shape and size. I think I will go with it. The Jean's Dilly will be my tie in to the landscaping on the other side of the driveway. The website I found on the Jean's Dilly says that it will grow in zones 2 - 7 and I am in zone 5 so it will work nicely. Do you know what the mature width of this plant will be?

For the blueberry plant I was able to find a local vendor that can get me the plants but I am not sure what type of lowbush or half high? The types I like are: Chippewa, Northblue, Northsky, Northcountry, Putte, and St Cloud.

Thanks for all the input!
todd :P
Todd Walton

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Yeah, I'm no fan of burnig bush; its on all the invasive lists in the Northeast and has been illegalized in New Hampshire (in the process of the same here in Connecticut), so I always try to steer people towards the alternatives...

Really I was suggesting you replace the burning bush with a 'Wichita Blue' Juniper and replace the blue rugs with the low bush blue berry. The half highs would work; I like 'North Country' but the low bush would give you a more rug-like look (I like a newer variety called 'Burgundy' for the slightly taller height (12-15"), greyer foliage and darker fall color).

As for the 'Jean's Dilly', probably won't get bigger than a foot and a half across. The sizes most nurseries list on their tags are ten year sizes; if you plan on leaving the garden longer than that (average life expectations of a garden in the States is seven years), you need to take more than the tag into account. I know of a DAS around the corner from me that's probably a hundred years old or so that's an easy 25' tall and 10' wide; I like to think of gardens as a more permanent structure (I am a fan of Japanese gardens and some of them are a thousand years old or more). So don't read the tags; I like Dirr's Manual as a pretty solid assessment of a plants true capabilities...

Scott

twalton8
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final decisions

The witchital blue should be in the center of the bed and one plant or two? The north country just in front of it so that it can spread around it? A Jean's dilly in the corner by the driveway? Stellas in a triangel pattern on the outskirts of the north country. How far apart should the stellas be? Last what about the hostas or should those be dropped as well?

Is there any other plants that would go well with this arrangement in replacement of the wichita blue? What about a skyrocket juniper or a jean's dilly in both places?

How easy is it to prune the wichita blue, it says that it gets 15' high and 8' wide? I have a sigle story house!


Todd
Todd Walton

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Hi Todd,

The juniper is easily kept to size, although if size is an issue then J. chinensis 'Blue Point' (8-10't x 4-5'w) might be the better choice ('Skyrocket' will not handle your wind or snowload and who needs the busted up, sorry looking specimen in their bed?). I never plant anything in the dead center of the bed (except perhaps a perennial or groundcover). Just a little offset makes for a more interesting and powerful presentation.

THe 'Stella' s should simply be in the traingle placement in a manner befitting the planting. Just keep moving them around until you like it; maybe enlist a few other opinions (A study was done placing five objects on a table top and a series of people were asked to place them in a pleasing manner. Eventually most everyone put them in a very similar placement! SO more heads are better than one...)

As for hostas, that's a big genus; depends on which one you're talking about. I wouldn't throw any big ones in, but 'Francee', 'Patriot', or something similiar would work (remember 3's, 5's and 7's). Another shrub I think might work in this area would be Weigelia 'Wine and Roses'. It would give you a summer flower feature that the planting lacks ('Stella' is pretty much the sole color that time of year). It also feature a dark maroon foliage that would be a nice foil for the blue of 'Blue Point'; foliage color is there year round so use it to your advantage...If size is still an issue 'Wine and Roses' has a VERY dwarf offspring in 'Midnight Wine'; only 18" tall and 2' wide makes it easy to fit in...

Scott

twalton8
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more options

Thanks for the all the choices, but I think I am starting to run out of space in my box. Here is what we have so far:

A Jean dilly in the corner, next to it we will have a stella, following that will be a patriot hosta. turn 90 degrees and we will have another stella and next to it we will have another patroit hosta. turn another 90 degrees and we will have another stella. All of this follows the sidewalk and wraps around infront of the porch. now for the center of the bed I was going to put the Northcountry blueberry bush and a weigelia 'midnight wine'. I would put the juniper 'blue point' behind both of those plant against the foundation wall.

Some one else suggested that since the blueberry bush grows at such a slow rate I should plant two bushes instead of one, is this a good idea or will eventually overcrowd the bed?

Would you be able to keep the blue point trimmed under 4' or should I use a different evergreen plant if I want it under 4'?


Todd
Todd Walton

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Keeping it under 4' would not be a problem for that juniper; it's a 6-8' at most, so that shouldn't be an issue. As for the blueberry, the nursery where I work grows NorthCountry in a three gallon that's 2' x 2'; see if you can find a larger plant rather than crowd two of them...

Scott

twalton8
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I am all done

Thanks for all the information. I finally have the bed all designed.

Plants for this location are as follows:

2- patriot hostas
3- stellas
1 - jean dilly
1 Northcounrty Blueberry bush ( 3 gal container)
1 - Weigelia - midnight wine
1 - Juniper - Blue point

Will all of these plants be too much or just right?


Todd
Todd Walton

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I think you're spot on here. A little prune at the beginning of the season, maybe another in summer, and you should be good to go for decades. I like this idea...

Scott

twalton8
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sun only about 1/3 of the day

I have noticed that the area I wanted to plant the above plants is only geting about 1/3 sun a day. Will this change what I should plant?

Todd
Todd Walton

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Depends on when that sun is. From the plant pallete you'd originally chosen and that mention of "sun perennials" I'd assumed a full sun/ partial shade spot. That may still be the case if that sun is mid-day; if it's on either end we change that juniper should become an upright holly ('Centennial Girl' stays to the right height) and 'Jean's Dilly' becomes a Korean boxwood (nice and dwarf AND hardy)...

Scott

twalton8
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sun

The sun appears mid to late afternoon. I will look at those plant suggestions.

What about the blueberry bush, stellas, and weigelia? The hostas should be fine, right?

What about using Bergenia - Pig Squeak or Lungwort - Raspberry Splash or will they not take any sun at all?

todd
Todd Walton

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The other plants are fine, as are bergenia and pulmonaria...

Scott

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Wichita Blue junipers

Can I prune the above 4' triangular shrubs to a more columnar shape satisfactorily?

The H G on the Road

:o Of course. The Blue Point needs to be the Emerald Sentinel now and we might want to look at azaleas (I'm thinking 'Girard's Fuschia') for the weigelia; the rest should still work...

Light and soil should always be first considerations before planting; thought you'd already done that homework. My bad :oops:

Scott

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