What to plant in full sun against a large garage wall?
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May 5, 2008 at 8:08 pm #27772
Welcome Susan. Sounds like you are on the right track: a mixed shrubbery (and with some underplanting of perennials or perennial groundcovers, maybe with some bulbs layered in, too).
Lilacs are a wonderful, easy-care spring choice, and hydrangeas a great summertime burst of color (assuming you mean H. macrophylla, the classic blue moptop kinds). If you have room for a few lilacs, get some in the species hyacinthiflora and some in the species vulgaris, for a long season of bloom (instead of all the same kind, which will only give you a week or two of color). Windy Hill on Rte. 7 in Gt. Barrington has a great lilac selection.
What you’ll be missing if those are the only two things in your design, however, is something of interest for the other seasons of the year: fall and winter.
I am very big on those overlooked seasons, so I recommend you add in some viburnums for fall fruit (read this post from the blog, http://awaytogarden.com/think-fall-yes-fall, and ask for help choosing at Windy Hill or Loomis Creek near Hudson, http://loomiscreek.com). Late-blooming hydrangeas such as those in the species paniculata (like ‘Tardiva,’ or ‘Pink Diamond’) could also liven up your border in fall.
Maybe make room for some winterberry holly, too (you’ll need one male for every several females to make the great red fruit, but you can place "him" somewhere else instead of in the border itself, or at the back since "he" is not so showy).
I’d pick some workhorse perennials for extra interest, like Epimedium and ferns, or even something as common as Geranium macrorrhizum, which would fill up the whole space before long and keep weeding to a minimum. As I said, bulbs can add another season of interest, even before the shrubs leaf out and bloom. The blog lists some good sources for bulbs.
Remember to space your shrubs according to their eventual size…not the size they are when you buy them!
It’s so great you found me through Rural Intelligence, http://ruralintelligence.com, an exceptional new website that showcases the best things in the tristate area you and I live in (northwest CT, western MA, and Dutchess and Columbia Counties of NY).
Hope to see you here again soon, and if you stop at Windy Hill or Loomis Creek, give them my love.
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