Shrub recommendations?

zana1428August 3, 2010

We just removed an in-ground pool, and now we have a blank slate for my wild planting ideas. We have an existing line of holly shrubs (they're probably 30 years old) that I want to use as a backdrop for a new shrub-and-perennial bed. The area will get full sun until about 4-5pm, when the hollies will start shading the area. So, any suggestions for beautiful, sweet-smelling shrubs (and perennials too) that would thrive in northeast Alabama?

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I have no experience with any of these, but I've been doing some research on the very same thing--here are a couple of ideas I've had:
Blanche Double de Coubert - Rosa rugosa
Mockorange - Philadelphus spp.
Any number of Viburnums - V. X burkwoodii
Not a shrub, but might work: Any number of Ginger Lilies - Hedychium spp.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 11:48AM
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Evergreen? Edible? How tall, or do you want a mix? Any other desired characteristics?

Do you know the pH of your soil?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 1:50PM
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Clethra alnifolia - is blooming now, likes full sun, is fragrant and a butterfly magnet
Hydrangea paniculata grandiflora - is blooming now and is bombproof
Any of the hardy hybiscus

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 2:13PM
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The soil is a bit acidic - the hollies love it, of course. I'm all for a mix of heights and colors. I'd like some that are sweet smelling at different times of the year...

Is Clethra called Summersweet? I was thinking about that one!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 5:04PM
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A trellis with jasmine could add another fragrant touch.

There are also larger herbs like sage, lavender and rosemary which are evergreen (some of them). The rosemary isn't showy, but it will bloom in the winter.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 5:34PM
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Gardenia, Chas Grimaldi brug, oakleaf hydrangia, clerodenron bungeii (but in a pot in the ground), philadelphus virginalis,

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 11:45PM
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a different kind of fragrance of foliage would be southern wax myrtle, myrica (now morella, i think) cerifera. it grows fast, is semi-evergreen and responds well to pruning. birds are fond of the berries produced by female plants. they are very easy to propagate from cuttings. i like them for natural areas but have seen some pruned into tree form with large, exposed trunks that are very attractive.
other hardy fragrant shrubs suited for sunny sites are witchhazel (hamamelis sp.), sweetshrub (calycanthus florida), glossy abelia (butterflies love it, blooms for along period) and winter honeysuckle (lonicera fragrantissima). quite a few of our native azaleas are very fragrant. some that may be marginally hardy in zone 7 would be banana shrub (magnolia figo) and sweet olive (osmanthus fragrans).

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 12:14PM
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