Foundation Shrub Suggestions

wmiz77March 28, 2010

Hello, I'm somewhat new to gardening and was wondering if anyone would have any suggestions for foundation shrubs (other than the usual holly/boxwoods) that grow well in our area and can tolerate mostly shade? Also, would hydrangeas grow too large for the front of the house and can they tolerate shade? I'm curious if they are difficult to grow in GA and what conditions are needed for their sucess (I could perhaps plant them elsewhere in the yard) What sort of additional plantings would do and look well in front of the suggested shrubs? I appreciate any advice/feedback. Thanks!!

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Hydrangeas like shade -- and there are so many different varieties with different sizes.

The only thing about using them around your house -- they are not evergreen. Does that matter to you?

I LOVE hydrangeas! I have the traditional blue/pink hydrangea and a variety called shooting star. Both do very well here in Georgia.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 5:46PM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

I've always understood a foundation planting to be a plant that covers your foundation all year long (evergreen). I realize the definition of "foundation plant" is different depending on who you talk to, though. Some folks think it's just something you put closest to the foundation of the house.

I personally wouldn't consider a perennial to be a foundation plant, but that's just me. I love hydrangeas also.

If you're not concerned with using natives, Lorepetalum is one that we've had success with in shady areas.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 11:33PM
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Are you in the northern or southern part of Georgia? That will affect your choices.

The concept of "foundation" plantings came about because the foundations of homes were not always attractive, some had open spaces showing, and the greenery was to hide any problems. With newer homes, foundations are generally more finished than they were and the need to "hide" is not always as important. If that is the case for you, then open yourself up to using not just "evergreen" plants, but a mix of evergreen and deciduous. There will be so many more choices.

That being said, another consideration is mature SIZE. You don't want to get plants that a) grow too large for the space, and b) require constant pruning to keep the windows clear or foliage away from the house (which can retain moisture, rotting out window sills or siding). Not much discourages a new gardener like the drudge of required maintenance!

It would be nice to see a picture of the area, that helps with suggestions (as well as knowing generally where you are). You say this is shady - is it north facing or east facing? Does it get hot sun in the afternoon at all?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 6:12AM
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