Need back/center shrubs for hosta garden...

mary4b(4b WI)May 5, 2014

I have a cement patio and am planting on the east side of it that gets sun until 1-2 pm. I will be putting a TriColor beech there, maybe 12 feet from the cement. The rest will be hostas and shrubs. What shrubs/subshrubs/perennials do you love as backdrops to your hostas for this eastern spot?

I was thinking about Little Lime Hydrangeas but wouldn't mind some low conifers or a tall stand of something, say goat's beard, etc? I want this to be somewhat low maintenance, so don't want to have to be deadheading perennials all summer....

I did the other post, too, about looking for a huge hosta to "ground" the bed, as well...but I thought they might best be two different threads. Hopefully some others have a need for companions suggestions right now, too....

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

I have a small Endless Summer type of Hydrangea called Twist N Shout. The flowers start out blue and turn purple. It's about 4x4' and like its siblings it flowers all season. Easy care it just needs lots of water.

Here it is with H. Frank Lloyd Wright


    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 8:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't care for Endless Summer in our zone as it dies to the ground.

I have Annabelle Hydrangea and also Limelight. Those work nicely. Yews can handle less sunlight, if you like them.

A red or yellow twig dogwood would add some winter interest.

I have Goatsbeard and LOVE them. They're a nice backdrop.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 9:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

As for conifers...

Thuja occidentalis 'Holmstrup' takes shade and is a slow growing arbovitae.

Any of a number of Tsuga canadensis will work such as 'Lewis', 'Moon Frost' or 'Dawson'.

Tsuga can 'Dawson' with June

Tsuga can 'Lewis' in the foreground, Blue Angel above.

What size range did you have in mind?


    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 12:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mary4b(4b WI)

I apologize for posting a question and disappearing! The weather finally provided some outdoor opportunities for planting, etc.

Very nice suggestions, I was considering hydrangeas...I do have a lot of Annabelle, so they are under consideration and I thought the Little Limelights could be a good size, so as not to create a blocked view.

TJ...I had not thought of Tsuga for this, that's a great idea! I am pulling out a few Woodward Arborvitae because they are in the wrong place...after that, I will try to post a picture. This isn't exactly a square garden, it's more like a deep wave of a garden around one messy corner of my home, so I think a pic might be helpful.
I have been very taken with conifers lately, so would be happy to have some suggestions on that regard. I had a Gentsch in mind for just "up the garden" from this location.

Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 10:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lavendargrrl(7b Apex, NC)

Mary, I have azaleas behind my hosta bed and they bloom like crazy when my hostas are all starting to open. I love all of those conifers, tsugajunkie! Gorgeous.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 10:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If Annebelle hydrangeas work great in your area , you may also try the Incrediiball Hydrangea. I got four new ones this year and have them planted in different hosta areas along with a feature Russian sage for a color variety. The Incrediball is much like the Annabelle but stronger stems and larger flower heads that don't droop from what I was told. From the picture they look very nice. I tried the colored hydrangea but we get winter frost so get few flowers. The Incrediball flowers on new growth each year. I have one small florest bought hydrangea from my mother's funeral flower that I have been growing for March 2007 and I call her Molly as she guards my hosta for me and oversees the beds.
I am sure you will probably find the perfect plant for your taste

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 10:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mary4b(4b WI)

Your garden looks beautiful, Almost Hooked! I will definitely research the Incrediball, I have seen it around. Hydrangeas seem to do well in my garden, even Endless Summer has become a good performer, which I did not expect.

I don't know if my soil is acidic enough for azaleas....I did try to grow rhodies and azaleas in this location when I first started...of course, that was before I learned about the powers of amended soil. They were in some pretty heavy clay! Might be worth a try if I could get one at a great price.

Melissa...if you read this again, do you think Goatsbeard could handle sun until 1 or 2? I do love that idea. I was thinking about using my Aralia Racemosa but it may get too high and the roots are impossible to dig out....Goatsbeard would be a good alternative.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 7:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have my Goatsbeard in dappled sun. I've never tried it in full sun. The good thing is that you're talking about morning sun,

I just did a little googling and I think it'll be ok if you pay attention to it, like its watering needs. Be aware though, it can take time for it to reach the 4 size... probably 3rd year.

I'm told Aralia is also slow to establish.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 4:11PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Hosta Smart Phone App
I think I have my hubby convinced to write me a smart...
When could I remove the covers from the 2 ceramic pots of mini hostas?
The in-ground hostas are still very much in dormancy....
Esther-B, Zone 7b
What have we ordered?
So far I have gotten a few new ones. What have you...
ilovetogrow z9 Jax Florida
Is this heat/sun damage or something else?
This is my Loyalist from last year. It has a pretty...
Sponsored Products
Moss Ribbon
$7.99 | zulily
Vintage Cruiser Kinetic Garden Stake
$29.99 | zulily
Area Rug: Urban Bloom Beige 5' x 7'
Home Depot
Safavieh Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Safavieh Rugs Courtyard Olive/Natural 4 ft. x
$62.38 | Home Depot
Alfresco Home Martini Bistro Set - Bianca - 26-1305
$328.00 | Hayneedle
Wine country 4 bottle caddy
Origin Crafts
Rustic Natural Cedar Furniture Round Outdoor Coffee Table - 10
$104.00 | Hayneedle
Echo Garden Rug 3'9" x 5'9" - PENNY
$829.00 | Horchow
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™