shrub & perenials along fence

BobSeptember 8, 2005

I need suggestions as to what shrubs and perennials to plant next to a stockade fence in the back yard. The fence extends 80 feet on the south side of the yard and 80 feet along the east side. The area is about 4 feet wide. I recently removed a bunch of overgrown junipers and now want to replace them with plants that will provide color year round. I am sure I want a lilac in the corner (where the two fences meet) and probably several dwarf burning bushes along each fence. Beyond that, I need suggestions. I'm looking at Hydrangeas, something called Sweet Shrub and Blue Mist Shrub. (I found these on a nursery website) Any suggestions?

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blueheron(z6 PA)

What part of the country are you located? What type of soil? Rainfall?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 7:58PM
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I live in southeastern Michigan and have an average rainfall of 3 inches per month. I guess the soil is mostly clay with topsoil mixed in.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 8:37PM
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blueheron(z6 PA)

Would that be zone 5? Is the site in sun or shade? I'm not sure which perennials are hardy in your zone. Your local garden center will be the best resource for this information.

When I first started gardening, my bible was the paperback book, "All About Perennials" an Ortho book which is sold at most garden centers.

I read and re-read this book and picked out what perennials I liked and planned my garden around them. Basically, I planted what I liked, taking into consideration their bloom time, color, size and cultural requirements. It takes time and I made mistakes as you will too. The good news is that perennials can be moved around easily with no permanent damage.

A garden is a work in progress and that's the fun of it. If you have specific questions about any shrub or perennial, the folks on these forums are very helpful. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 9:23PM
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smoke bush can easily be trained to grow in that size a space, without looking like a clipped privet- and they're stunning looking plants.

Oakleaf Hydrangea is another stunner- in your case, I would go for a dwarf, since they can grow to the size of a new Beetle over time.

most rhodedendrons are evergreen - you'll want to add more organic matter, and dig a wider hole than you think you need, they have surprisingle weak root systems (comes from growing in loamy forests with deep beds of soft soil) and have a hard time thriving in heavy clay.

I think the little japanese maples are pretty when their branches are bare, myself, so you might want to look in to one of them...

and definately look in to several varieties of lilac- the small- leaved ones like 'miss Kim' are really pretty looking when they're not in bloom, which I can't say for the old-fashioned kinds.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2005 at 1:29PM
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Blueheron And Chinacat-Thanx for your help and suggestions. I will definitely look into the plants you mentioned

    Bookmark   September 9, 2005 at 3:29PM
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blueheron(z6 PA)

Also, there are web sites that have garden plans. You should be able to get lots of suggestions as what to plant in your border. Do a google search on garden plans. For instance, Better Homes and Gardens has plans on their web site.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2005 at 5:44PM
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You might look for a red-berried holly to mix in with the other things, too. It will add color in the winter.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2005 at 11:13PM
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