need (lots of) help with entryway shrubs
I think I posted about this last year, but can't seem to find the old thread, except for a specific one on ilex Castle Wall.
A friend of mine has a newly-planted (last year) foundation bed on either side of her front door. It has spirea, hostas, heucherella, boxwood, and hakone grass, all of which are doing amazingly well.
The missing piece is that she wants a tall shrub on either side of the door. I know, I know... the person at a (very reputable) local nursery practically sputtered in indignation when we asked her about this, telling us to put the tall shrub at the end of the bed, not next to the door.
However, this is what my friend wants, so.... She is not a gardener, and I am not a designer, so we need help. We need evergreen, eight to ten feet tall, 3 feet wide, preferably pyramidal, half-sun/half shade (morning sun, but hot sun), quite good soil. It would most likely have good wind protection, as it is against the house and additionally her front yard slopes upward and she has two large cherry trees on either side of the centered front walk. She currently has some wide fat hollies there, in large pots, which she doesn't like.
I've come across what seemed like good choices at first, only to be done in by wildly conflicting descriptions, depending on what site you visit, especially when it comes to height. So I am hesitant to make a decision (so what else is new?)
Additionally, it seems like many things that might fit here are very slow growers, so they cost big bucks. I'm looking for something I can get at a reasonable price.
Since this is for someone else and not myself, and since she is not a gardener and doesn't understand the differing results one can have with plants, I am trying to find something as foolproof as possible, in terms of fitting her needs.
Any suggestions would be most gratefully appreciated!