night and day

WendyB(5A/MA)June 17, 2012

Looking for planting ideas.

One side of my driveway and the turnaround is wooded and uncultivated -- other than a few things I have thrown in here and there. The other side is lawn and garden beds.

I would like to refine the edges of the wood side just a bit. Not too much to contrast with the wild look. Anything too foo-foo will look out of place. But I think the two sides need to blend a little better together and I think the view from the house should screen the woods and weeds and be a little tamer.

So I've been thinking about shrubs and maybe a row of similar ones would keep it simple. THere is one viburnum there that I will probably remove. It was filling the corner nicely, but the past couple of years the viburnum leaf beetle has found its way here and makes a total mess of the foliage. I just cut it way back. Usually it is 8' tall and plenty wide. Viburnums would fit the bill pretty well, but I don't want to deal with that foliage problem.

Here's some pics.

This is the whole left side:

Here's a closeup of the top part of the planting area. Eaten viburnum on right.

This is the long part. a few things planted near the bottom. Viburnum on left.

This is the other side of the driveway.

And I don't want to turn this whole area into a classic "woodland garden". I have umpteen gardens that I can't keep up with already. Just want to tweak what's there.

Oh and the snow plow guy will sometimes push snow onto this area -- mostly snow goes to the other side of the turnaround, but the corner here can take a hit occasionally, so I wouldn't want to invest in an evergreen. I think a deciduous shrub can probably take some snow dumping better than an evergreen. Although I did consider inkberries here. Oh, mountain laurels would be great too. Darn, I shouldn't have said evergreen.

Oh and the area is fairly shaded. South is the street side of the woods. A little morning sun and late afternoon sun might sneak in just a tad. The soil is great.

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carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

The Garden Design forum might be able to help you.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 6:17PM
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My preference is always for mixed shrub borders. I think in particular here, since it is backing up to native growth, it will look better to have a mixture, but that's just my opinion.

Deciduous rhododendrons might do the trick. My favorite is Golden Showers, which has all shades of peach, gold, and orange sort of mixed together. It blooms in summer, late June to early July if I am remembering right. Narcissiflora and Luce's Double are nice also but are spring blooming. I don't know how easy any of these are to get, but there are other spring and summer blooming deciduous azaleas.
Golden Showers:
From June 2010

Some of the big old rhodies like roseum elegans are very nice and take snow better than the Mt. Laurels in my yard.

Fringe tree, clethra, witchhazels, and blueberries are all possibilities as well. Inkberries might not bloom enough to produce berries as in my experience they like full sun to part shade. Red or gold-twigged dogwoods, perhaps including some of them with variegated leaf would be another possibility. Elderberries do well growing from being killed back to ground level, and you could consider some of them with gold, dark or lacy leaves as well as those with green leaves which have nice lacy flowers. Kousa or pagoda dogwoods are small enough and bushy enough trees so that one or two of those might look nice as well, though bloom would be sparse.

Hydrangea arborescens, like Annabelle, grow and bloom well from ground level after snow damage. I'd guess other H. arborescens varieties will recover from snow damage also. I don't know how other native hydrangeas (like H. quercifolia) deal with snow.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 8:18PM
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Great ideas. Do you think blueberries will produce berries in mostly shade?

I have two deciduous azaleas in other areas - swamp azaleas - and I walked by one earlier today and thought I was in heaven. What a fragrance! Do you know if all/most deciduous azaleas are so fragrant as the swamp azalea?

I do have 3 macronulatum azaleas in this general area, but more would be fine. They do well there.

I was adding some mulch to some of this area today and I was noticing that it's really not so native. I have planted more than I realized. I have hemlock, fringe tree, clethra, azaleas, inkberries, cercis, witchhazel, deutzia, hosta (pre-vole attack), lingonberries, geraniums and daylilies that I have planted. I guess when I said "uncultivated" I really meant I don't weed or water or mulch (until today) - LOL! Pine needles and leaves are the predominant mulch.

I think the reason I was thinking all one thing is because I already have one-itis going on already. Seems that a bit of cohesiveness might be in order.

I like the azalea idea a lot. I live not far from Weston Nurseries in Chelmsford and they are the top producer of rhodies and azaleas. I'm sure I will find PLENTY there. And this should be a good time to smell them. Maybe sales will start soon.

There was a new pagoda dogwood I read about over the winter that struck my interest for some reason. I will go look it up. That could be the corner large plant to replace the viburnum.

Or maybe a cornus alba. The red or gold stems would be neat in winter... although maybe not enough sun for that. I think the variegated like Ivory Halo, might be a bit too showy for this look. Mine is very bright (even in shade).

I should have mentioned that this is on a slope so something with somewhat deep roots would be helpful. Dogwood reminded me of shallow roots. Is that so?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 8:52PM
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Since rhododendrons were mentioned - I was at Tower Hill Botanic Garden. In the middle of the woods near the moss steps, they had this "formal Garden" area - which was rhododendrons, some purple leaved fern and hellebores. I really loved the look of it. I posted a bunch of pictures over in the galleries. Go take a look and look for my post starting with the moss steps. Everything in the moss steps post was growing in the middle of the woods.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tower Hill Botanic Garden photos

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 9:14PM
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