abelia for small front garden?

RareJouleJanuary 26, 2013

I want to re-landscape the very sad looking front garden I inherited when I bought my townhouse. It's a very small space that runs along the front window. I don't know much at all about gardening and am subject to HOA approval for planting (they're pretty flexible).

I like color so I'm thinking about kaleidescope abelia. What's a good companion? The area gets full sun in the later half of the day; conversely it's shady all morning. What about hellebores? I also liked the idea of grasses but think they'll be too invasive. From what I've read about abelia, I think I could fit 2 comfortably out there. Maybe 3.

Thanks for your help.

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cyn427 (zone 7)

Hi. I just looked up the Abelia you mention because mine is very large and probably too big for a townhouse garden. The kaleidescope sounds as though it is a dwarf version of the shrub, so that could definitely work for you. If you like the idea of grasses, I would look into varieties of Carex (sedge) which are native and not invasive. They are also evergreen and come in a variety of colors from blue to green to orange and yellow. Hellebores might work too, although afternoon sun is hot and can burn some shade loving or tolerant plants. Some varieties of hosta might work, too. They can take much more sun that many people think, but, again, some will burn with that intense afternoon sun. You will need to keep them well watered.

There are lots of perennials that work also for your situation. It sort of depends on how large your garden is going to be. If you are like many here, it may keep growing as the years pass and you find yourself addicted to adding to it! ;)

Check out the hosta forum, the perennials forum, and the cottage garden forum for pictures and ideas. They are much more active than this forum. I hope you discover how much fun gardening is.

Don't know exactly where you are located, but if you are in Northern VA, in a month or so, you will be able to visit the local nurseries for ideas. My favorite is Behnke's in Maryland, but I also like Merrifield and Green Street Gardens in Alexandria. Campbell and Ferrara is also local.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 12:47PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Had another thought as I looked out the window-a camellia should like that spot. Mine is laden with buds right now. Can't wait. The ones in the back bloomed most of the winter. It would give you some height also which adds interest. If you don't like camellias, I would try some small tree if you have room.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 1:08PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

rarejoule, are you still here?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 11:50AM
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