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Need back/center shrubs for hosta garden...

Posted by mary4b 4b WI (My Page) on
Mon, May 5, 14 at 18:46

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....

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Need back/center shrubs for hosta garden...

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


RE: Need back/center shrubs for hosta garden...

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.

RE: Need back/center shrubs for hosta garden...

As for conifers...

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

 photo DSC_0266.jpg

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

Tsuga can 'Dawson' with June

TsuCanDawson photo TsuCanDawson.jpg

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

 photo BlAngel.jpg

What size range did you have in mind?


RE: Need back/center shrubs for hosta garden...

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!

RE: Need back/center shrubs for hosta garden...

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.

RE: Need back/center shrubs for hosta garden...

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

RE: Need back/center shrubs for hosta garden...

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.

RE: Need back/center shrubs for hosta garden...

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.

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