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Foundation Landscape Questions... Starting small.

Posted by kellycrash (My Page) on
Wed, May 2, 12 at 8:50

I have an area that is 16 ft 8 inches long by 3ft 6 inches wide. Ideally would like something that grows 4ft or less.

Here's a picture of the area:

& For some perspective here's a pic of the house:

I am considering blue baron rhododendrons, arctic rose azaleas, and some dwarf English boxwood.

I realize my area may not be wide enough, but my thought was I would just prune it to make it fit as it grows bigger.

I'm a newb. I really have no idea what I'm doing. This area doesn't get sun till around 1pm. I have a wooded lot across the street. I get full sun from like 1pm till 4pm. Approximately.

I have had suggestions to do perennials and whatnot here, but that is going to take a heck of a lot of them and they're expensive. I'm not opposed to perennials mixed in with something bigger.

I'm in Central Massachusetts. The USDA zone finder says I'm in 5B? Seems like it was something different last time I looked. I just did the zone calculator today and that's what it says.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Foundation Landscape Questions... Starting small.

  • Posted by RpR_ 3-4 (My Page) on
    Sat, May 5, 12 at 15:19

I inow and have worked on yards where people put plants in and either did not know they would get bigger or just how much work it is to keep them trimmed and look decent.

Three hours sun is not very much and what ever you do go for plants that tolerate shade well.

What will you put on the ground for mulch?

The area appears to slope heavily in two directions.
After a heavy raing it looks as if you will get some washout.

RE: Foundation Landscape Questions... Starting small.

  • Posted by jel48 Z4 Michigan (My Page) on
    Wed, May 23, 12 at 8:50

I'd go for a mix of large hostas and some colorful blooming (shade loving) companion plants. Maybe see the list and pics on this Better Homes and Gardens online article (link below):

Here is a link that might be useful: Colorful perennials for shade

RE: Foundation Landscape Questions... Starting small.

Hostas are a great suggestion. Large leafed and easy upkeep. The variegated species (more than one color in the leaf) would be ideal to pull the eye towards this feature.
Many hosta bloom in July, so look for other plants with different blooming seasons.

Other part-shade AND easy plants are
Astilbe (flowers mostly July; pest-free, low maintenance)
perennial geraniums (Lancaster, for example; sooo easy, also pest-free, fast growing mounds, flowers once mid-late June then when cut back one third will usually bloom again end of summer)
Hakonechloa (perennial Hakone grass, bright yellow trim on long leaves, spectacular punch to any shady garden; slow-growing clumps, airy allure, prefers rich moist soil)

So do your research and don't forget to mulch! :D

p.s. Just curious: ever thought of leveling off this bed with an added retaining wall of sorts? Just a thought...

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