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tall shade plant for front of house

Posted by marylandnewbie maryland (7) (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 17, 08 at 18:04

Hi. Bear with me as I am a new gardener. I live in Zone 7 (maryland) and front of colonial house is north east exposure so only morning light. (Actually the front of the bed gets more light due to less shading from the house)- does that make sense? The house has a porch and walkway up to the house in which there is a bed along the walkway (that gets more sun because it is out more from the house) I planted weeping yews (they don't get too big as we just pulled out big overgrown ones that felt we were sitting in a tunnel) right in front of the porch. Then put blue star junipers in front and pokemoke crape myrtle along the sidewalk. Have a fastigulia (sorry for spelling) blue spruce on the side. My area that I have a question is right by the row of yews. It is the closest space to where you step up to the porch to go to the front door. I was thinking of something tolerant of shade, height around 4-5 ft, liking clay soil with north east exposure. The area is only 5 ft wide also. I thought something flowering or with visual interest- flowering in spring or summer would be good. We have late summer with crape myrtles. Husband doesn't like rhod. or azaleas. I searched your site and have questions- questions
Nandina (heavenly bamboo) will it be OK with the shade?
Abelia grandiflora- I looked it up but it won't get to 5 ft- right?
Camelia- someone suggested it but could only find it as a rose- is this a shade plant?
Clethra- I think this would not like my clay soil, right? It gets hot and dry in this area.
Cimifoga- is this black cohosh and I found pictures but it only showed the flowers. They are pretty but wondering if it has the height.
Pieris- I think this would do OK and has height but is it too wide for space. I could look at compact varieties.
Kerria- how much are the suckers a problem?
I am just overwhelmed really. Even if I research this, then call nurseries, will they have them- should I just order online if I find something I like? Maybe a climbing hydrangea or should one not do that right by the front door because it will look bad part of the year? Any suggestions would help. Thanks

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: tall shade plant for front of house

nandina will grow in the shade , abelia is better with more sun but would survive with your conditions, clethra does best in a moist soil, so probably not the best choice,both Japaneese and sasanqua camelias will get alot bigger than your space alots, you might be able to find some dwarf pieris, and kerria suckers ALOT. I might suggest you look into Encore azaleas. Most of the varieties are said to remain around the 5' range and they bloom in spring and fall. You would need to improve your soil with some soil conditioner and compost but these are wonderful shrubs. I have 9 different cultivars of Encores and I love them all.

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