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tall narrow shrubs for 3 feet wide foundation bed

Posted by lou_midlothian_tx z8 DFW, Tx (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 14, 08 at 14:55

Does anyone know of evergreen tall narrow shrubs for 3 feet wide foundation bed that is facing south. It will be planted in caliche soil and the only thing I can come up with is Nandina 'Heavenly Bamboo' which would partially help cool the brick wall. I can't extend it because it is severely sloped and I need to use the flat part to walk from front to back.

So far, my plan is plant some nandina plants spaced at 5 feet apart or whatever and plant annuals between them for now. I think it is about 40 feet long so cheap annuals will have to do for now while I propagate something else for next year if i can come up with something for it too. ha ha.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: tall narrow shrubs for 3 feet wide foundation bed

Dwarf wax myrtle and dwarf yaupon would also work.:) PJ


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RE: tall narrow shrubs for 3 feet wide foundation bed

If you don't have a good edge your standard nandina will start to invade out from the 3 feet into you walking area. It takes a few years, but it eventually can become quite the spreader, especially if it's happy in the location. You might try gulfstream - it doesn't get as tall, but it doesn't spread. My gulfstream in partial sun is 5 feet tall, but it has taken many years to get there. Gulfstream doesn't have berries tho, and that's part of the beauty of the standard nandina - the flower clusters and the beautiful red berries in winter.


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RE: tall narrow shrubs for 3 feet wide foundation bed

Lou,
I've been seeing some 'Sky Pencil' hollies around (I bought some small ones). They might fit the bill. They supposedly get about 18" wide by 8-10' tall - we'll see!
J.D.


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RE: tall narrow shrubs for 3 feet wide foundation bed

Here's another idea to chew on. I planted a couple of the tall youpon hollies in a narrow space next to the house. They are multi trunked with twisted shapes which makes them interesting. They grow up and arch over a walk way. They take pure caliche soil, are long lived, never get too big, are easy to keep, have white flowers in the spring and red berries all winter which the mockingbirds love. In fact a pair builds their nest in them every year.


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RE: tall narrow shrubs for 3 feet wide foundation bed

dittos, roselee
Pride of Houston hollies were half price at Mike's a couple of weeks ago.
J.D.


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RE: tall narrow shrubs for 3 feet wide foundation bed

Thanks. I'm going to look into these.

J.D., I don't think 'Sky Pencil' would work. I tried growing it but it seemed very finicky and died off. There's a boxwood that grows up right and narrow- I think called Green Tower??. I found some a couple years ago but they were expensive so I didn't get them. I'm going to look for them again and see if the price has gone down.

Roselee- I have Yaupon holly 'Pride of Houston' growing in calihe soil in the backyard. I'm going to see if i can find something more upright.

Debndal- Thanks for the info on nandina. I didn't know gulfstream is easier to contain. I've seen a bunch of them at the stores.

Thanks everybody!


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RE: tall narrow shrubs for 3 feet wide foundation bed

I took some pictures of the Youpon holly this morning. I don't think it is 'Pride of Houston.' It's the 'original' that grows wild. It might be hard to find. Perhaps nurseries specializing in native plants might be more likely to have it.

Anyway here are a couple of pictures. I thought I'd go ahead and post them in case it might give someone else some landscaping ideas. It's about 20 years old. I've also done much the same thing in the back yard. One of them in the back I 'clouded' -- trimmed to make balls of foliage along the twisting branches.







This is taken from the window inside the house to show the interesting branching and mottled trunk.




Some nurseries have their stock from last year on sale. I bought a bunch of Nandina domestica on sale at Rainbow Gardens here in San Antonio which I planted for a narrow upright hedge.

This is a picture of a Nandina domestica growing in my neighbor's yard. I love the way the leaves turn red in the winter.




So good luck in your search for 'Green tower.' I haven't seen it, but it sounds like a nice choice.


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RE: tall narrow shrubs for 3 feet wide foundation bed

If JD's idea of the Sky Pencil holly won't work, check out the Helmond Pillar Barberry. Great barberry color, grows about 6 ft and only about 2 ft or so wide. It's a little looser than the sky pencil.

Weldon


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RE: tall narrow shrubs for 3 feet wide foundation bed

Even without an edge the place I rented in Seguin had a old (over 15 years) pair of Nandina domestica framing a window to 7 feet high and about 2-3 feet wide in the 5 years we were there I never messed with a shoot coming into the st.augustine grass that grew under and out from it.

I worry about any stickery plant like barberry along a walk way personally.

Gulfstream nandina is no longer patented and so will be more available and common and cheaper. It is not as tall but has many other positive atributes as a foundation planting.

With shearing dwarf wax myrtle or yaupon would function but you will need to keep up the process so it doesn't encroach in your walkway. Maybe consider using one or the other to break up the nandina. Too me 40 feet is a long stretch for one type of plant but heh I am just a free flowing kinda that likes to play fast and loose, not tight and formal with a landscape.:)

Of course this is just MHO and the choice is still yours Lou. Let us know what you come up with and hopefully there will be some more cool ideas for you to choose from. Like maybe bamboo mulhy for a contrast and its softening effect.

Good Luck and Happy Growing David


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RE: tall narrow shrubs for 3 feet wide foundation bed

Hi David,

The plan is to plant 4 or 5 nandina on that side about 7 feet apart (haven't really gone into that measurement yet) with probably cheap flowering annuals like vinca minor that seemed to do great last year. I used to have mexican feather grass spaced apart with flowering annuals between them but mexican feather didn't seem to last very long. I was hoping for bluebonnets to pop up but i haven't seen anything. I had red ones along the foundation and it was pretty awesome. This year, I have nothing. Just plain ugly right now..

Bluebonnets


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RE: tall narrow shrubs for 3 feet wide foundation bed

Lou,
Does this area get good sun other than winter? You might think of a few perennials for there like blackfoot daisy, maybe zexmenia, being on the south side will have them bloom longer into the fall and start blooming earlier in Spring. If bluebonnets make it then the drainage must be alright because they won't tolerate wet feet. My bluebonnet patch looks very sparse this year with the drought. They like water but they want it to go away after they have had their fill.
Another thought would be mexican oregano, they look best when pruned to the 2-3 foot height and are evergreen to semi-evergreen most of our winters.
Happy Growing David


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RE: tall narrow shrubs for 3 feet wide foundation bed

You might also consider Mexican Salvia (leucantha). I once saw a long hedge up against the siding of a house and it was spectacular in bloom. There were no other plants, just a swath of blue flower and green grass-like leaves. And it is very easy to grow.


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leucantha

Oops. I saw that beautiful hedge in Houston and I do not think leucantha is evergreen (but it will come back).


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RE: tall narrow shrubs for 3 feet wide foundation bed

You might consider using a Confederate Jasmine in the middle to break up the lay out. South side should give you some protection and plenty of winter sun. Great for cooling a mass of the brick, evergreen, and nice scented blooms in mid-late spring time frame. Just a thought?
Happy Growing David


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