The Q&A Archives: New shrubs

Question: We moved into our new house last spring. Its time to start changing up the gardens to meet our tastes, etc. The previous owners had planted evergreen/shrubs on each side of the front stoop and at each corner of the house. We would really like to take the front four out - but do not know what to put in their place. Do you have any suggestions? What looks good on each side of the stoop? Do we need a bush/shrub at the outer ends of those flower beds to even out the overall look? Please help! Thanks.

Answer: First of all, it is your house and your taste, so you need to do what looks right or good to you -- not somebody else. I would suggest you look at houses similar to yours and see what landscaping schemes appeal to you. Take a photo or two for reference.

Then measure the front of your house and make a quick sketch of it, marking where your doors and windows are. Also mark the compass point for north as well as the location of any underground or above ground utilities. This will help define which plants would fit there when they are mature, and help determine what would thrive in the lighting and other growing conditions. (Some plants need shade, some need sun. Some tolerate wind, some do not do well in a windy site.)

Now work with your garden center staff to figure out which plants would grow well and fit in the spaces, then select the ones that appeal to you from that list. You might also want to research the particular plants a little bit prior to purchase so you are familiar with any special care they might need.

I hope this helps!

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