The Q&A Archives: the perfect flowering shrub

Question: hi there. relatively new to landscaping & want next year's lawn to be stunning!
i'm removing two dead evergreen shrubs and want to replace them with.... i have no idea!
- hardy to zone 6-7
- long blooming time / attractive winter foliage
- suited to morning shade, strong afternoon/evening sun

any recommendations would be much appreciated. from what i've seen at my nursery, your company's reputation is well-earned - gorgeous plants.
many thanks,
meredith biggs.

Answer: BAsed on your zip code, you are gardening in winter hardiness zone 6A or the coldest part of zone 6. Depending on the microclimate in your yard, it might actually be as cold as zone 5. So to be on the safe side, I would suggest you look at plants considered hardy to zone 5.

Unfortunately, the broadleafed flowering evergreens tend to do poorly on the west side of buildings mainly due to the intense afternoon sun -- it is hot and drying in winter and very strong and hot in summer as well. If you really want to try a flowering evergreen, you might be able to grow Pieris japonica there, but I would consider it to be somewhat of an experiment. These plants set their buds in the fall and you can see them on the plant all winter, they bloom for a week or two in the spring. (Most flowering shrubs bloom for only a week or two and just once each year.)

Otherwise you might try something a bit more resiliant such as yews which have a much better chance of surviving and staying healthy there. Your local professional nursery staff should be able to help you analyze the growing conditions where you want to plant and help you select something suitable -- they may also have other suggestions for what to try in terms of meeting your design goal.

Good luck with your project!

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