Answer: Bridalwreath spirea or Spiraea x vanhouttei is naturally quite large, usually in the range of six to eight feet across and tall. It also has a fairly greedy root system so that is another reason not to plant too close to it. You could use some spring flowering bulbs near it, then nearly any perennial you like because it blooms early and then provides a plain backdrop for the rest of the season. Your zip code places you in zone 5A or the coldest part of zone 5, so if you have a windy location or otherwise cold microclimate, you may want to use plants considered hardy to zone 4 or colder. For an extended season you might use dianthus, asters, sedums, coreopsis, purple coneflower, border phlox, and peonies, for example. Your local professional nursery staff should be able to help you identify perennials that would do well in the planting area you have and then you could pick the ones you like best from those. Enjoy your new garden spot!
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