The Q&A Archives: foundation shrubs

Question: Hello,I have a little garden room and i would like to plant some arching shrubs around it. On the side that overlooks the driveway the winows are high and so the shrub could grow tall. The planting space here however is only one foot wide, though 7 long. The other two sides have more width. The area gets partial sunlight. could you recomment some shrubs for the area. could you give me a choice of evergreen and fragrant plants. The evergreen for the driveway side and the fragrant for the garden side. Thank you. i am in zone 6.

Answer: Unfortunately, a one foot wide planting space is very narrow for a shrub, in my experience it is too narrow; shrubs need ample space for their roots to support the top growth -- and the roots are generally just as large as the branches. And, planting so close to the foundation means the soil will be very dry due to the overhang of the eaves. So, for that spot you might consider planting the evergreen vine English ivy.

A smaller, fragrant shrub for partial shade might be Clethra alnifolia rosea or perhaps Itea virginica "Little Henry". Neither of these is exactly arching, but they are in the three foot size range and do well in partial shade and are very fragrant during the summer when you might have the windows open.

Your local professional nursery staff might have other suggestions based on a more detailed understanding of the growing conditions where you want to plant and your overall design goals. Have fun with your project!

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