The Q&A Archives: shade shrubs

Question: I live in Zone 5. In the front of my house on one side I have 1 arbor viti next to front porch, then 2 boxwoods, then another arbor viti, then 2 azala's centered under two enclosed windows. Still have to do the other side of the front of my house. Must I plant the same shrubs on one side that I have on the other? My front yard is mostly on the shady side, so flowering shrubs don't seem to do very well, but will grow. Can you help me.

Answer: You do not have to use the exact same shrubs on both sides unless you prefer a symmetrical look in your plantings. However, it does bring a sense of continunity to the planting if you repeat at least one of the shrubs. For example, use some azaleas again or use some arborvitaes again. You could mix in some summersweet clethra or Itea virginica(look for smaller growing cultivars if size is an issue) the white flowered Hydrangea arborescens "Annabelle" or a shrub dogwood such as the variegated Cornus sericea "Elegantissima" for example. Enjoy your planting!

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