The Q&A Archives: Ugly Hedges

Question: We have recently rented a house with ugly, hedges in the front. They bear no flowers and are very plain. I would love to add some color, maybe something that blooms year-round underneath. They are approx 4 foot high with almost 1 foot of just ugly trunks. We recently purchased some lantanas. They are almost like a ground cover they come in yellow and purple. Would these do ok under/ in front of the hedges? Or any other suggestions?

Answer: Lantana is a sun loving spreading plant and will grow upwards of 2' tall and spread out to about 6'. If you have plenty of room, it's a good choice for beneath your hedge. If your area is much smaller than that, you can plant something that remains a bit smaller. Lamium (spotted dead nettle) grows lower and produces purple flowers; Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens) is a slow spreading, mound forming evergreen groundcover growing from 8?12 inches tall. It prefers full sun and must have well-drained soil. I has white flowers in mid-spring; Barren Strawberry (Waldsteinia ternata) is a good general-purpose groundcover for full sun to partial shade. Grows 4?6 inches tall and forms a slow spreading mat. Yellow strawberry-like flowers in early spring. Wedge shaped dark green leaves turn bronze in fall.

Other groundcovers to consider include vinca minor and ajuga. Both will grow happily beneath shrubs or trees, in sun or shade.

Best wishes with your garden!

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