The Q&A Archives: I need help!

Question: I have a contemporary style home. We are planning to excavate our current walkway and put in a new concrete walkway. With this project in mind, I want to re-vamp my flower bed. The flower bed will butt up against a shed that currently exists in the front of my house - strange, right? Remember it is contemporary. Anyway, I need some help with what I can put up against that shed without it overpowering it. But yet concealing it somewhat. I can forward a picture if you need a visual.
Help me!
Thank you!!!
Amy Benninger

Answer: I think the best approach would be to layer the heights of the flowers or shrubs in your new bed with the shortest in front, midsize behind them and the tallest in the back, against the shed. I'd go for narrow, upright shrubs such as pencil junipers or pyramidal thujas for against the shed, then dwarf shrubs (azalea or nandina or bottlebrush, depending upon your growing region), then use colorful low growing annuals and perennials in the front, to draw attention to the bed and to soften the angles of the shed and driveway. There are online photos of finished beds that you can access through the Monrovia Nursery ( website to give you ideas for color and shape. Best wishes with your new project!

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