The Q&A Archives: What to plant in flower bed?

Question: What type(s) of shrubs would you recommend planting in my flower bed? I live in Decatur, AL. The area in which I will be planting faces due east, so it will not receive direct sunlight after 12 noon or so. I'm looking at low maint items. I was thinking azaleas, monkey grass, and possibly a Japanese maple, but I'm new to this so I'm open to any suggestions so I can impress my wife. Thanks!

Answer: I think your ideas are terrific! Pieris has lovely leaf color but may get too tall and wide - it can reach 6' in all directions without pruning. However, with annual pruning, you can keep it smaller. You might also consider Nandina (heavenly bamboo). This plant is tall and narrow but has attractive leaves. They start out with a reddish tint, turn deep green, then a bronzy red in the fall. It's an evergreen that provides all season interest. Both coral bells and bleeding heart are nice perennials. Bleeding heart grows in the spring and flowers, then the foliage dies down until the following spring. Coral bells remain all year around and the flowers are quite attractive. Enjoy your garden!

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