NEED HELP CHOOSING PERENNIALS, SHRUBS/DWARF TREES/ FLOWERS. AREA APPROX. 5" DEEP BY 18" LONG/ FRON - Knowledgebase Question

HUBBARD, OH
Question by BLUESKY262
April 22, 2012
RE-DOING FRONT OF HOUSE. APPROX. 5' DEEP BY 18' LONG. PERENIALS, SHRUBS/DWARF TREE/FLOWERS. LIKE COLOR. HOUSE IS GRAY WTH BURGUNDY TRIM. FULL SUN.


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Answer from NGA
April 22, 2012

1

How about considering a dwarf magnolia, dwarf Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry, 3 to 6 feet in height with a spread of 4 to 7 feet. This densely branched, rounded shrub is one of the first to leaf out in the spring. Foliage is bright green turning orange, scarlet, and reddish purple in autumn. The foliage tends to hide the small yellow flowers, but the bright red berries are showy beginning in October and continuing into winter. Cultivars to consider are ' Aurea' and ' Kobold.' Recommended purple foliage cultivars include atropurpurea ' Crimson Pygmy' and ' Rose Glow.')

Cotoneaster apiculatus, or cranberry cotoneaster, is another suggestion. It grows 3 feet in height with a 3-6 foot spread but you can prune to keep it smaller. It has stiff, herringbone pattern of branching is interesting all year. Glossy green leaves turn a bronzy-red to purple in fall. The small, pink flowers are attractive at a close range. The cranberry-red fruit provide an excellent showing in late fall through winter.

Fothergilla gardenii--dwarf fothergilla, grows 2 to 5 feet in height with a similar spread. The white, fragrant, bottlebrush-like flowers appear in early spring before the foliage. Leaves are dark green to blue-green, turning yellow, orange to scarlet in autumn, holding color late into the season. The slender, zig-zagging stems forming a dense colony are interesting in winter. Plant in partial shade in a well-drained, acidic soil with high organic content.

Hydrangea quercifolia--oakleaf hydrangea, 4 to 6 feet in height with an equal spread. This rather coarse shrub provides an excellent contrast in the landscape. The foliage is a deep green in summer turning to red, orangish brown, and purple in autumn. The flowers open white in late June and age to purple-pink and finally brown. The bark of mature plants is cinnamon-brown and exfoliates.

Ilex verticillata--winterberry or Michigan holly, 6 to 10 feet in height with an equal spread. It can be pruned to keep it smaller or turn it into a small landscape tree. Slender stems with dense branching make this a fine natural screen. Leaves are a deep green in summer but no significant fall color. The fruit is bright red and ripens in late August, persisting into January. ' Sparkleberry' is a choice hybrid cultivar due to excellent fruit color. As with other hollies, both sexes are needed to get berries on the female plants. Plant in moist, acidic soil with a high organic content.

Rhus aromatica--fragrant sumac, 2 to 6 feet in height with a spread of 6 to 10 feet. A low, irregular, spreading shrub with a medium texture. Ordinary green leaves turn orange, red to reddish-purple in autumn. The yellowish flowers yield fuzzy, red-orange fruit in autumn, persisting into winter. ' Gro-low' is a recommended low-growing cultivar. Adaptable regarding soil texture, it grows best in acidic soil. Grows in full sun to partial shade.

Viburnum opulus ' compactum'--dwarf European cranberrybush viburnum; 2 to 4 feet in height with a slightly greater spread. This upright, spreading, multistemmed shrub forms a rounded mound. The glossy, dark green leaves turn yellow-red to reddish-purple in autumn. Showy white flowers appear in May followed by berry-like fruits in September. The dwarf cultivars do not fruit well. This plant is very adaptable to a variety of soils and grows in full sun to light shade.

Perennials might include Achillea 'Moonshine'-Moonshine Yarrow , Asclepias tuberosa-Butterfly Weed, Coreopsis lanceolata or Coreopsis verticillata 'Moonbeam', Dicentra eximia-Fringed Bleeding Heart, Echinacea purpurea-Purple Coneflower, Gaillardia x grandiflora-Blanket Flower, Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm'-Black-eyed Susan,Salvia x superba-Perennial Salvia,Scabiosa spp.-Pincushion Flower, Sedum 'Autumn Joy' or
Veronica spicata 'Sunny Border Blue', also called Spike Speedwell.

Hope these suggestions are helpful.


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