|what are the best types of shrubs to use for planting in flower bed close to house, particularly in front and sides. I am also looking for something tiered, taller in back and low to ground in front, something that will still have some green throughout the year and is not labor intensive to up keep. Also what would be my best choice of retaining material to use to border walkway and flower bed.|
|I would include small azaleas, alpine rhododendrons (such as Ramapo or Purple Gem, maybe heath or heather, pieris, sky rocket junipers or perhaps even dwarf conifers. Depending upon whether you have shade or sun you can fill in around the shrubs with perennials or annuals for color splash. As you are looking through the garden center be sure to choose either sun loving or shade loving plants depending upon the sun or shade exposure in your planting beds.
Organic mulches such as shredded bark or bark nuggets or even cedar mulch are good walkable materials for walkways, or you can use stones or gravel.
Best wishes with your landscape!