apartment building front garden - Knowledgebase Question

West Hollywood, Ca
Question by mzvoleff
April 19, 2009
We need to replace all of our old shrubs of our aparmtent building which faces east in West Hollywood CA Please suggest colorful hardy plants which please the eye and save water. We are also installing an automatic watering system.


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Answer from NGA
April 19, 2009

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There are a number of plants that will grow well in the site you describe. My first choice would be 'Endless Summer' Hydrangea. This plant produces flowers from spring through fall and would be a standout next to a patio. Hydrangea macrophylla Endless Summer is a mop-head type hydrangea with the unique ability to bloom consistently on both old and new wood. This plant provides beautiful flowers all summer long. The flowers grow up to 8" in diameter, with pink blooms in alkaline soils and blue blooms in acidic soil. Since Endless Summer blooms on new wood, removal of spent flowers will encourage re-bloom. Height 3-5' Spread 3-5' Rounded shape. Other suggestions include: Syringa meyeri 'Palibin' (Dwarf Meyer Lilac) Cultural Requirements: Full sun to part shade in well drained soil. One of the easiest dwarf lilacs to grow. Resistant to powdery mildew. Ornamental Characteristics: Compact form, excellent branch structure, with dark green leaves turning bronze in the fall. Attractive reddish-purple buds open to fragrant, pale pink flowers. Uses in the Landscape: Great choice for the shrub border, an informal hedge, near patio, deck or sidewalk where fragrance can be appreciated. Grows 4-5' tall; 5-7' spread. Aronia arbutifolia 'Brilliantissima' (Brilliant Red Chokeberry) Cultural Requirements: Best in full sun, but tolerant of partial shade. Prefers well-drained, slightly acidic soil. Once established chokeberries are adaptable to temporarily wet and dry conditions. Ornamental Characteristics: Glossy, dark green leaves turn a brilliant scarlet in October. Abundant cluster of white flowers occur in May. Outstanding showy red fruit ripen in September and persist through the winter if birds don't eat them first. Uses in the Landscape: Chokeberries tend to sucker and form large colonies, which can be used for naturalizing, or in a large shrub border, or groupings. Grows 6-8' tall; spreads 3-5'. Aronia arbutifolia (Red Chokeberry) Cultural Requirements: Best in full sun, but tolerant of partial shade. Prefers well-drained, slightly acid soil. Once established chokeberries are adaptable to temporarily wet and dry conditions. Ornamental Characteristics: Lustrous dark green leaves turn red to purplish-red in October. Small clusters of white flowers occur in mid to late May. Showy red fruits start to ripen in September, often attracting birds and persisting into winter. Uses in the Landscape: Chokeberries tend to sucker and form large colonies, which can be used for naturalizing, or in a large shrub border, or groupings. Grows 6-8' tall, 3-5' wide. Planting recommendations include amending the entire bed with organic matter prior to planting your shrubs, planting at the same soil level as they were growing in the nursery pots, and watering them regularly while their roots get established. Spacing depends upon the mature width of the plant you choose. Space them far enough apart so they have room to grow together, but won't be overcrowded when they reach maturity. Best wishes with your new shrubs!

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