Ask a Question forum: bushes for the front of the house

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Name: Random Bunny
Indiana
random_bunny75
Aug 12, 2018 2:04 PM CST
Hi

We have a house in a sub division in Indiana (zone 6). There is a small strip that runs along the front door/front of the house (which faces East)-- about 30 ft long and 3 ft wide, (see picture- mulch strip in front of the steps). There were 5 Junipers planted there by the previous owner (I don't know why), we pulled them as we really hated them and now we have to plan for what to plant there this month. Did I say we are rookie garderners?

Yesterday my wife and I spent a bunch of money ($$$) and bought- 2 dappled willows, 2 forsythias and 3 variegated weigelas. The plan was that we will plant dappled willows at the 2 ends, then 2 forsythias inside and then 3 weigelas in the middle.

Now as I do more research unfortunately after spending money Sad I realize that these are some big bushes, and they are probably not right for the front of the house as they will take over. I have a few questions if someone can help.
1.Do you guys agree these are probably not the right bushes to plant where I was thinking of planting them? My hypothesis is that they need bigger yard and they should not be right in front of the house.
2.Can you recommend other bushes to plant there- those won't take over and won't grow more than 2-4 ft tall and about 3-4 ft wide? We are thinking something that will have all year interest- flowers in spring, flowers in summer, some color in Fall, etc. Something that can grow at a moderate rate.
3.Where can I buy them at a reasonable price?

Thank you very much.

Thumb of 2018-08-12/random_bunny75/a5cd82

[Last edited by random_bunny75 - Aug 12, 2018 2:47 PM (+)]
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Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid hobbyist/Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Dahlias Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
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BigBill
Aug 12, 2018 6:01 PM CST
Slow growing bushes is what should be planted there. Perhaps English boxwood?
Otherwise some other evergreens that are dwarf varieties.
All this that you bought would be better off where they have room to grow, room to spread and room to blossom freely. You would have to keep them pruned so drastically that I think that they would look silly.
“The only stupid question is the one that is never asked!”
[Last edited by BigBill - Aug 12, 2018 6:02 PM (+)]
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Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Roses Zinnias Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover Bookworm
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: United States of America Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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pepper23
Aug 12, 2018 6:48 PM CST
Deutzia Chardonnay Pearls is a good one. Likes part shade and only gets about 3 feet by 3 feet.

There are some weigelas that stay smaller and that will work, just need to look up cultivars that are smaller.

Ruby Slippers Dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea is another good one.

Incrediball Hydrangea gets about 4 feet b y 4 feet here in my yard and is a favorite of mine.

There are also some dwarf lilacs but those are just spring bloomers then done.
Name: Random Bunny
Indiana
random_bunny75
Aug 12, 2018 8:03 PM CST
Thank you so much.
Any thoughts on these>>>>>> Diabolo purple ninebark, Royal Burgundy Barberry, Little princess spirea, Emerald Gaitey Euonomys, False cypress, some type of boxwood, hostas?
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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sallyg
Aug 12, 2018 8:10 PM CST
Might use the weigela in front of the porch railing.
I would not use forsythia at all.
Can the dappled willow go out in the yard somewhere? Or one of them on the far corner of the porch?
I wouldn't put any shrubs in the mulch in front of the steps. I'd put perennials or annuals, or edging plants like Liriope. Or only the most low growing and dwarf, boxwoods are nice, tidy and slow.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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sallyg
Aug 12, 2018 8:16 PM CST
Not ninebark, that grows very wide.
Barberry- idiot proof but you'll have to prune/shear, and it is spiny.
Hosta, great- if not hot full sun
False cypress, afraid it would get huge eventually
Em Gaiety euonymus- you could probably keep in check
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Roses Zinnias Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover Bookworm
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: United States of America Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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pepper23
Aug 13, 2018 2:19 AM CST
Spirea to me is an ok bush, more boring than anything.

Barberry, idiot proof but it's on the invasive list in a lot of states now and there are better alternatives, like Ceanothus americanus ( New Jersey Tea) or Itea virginica (Virginia sweetspire).

Hosta need shade or morning sun only but great plants otherwise. Range in size from mini to huge.

False cypress, agree, it will get big.

Euonymus- I find a lot of these grow like a climber instead of a shrub.

Ninebark- choose a dwarf variety. Little Devil is one of them.
Hurst, TX (Zone 8a)
Dog Lover Region: Texas
luis_pr
Aug 13, 2018 4:59 AM CST
Euonymusgot a lot of powdery mildew and had to be yanked. But there is a yellow variegated version that people near me like.
Name: Random Bunny
Indiana
random_bunny75
Aug 13, 2018 5:27 AM CST
Thank you Pepper23, Sallyg

Do you guys have any other recommendations for zone 5/6 besides what I listed above? Thank you so much.
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Roses Zinnias Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover Bookworm
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: United States of America Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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pepper23
Aug 13, 2018 5:02 PM CST
There are some viburnums that stay short that might work. I highly recommend calling this nursery to see if they have any they can recommend.

http://www.classicviburnums.co...

https://www.bluestoneperennial...

Here is a list of other shrubs to check out. Not all will be available at big box stores but all will be easy enough to find online. I'll post links to help with that.

Ceanothus americanus ( New Jersey Tea) https://www.prairienursery.com...

Itea virginica (Virginia sweetspire)- This is commonly sold at big box stores around here during spring season.

Spiraea tomentosa (Steeplebush)- https://www.prairienursery.com...

Symphoricarpos albus (White Snowberry)- https://www.prairienursery.com...

Ninebark, dwarf varieties- Little Devil, Tiny Wine, Tiny Wine Gold, are a few dwarf varieties. The first 2 are easy to find at big box stores. I've not seen the other one in person yet.

Weigela is a good choice also, just have to research different cultivars to see which ones meet size requirements. I have seen a lot of different varieties that are smaller.

Caryopteris (Blue Mist Shrub)- https://www.bluestoneperennial...

(Fothergilla gardenia)- https://www.bluestoneperennial...

Hydrangea quercifolia aka Oakleaf hydrangea Ruby Slippers or Pee Wee.

https://www.bluestoneperennial...




springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Aug 13, 2018 5:09 PM CST
Heavenly Bamboo-Nandina, I have these on my east side and they do great, I've grown them for over 10 years. I pruned mine up into a little tree, it is about 6ft tall now.
Azaleas-there are some that do well w shade and are winter-hardy for your area.
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Roses Zinnias Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover Bookworm
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: United States of America Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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pepper23
Aug 13, 2018 5:22 PM CST
I wouldn't plant nandina. It's actually listed as a noxious weed in the U.S. and has been known to poison birds.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Aug 13, 2018 5:25 PM CST
It is sold in garden centers all over Missouri, and I have never had it spread from where I put it. I have never seen birds eat it.
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Roses Zinnias Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover Bookworm
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: United States of America Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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pepper23
Aug 13, 2018 5:39 PM CST
There are a lot of plants that are listed as noxious weeds that are sold in garden centers. The big companies that grow these tend to ignore problem plants and sell them as cure alls. It pays to research before buying to know what you are getting into.

https://mdc.mo.gov/trees-plant...

http://extension.missouri.edu/...
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Aug 13, 2018 7:47 PM CST
I have several plants that are on the list, and they have not given me any problems, I do not intend to remove them, and I would plant them again. I did my research and decided to use them. Everyone has to make those choices themselves. I have tried on the other hand to plant natives on several occasions, and have decided the word 'native' translates into weed that will spread like fire by the millions. I avoid them now, they take over the place! IMO one should be wary of planting natives in a garden w/o research because they are persistent. Everyone has different views.
Name: Random Bunny
Indiana
random_bunny75
Aug 13, 2018 8:36 PM CST
Do you guys recommend any dwarf evergreens for my zone? We are going to a local nursery tomorrow to see what all they recommend. But, in general, we are thinking an evergreen and deciduous combination. And a small dwarf tree in the corner- laceleaf maple would have been good, but they are so expensive, not sure if there are alternatives.

I will post what my nursery recommends.
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
Aug 14, 2018 1:35 AM CST
Please do post recommendations but don't be in a hurry to buy.

I'm not familiar with your climate in terms of when it's considered to be Fall. Here in Texas we have a ways to go before it's safe to say that Fall has arrived. I'm mentioning this because Fall is an excellent time to plant. The soil will still be warm enough for the roots to get established.

This article is written for Texas but it is general enough to explain about Fall planting.
https://aggie-horticulture.tam...
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Roses Zinnias Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover Bookworm
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: United States of America Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
pepper23
Aug 14, 2018 2:19 AM CST
Fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus) is a good non evergreen one if you can get your hands on one.

Globe arborvitae is a good small evergreen. Boxwoods are another.

For small evergreen trees, dwarf Norway spruce, Oriental Spruce are a few that have dwarf cultivars.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Aug 14, 2018 9:57 AM CST
I think most evergreens will need more sun than facing east? If they are up close to the house they will be shaded too much, if you plan on putting them out a ways, they may get enough. I planted some evergreens once along my front porch and the side facing the house died off, because it didn't get light that direction, it looked really bad. Planting things that prefer more sun, will cause them to grow toward the sun side, and they will look like they are leaning.
Name: Random Bunny
Indiana
random_bunny75
Aug 14, 2018 1:20 PM CST
Here is what local gardener recommended for our space

green velvet boxwood
patriot hosta
peach drift rose
pee wee oak leaf hydrangea
pancile hydrangea
little henry sweetspire
golden mop cyprus

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