Evergreen shrub needed for front of house

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Jenny Victoria, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Jenny Victoria

    Jenny Victoria Member

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    I am looking for an evergreen shrub for the front of my house. Height to be about 3 ft. at maturity. The site is south facing and fairly dry. This shrub is to replace a Choisya ternata which was growing into the perimeter drains. Does anyone have any suggestions? The house is Georgian style so I want something hopefully globular and suitable for the house (fairly formal). Thanks for any advice. PS Box does not do well in this site.
     
  2. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

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    Would a matching pair of tall statuesque planters work - then you change up seasonally - or - boxwood permanently ?
     
  3. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

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    Postscript to my earlier reply - what about one of the newer Pieris japonica --

    That said - I don't know that this plant has the formal look you hope for --- what's planted around the Fairmont Empress, for example - usually Boxwood, right? In containers - which I think might be a viable solution - I rarely water my Emerald something boxwood in tall planters aside our front entry - it's established 5 yrs now

    Maybe the newer Pieris are cleaner (my former ones dropped leaves and Mini flowers)
     
  4. Jenny Victoria

    Jenny Victoria Member

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    Boxwood wouldn't work, nor planters. The beds in front of the house are about 25 feet long on either side of the front door and the fronts planted with lavender which does well. We need something for the back of the beds against the house as an evergreen to set off the lavenders. This plant (2 actually one either side of the steps) would replace a Choisya ternata which has gone into the drains. I am not a fan of Pieris and want something more formal that will not try to grow into the perimeter drains. We have boxwood lining the path to the front door and frankly it is struggling.
     
  5. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

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    Rosemary w your lavender ?
     
  6. Jenny Victoria

    Jenny Victoria Member

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    Thought about that. Arp does well here (at least for a couple of years, and you do get the blue/lavender flowers. I really did want something very green though and different shaped leaves. We also have a deer problem. I'm thinking along the lines of an evergreen Viburnam as we have one huge one in the back which the deer don't touch and it can be sheared into a globular shape. However the hunt goes on. Thanks for the suggestions and if you think of anything else please let me know.
     
  7. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

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    California lilac? It gets leggy but I've seen it sheared outside a public building nr Vanc

    That said - maybe the city garden employee is not so much a gardener vs a maintainer ;)
     
  8. Jenny Victoria

    Jenny Victoria Member

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    You won't believe this, but California lilac won't grow in our garden for some reason--also the "city garden employee" really likes to maintain the one we have to under 1 ft., lol.
     
  9. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

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    Gosh this is a puzzle - what do your neighbors plant ? Is there a garden in your n'hood that appeals to you? Are plants not thriving due to the soil or irrigatigation or some leaching fr house paint or stain or roof run off?

    Otherwise - I hope your sense of humour is ready--- i have seen this at Home Hardware --- I was kind of tempted for a narrow "hard to plant" spot that we'd like screened!
    Www.naturaedecor.com --- click on expandable trellis
     
  10. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I don't grow shrubs, do not know about the roots of these or whether you think spiny things are unfriendly. Or even if they are good growers - they're just shrubs I enjoyed looking at.
    Osmanthus heterophyllus - there are several cultivars
    Ilex aquifolium 'Ferox Argentea'
     
  11. Jenny Victoria

    Jenny Victoria Member

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    See what you mean. This isn't a case of screening off something, but rather enhancing "curb appeal". Neighbours plant the same old, same old things: Pieris japonica, Choisya ternata, lavender.
    Soil is awful in the front of the house and despite amending it, does not seem to improve. Lavender loves it, but really doesn't have any "oomph" unless blooming. Hydrangeas seem to do well, but the deer love them, also are deciduous. Too hot for rhodos and any of the cedars will go into the drain tile. Anyhow thanks for your ideas.
     
  12. Jenny Victoria

    Jenny Victoria Member

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    Osmanthus is a possibility, but not Ilex as these seem to be very slow growing. The hunt continues. Hitting the nurseries today to see what they recommend. Thanks for your response.
     
  13. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    If you want only 3 ft. at maturity, I would have thought slow-growing would be a good feature.
     
  14. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

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    Yes Wendy - I agree with what you say above. Fast growing is a whole different ballgame

    on a side note - I do find that what the nursery label says, is true after about 5 years - maybe up to 10
    I am thinking of rhodos esp - which I realize the OP isn't seeking.
     
  15. dt-van

    dt-van Active Member 10 Years

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    What about Abelia 'Edward Goucher' ? It's attractive and neat, with small glossy evergreen leaves, pretty pale pink flowers and attractively bronzy new growth. It takes sun or shade in the Pacific Northwest, but flowers better in sun. You sometimes see it used for low hedges, so it is quite amenable to pruning and could probably be trained and maintained in a nice full rounded shape to give the 'formal' look you want. There may be newer Abelia hybrids which would also work for you.
     
  16. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

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    i was just looking around the condo type plantings
    - skimmia japonica
    - nandina
    _ viburnum
    are three to consider (ie choose one so make a consistent planting design)

    edit to add - one of the larger HEBE might be interesting with your existing lavendar --- some hebe are fragile when the temps dip down cold - but if your place is sheltered and south facing - it might work

    without knowing your specific soil and other conditons ... these might be worth researching


     
  17. dt-van

    dt-van Active Member 10 Years

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    According to this link Abelia (or someof them) are deer resistant. Though I understand that's always a relative thing.
     
  18. Jenny Victoria

    Jenny Victoria Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. Am not a fan of Skimmia japonica but the other two are possibilities.
     
  19. Jenny Victoria

    Jenny Victoria Member

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    Thank you for the suggestion. The deer don't appear to eat the Abelia I have in the front. So will check your suggestion out. Hebe I know is iffy. My neighbour grows it, but she has an in-ground watering system. I think the location I have in mind is too dry--even with watering.
     
  20. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

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    after another walk around a commercial property in the PacNW coastal area - what about - what I call "mall roses" --- I believe they are Mediland ... usually pink or red ... I have one that I have treated poorly (ie originally planted in decent soil but no summer water other than when the sky is falling!) and it seems happy and - other than having to deal with thorns - is easy to maintain (prune it down in the spring)

    a row of those behind your lavender might be pretty
    granted - no winter leaf -

    other than that - I think we're pretty much at blackberries which seem to sprout up everywhere! (and even the deer seem to avoid them - but a bear or two might visit) I'm kidding of course, tho do tell us what you've found that might work. I think lots of people have these foundation planting questions.
     
  21. Jenny Victoria

    Jenny Victoria Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion of roses--the local deer love them. I lost all the roses/buds/new shoots on my 23 roses a few months ago.

    Russell Nurseries in Sidney suggested: Nandina, Cryptomeria, Viburnum, Birds nest spruce (think it was spruce),
    Escalonia.
    I went with the Birds nest spruce as it is evergreen, will get to approx. 3 ft. high and wide and is generally well-behaved.
    Thanks to all who offered advice. Regards.
     

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