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foundation shrub options/design

12 years ago

I'm new to gardening and I'm feeling overwhelmed so I'm hoping to get some more experienced advise here. We recently bought an attached, brick, tudor style home, and I'm having a hard time deciding what to plant in the front foundation bed.

The bed to the right of the front walk has white evergreen azaleas, but the bed to the left (13x6, full sun) is totally empty. Behind this bed is a low (maybe 2 feet) brick foundation to a covered porch which then has two windows into the house, you can't see the front door from the walk.

Here's what I'm thinkingÂ

Dwarf Burford Holly to the far left to anchor the bed, be 4-season interest, and hide an ugly window well cover. Because this will eventually be a 4-6 foot compact mound I was thinking a more natural/organically shaped upright shrub (max. 3-4 foot wide) would be nice contrast in the center of the bed. I'm not big on showy flowers so I was thinking a Little Henry Sweetspire, or Chokeberry, which would give nice fall color, but they both seem to send up suckers and I'm concerned about them taking over the remaining right side of the bed where I was hoping to put a small herb garden (full shade backyard is a subject for another day).

So I guess my questions are

1) Any thoughts on the layout idea: 4-6 mounding shrub, 3-4 ft. upright, rosemary and lavender backdrop to an assorted herb garden?

2) Any suggestions for that center plant: 3-4 foot max, maybe upright deciduous with white flowers or an interesting fall color?

3) If I plant a Sweetspire or another suckering shrub, can they be controlled at all?

I appreciate any suggestions people might have.

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