Hydrangea design plantings?


We want to change out some of the shrubs in front of our house. We have a small cape with a small front garden and I would like to keep it fairly casual. The house faces East but it has neighboring trees to the south of the front yard that are getting larger, so there isn't more than a few hours of morning sun right up against the house. We have a holly there that is doing well and itea did fine there but it was a mistake because it really suckers and expanded way too much in the space. Spirea didn't bloom much, I would think not enough sun, so they are coming out too.

I am thinking of adding hydrangeas to these foundation beds. I already tried one..and it was not hardy enough and rarely bloomed and stayed pretty small. So that one is coming out and I want to try instead to use an Annabelle right up against the house with some Endless Summer in front of that. The Holly would be next to it on the corner. That would be one side of the front door. The other side, I don't know what to I am pretty sure I should add at least one more hydrangea on that side, but maybe more than one. Maybe an oakleaf behind an Endless Summer?

My concern though is, these are not evergreen and in the winter they probably will look less than casual. [g] So I am trying to figure out if there is some other shrub I should try to place behind them or somewhere in the bed that will keep them from looking ratty in the winter.

Has anyone ever tried this with hydrangeas? Any thoughts?



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