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Old 04-10-2012, 10:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JQ Public View Post
Lantana would be a nice perennial for the front or middle front. Really lasts in the NC heat. I believe it dies back to the ground every winter as well. No muss no fuss.
Lantanas are generally not technically perennial but some do seem to last. But there are some new varieties that are perennial.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adlnc07 View Post
.. but maybe a privet of some sort, or nandina?

I have Swift Creek Privets
Privets can get huge. I looked up the Swift Creek variety and saw that while they are a dwarf variety, they can get up to five feet tall/wide, which is probably too big for the OP.

I like azaleas, but they do get a lot of flowers in the spring. You have to watch the size on those as well as some varieties can get quite large.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:18 AM
 
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Some rosemary would look nice - looks good all year round, would need trimming so it doesn't get out of hand if you get a lot of sun.

Also hellebores, (lenton rose) are nice low plants that look great all year here. They have white drooping blooms several times a year including winter. But they do attract some bumble bees in the spring/summer. (Not as bad as some other flowers though.)

I would not recommend privet - ours grows super fast and we have to really stay on top of trimming. Plus it sprouts everywhere you trim, and sheds seedlings like crazy, so it's like out to get ya, lol!
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:50 AM
 
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Loropatelums would be very good also. They have a general deep burgundy to green leaf color with small pink blooms in spring. They have an interesting growth pattern but can be trimmed as needed to spheres, hedge or square. They do not die back and are easy to grow.

t
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:01 AM
 
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Loropetalum (aka Chinese fringe flower) is awesome but will give you flowers during short periods of the year. It is evergreen, so won't be "bare branches" during the winter. 'Purple diamond' is a dwarf variety that grows ~4' wide and tall. It has a purple hue, and not sure how that would match your brick, but you could buy one at Lowe's and see how it looks. Loropetalum also comes in green.

I planted it with lambs ear and the contrast is really pretty.

My house came with hollies along the front of the house and I can't stand them.

ETA: oops, just saw tombiolwani's post above suggesting the same thing!
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Wake Forest, North Carolina
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What about anchoring the front bed with a dwarf evergreen?

There are several varieties of dwarf falsecypress, Chamaecyparis, that fit the bill. Look for a slow growing variety that only gets to 3-5 feet. You'll never need to prune. But you will need to water during the heat of summer, especially the first year as the plants get established.
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