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Old 03-25-2012, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Coast of Somewhere Beautiful
2,379 posts, read 4,795,988 times
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We need to replace the landscaping shrubs located directly in front of our home (see pic below). We've talked with our local nurseries but haven't come up with anything that meets our preferences. If anyone has any suggestions, we'd love to hear 'em.

- Planting zone 8, coastal SC with sandy, well-draining soil.
- Irrigation is available
- Eastward facing, with often intense sun during the morning, then shaded by the house
- Maximum 2-3' height, free-form shape that does not require frequent pruning
- Maintains leaf presence all season
- Flowering (other than white) is fine but not a requirement.
- My LW does not want knock out roses or encore azaleas.

Thanks for any suggestions!

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Old 03-25-2012, 08:26 PM
 
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Your home looks lovely from that shot.

Sandy soil in heat makes for a difficult combination to landscape. Probably one of the toughest group of shrubs would be hollies. Some of the dwarf Japanese hollies might fit the bill, like Ilex crenata 'Helleri' and Hetzii. I love the Carissa Holly that has become very popular. It can get bigger than you have in mind but tolerates "haircuts" well so it can be kept small and still look full.

Your best bet for good shrubs would be to use information from a local source like Clemson. It's got a decent page on Hollies for SC, and if you look through that page you can find a few naturally smaller shrubs listed. HGIC 1066 Holly : Extension : Clemson University : South Carolina

Among other shrubs you may want to try would be Nandina (some of the newer dwarfs are well behaved) HGIC 1071 Nandina : Extension : Clemson University : South Carolina

Gardenias are a little tougher to keep healthy but some of the smaller varieties would be beautiful in that spot. HGIC 1065 Gardenia : Extension : Clemson University : South Carolina

Another shrub that I have in my garden that might be a workable is a spirea. Not the old fashioned huge shrub/bush but one of the newer small versions. I have several Bumalda spirea "Goldmound" that seem to be tolerant of drought and heat. It's described briefly near the bottom here: HGIC 1074 Spirea : Extension : Clemson University : South Carolina
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:42 PM
 
Location: rain city
2,958 posts, read 11,558,532 times
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I second the dwarf varieties of nandina.
Firepower dwarfhttp://ts1.mm.bing.net/images/thumbnail.aspx?q=4649040614000640&id=6ea4839dd6861 dc8738480f73eb5c7da&url=http%3a%2f%2fwww.evergreen ofjohnsoncity.com%2fNandina%2c%2520Dwarf%2520Purpl e%25205.JPG (broken link)


I also second dwarf gardenias.

http://ts2.mm.bing.net/images/thumbnail.aspx?q=4642937463701657&id=2f6d57dd49092 043aaa1767a903b18c1&url=http%3a%2f%2fwww.qscaping. com%2fImages%2fPhotos%2fF577-05.jpg (broken link)
Radicans miniature
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Coast of Somewhere Beautiful
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Thanks for the excellent and detailed feedback. I've visited Clemson's extension website, but never think about using it when I need it. I appreciate the detail and the links. Time to do some research.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:46 AM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
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Not a fan of nandina. They're an invasive species and although there's cultivars that are supposedly sterile, they said the same thing about bradford pears. And I also just don't think they're that attractive.

I wish I could help more but when it comes to shrubs, juniper is my answer to everything and that's not going to give you the flowers you're looking for.
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:30 PM
 
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My two cents: Using the site J&Em provided I would chose the Loropetalum burgandy because of the play of colors with the leaves and flowers in contrast the white railing of the porch.

HGIC 1085 Loropetalum : Extension : Clemson University : South Carolina
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:39 PM
 
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Thanks Azoria, it's nice to be on the same page!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
My two cents: Using the site J&Em provided I would chose the Loropetalum burgandy because of the play of colors with the leaves and flowers in contrast the white railing of the porch.

HGIC 1085 Loropetalum : Extension : Clemson University : South Carolina


You are right about the appearance being a beautiful contrast. I'm not sure how I could have missed them considering I have them in my own yard!. Thanks for the reality check.

Only a few versions stay small without some real pruning post bloom every spring - well at least in my neighborhood! I had several Purple Pixie Lorpetalum until a strong cold snap did them in a few winters back, and found them to be about the right size for PawleysDude needs without too much care or pruning. In spring the flowers were a pretty lilac tinged pink. I have dwarf Nandina in their place and they have been all season performers that have done very little to live up to the "evil" reputation older varieties earned as invasive plants.

I still have several Purple Diamonds Loropetalum that, with pruning, have stayed a little bit larger than what PawleysDude said he wanted (closer to 4 feet). Neighbors have similar varieties, one of which was really ignored until it grew into a 7-8 foot monster, in spite of hot and dry conditions. A landscaper came in and gave it a big trim back to about 4 feet in the fall and it is full and blooming right now! That's a tough plant. They would be a beautiful background for smaller green leaved flowers and really set off the white and gray of the porch.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:20 AM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,117 posts, read 5,494,315 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J&Em View Post
I have dwarf Nandina in their place and they have been all season performers that have done very little to live up to the "evil" reputation older varieties earned as invasive plants.
So you're admitting that they are invasive.

If they've "done very little", they've done something. When it comes to invasive species, all it takes is "very little" to become a huge problem later on down the road.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:27 AM
 
25,627 posts, read 31,455,264 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J&Em View Post
Thanks Azoria, it's nice to be on the same page!







You are right about the appearance being a beautiful contrast. I'm not sure how I could have missed them considering I have them in my own yard!. Thanks for the reality check.

Only a few versions stay small without some real pruning post bloom every spring - well at least in my neighborhood! I had several Purple Pixie Lorpetalum until a strong cold snap did them in a few winters back, and found them to be about the right size for PawleysDude needs without too much care or pruning. In spring the flowers were a pretty lilac tinged pink. I have dwarf Nandina in their place and they have been all season performers that have done very little to live up to the "evil" reputation older varieties earned as invasive plants.

I still have several Purple Diamonds Loropetalum that, with pruning, have stayed a little bit larger than what PawleysDude said he wanted (closer to 4 feet). Neighbors have similar varieties, one of which was really ignored until it grew into a 7-8 foot monster, in spite of hot and dry conditions. A landscaper came in and gave it a big trim back to about 4 feet in the fall and it is full and blooming right now! That's a tough plant. They would be a beautiful background for smaller green leaved flowers and really set off the white and gray of the porch.
I concur.
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:12 PM
 
2,063 posts, read 6,705,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
So you're admitting that they are invasive.

If they've "done very little", they've done something. When it comes to invasive species, all it takes is "very little" to become a huge problem later on down the road.
Really?

Admitting sure sounds like I am being accused of a crime. My Nandina have been perfectly well behaved and have exhibited none of the problems people have had with the older cultivars that sometimes got invasive by bird transference or root sucker. 'Done very little' is a term often used when saying nothing has happened when it was expected to happen. I'm sorry you took it as a challenge to your vast knowledge.
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