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Old 08-10-2013, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,952 posts, read 22,693,073 times
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I have a raised deck running the length of the back of my home -- its about 1100 sq ft -- and bordering the edges of the deck were 30 year old boxwoods that just began to age out. We pulled them out last Spring when we had the hardy board replaced on the shirting of the deck.

This is pretty much full sun (the deck is shielded by the roofline of the house) and we are in the Dallas, Tx area. A few days below freezing in the winter, but long dry summers with (city imposed) water restrictions typically during late July - mid Sept. The boxwoods were ok, but I think I'd like something different for a change. We do keep the shrubs at 28" height -- lower would be great, too. Something that stays green year round would be ideal.

Suggestions?
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:26 AM
 
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,952 posts, read 22,693,073 times
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Oh, should have mentioned that both sides of the house have Photonia and I want something different. They also grow aggressively and need constant cutting; they don't look good at under 3 feet in my experience. And they loose their leaves in the winter...
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Former LI'er Now Rehoboth Beach, DE
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Don't know if you have PRIVET hedges in your area or not. They fill in nicely and do well here.
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:41 AM
 
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It's not always easy finding something that will do well in heat,drought and still look good for 4 seasons. There are a few that come to mind but right now my favorite background plant in the garden has to be Carrissa Holly. I have kept mine at about 20-24 inches but they can get up to 3 feet if left completely untouched. They have a nice round shape and deal well with sun and heat and don't seem to be very water needy once established.

When I looked up a picture of the Carrissa I came across a site that actually has several other shrubs I was going to bring up and also has a page of natives to Texas that thrive on dry conditions so rather than repeat all of it, here are the links:

Shrubs for Texas Gardens | Calloways Nursery

Note there are choices like Indian Hawthorn for flowers if you want some color as well as the Holly (they list it as Dwarf Pink Hawthorn but it is part of a group that would work well from the Rhaphiolepis species and hybrids- just look for dwarf varieties) . The newer Nandina like the one listed are wonderful year round growers with changing colors and they can be kept to the height you need with trimming or better yet try a smaller non berry setting one like Compacta Nana.

The same site's page with Texas natives has some excellent suggestions for shrubs ideal for your conditions: Native Texas Shrubs, Beautiful Structure | Calloways Nursery Many on this page are extremely drought resistant and seem to thrive on poor soil and neglect.

Be aware that several gardeners here have a tendency to suggest things that do well in their much more northern climates with higher humidity and rainfall and you will need to really research each one for the conditions for what your part of Texas is like. You are better off looking into sites like the following which have researched Texas conditions:

Texas SuperstarĀ®

NPIN: Recommended Native Plants - Drought Resistant Plants for Texas and Beyond
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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I love nandina. They are so Southern, have terrific change of color and seem pretty hardy with few diseases or pests.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
44,634 posts, read 61,638,098 times
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Barberry Bush should do well there, they come in several varieties and sizes, crimson colors, drought
tolerant.
Cimson Pygmy Barberry | Crimson Barberry
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:49 AM
 
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Bulldog, what is the name of the shrub that you have shown in your picture?

Thank you.
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Oviedo
452 posts, read 709,929 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirl View Post
I have a raised deck running the length of the back of my home -- its about 1100 sq ft -- and bordering the edges of the deck were 30 year old boxwoods that just began to age out. We pulled them out last Spring when we had the hardy board replaced on the shirting of the deck.

This is pretty much full sun (the deck is shielded by the roofline of the house) and we are in the Dallas, Tx area. A few days below freezing in the winter, but long dry summers with (city imposed) water restrictions typically during late July - mid Sept. The boxwoods were ok, but I think I'd like something different for a change. We do keep the shrubs at 28" height -- lower would be great, too. Something that stays green year round would be ideal.

Suggestions?
BLUEBERRY BUSHES!!!

I checked your zone, either 7b or 8a. I'm in central Fl, zone 9b/10a and I can get tons of blueberries. They're first cousins to azaleas so you can prune them to 1/3 of their size. Use oak leaves for mulch because they love acid soil and you'll have a thick hedge that serves a purpose!

UF has developed several strains of highbush varieties that can require as little as 100 chill hours, wherein rabbiteyes, (what we see in grocery stores) can need up to thousands.

Just remember, blueberries are stupid and you have to prune the flowers off the first year, or the plant will put all it's energy into fruiting and kill the plant by the 3rd year.
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:09 PM
 
25,619 posts, read 36,712,723 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VAFan View Post
Bulldog, what is the name of the shrub that you have shown in your picture?

Thank you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirl View Post
Oh, should have mentioned that both sides of the house have Photonia and I want something different. They also grow aggressively and need constant cutting; they don't look good at under 3 feet in my experience. And they loose their leaves in the winter...
Well there goes that idea.

Some type of Abelia.
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