Need planting ideas for bed along side garage.

Just finished building the house (zone 5- Michigan). We went with a two-story side-entry garage, meaning the garage door faces the neighbors instead of the street. So the side of the garage now faces the street. The wall is 24' wide and the peek is about 19' above grade. There are two double hung windows with shutters on this wall facing the street. My father in law has built us a pair of window boxes for these windows that will also need to be incorporated into the planting scheme. A sidewalk leads from the driveway, near the garage door (which faces the neighbors) wraps along side the garage, then goes past our dining room windows, then curves towards the front porch entry. There is a 6' wide planting bed between the sidewalk and the garage, then it flares out in front of the dininng room windows before ending back at the sidewalk as it curves towards the front porch.
We need planting ideas for this bed between the sidewalk and the garage/house. The bed between the sidewalk and garage is 6' wide by about 28' long, which butts up to the bed in front of the dining room windows with is about 10' wide by 15' deep.
Along the garage my wife was thinking about planting low-growing shrubs under the two flower boxes, which would have several varieties of annuals, and perhaps a perrenial or two. Perhaps something cascading down like wisteria or a trumpet vine. Then between the two windows and on each side of them, we would plant a taller-growing shrub, perhaps a arborvitae or similar. Then fill in the area in front of the shrubs with a few select perrenials and many annuals. Would this work? Any better ideas?
Please be specific with plant reccomendations wherever possible. thanks, Matt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You haven't mentioned sun, partial sun, shade. Is it north, south, east or west facing, etc. Are there rain gutters on the garage or will the water and snow run off onto the plants. Snow will crush shrubs. Rain run-off will knock down some plants down.
--
Pardon my spam deterrent; send email to snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net
Visit my Rhododendron and Azalea web pages at:
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The garage wall faces North, and will have partial sun. There are gutters on the roof, but not over this area, as this is the gable end of the garage. The roof slopes to each side of this wall. There will be no rain or snow running off the roof here. So any ideas? thanks,
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That means that if snow slides off the roof it lands in front of the garage door where you have to shovel it. Good luck.
You said you were in zone 5 in Michigan. You have shade to partial shade.
For lower plants you could use shade-loving ground cover, such as Halls Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica Halliana), English ivy (Hedera helix), periwinkle (Vinca minor), Japanese spurge (Pachysandra ternimalis) or Longwood wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei Longwood).
Spring bulbs can be interplanted with evergreen ground cover plants, hostas can fill in between shrubs, and annuals such as coleus, begonias and impatiens can brighten shaded areas and fill in after bulbs in beds have faded.
For shrubs you could use oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia), Weller boxwood (Buxus sempervirens Welleri), Oregon grapeholly (Mahonia aquifolium), a number of azalea and rhododendron cultivars, and a selection of yews (Taxus species).
Here are some shade tolerant azaleas that are grown in Zone 5:
Rhododendron calendulaceum, the flame azalea, is a native American species, growing 4 to 6 feet high. It bears clusters of 2-inch clove-scented yellow to red-orange flowers in early summer, when most other azalea species have finished blooming. The leaves are 3 inches long and drop in the fall.
Rhododendron schlippenbachii, the royal azalea, is a deciduous species, of Japanese origin. It has soft green leaves that grow in whorls around the stem and turn yellow, orange and crimson in the fall. Its pink star-shaped flowers bloom in loose clusters in mid-spring and have a delicate fragrance.
Rhododendron minus (formerly R. carolinianum), the Carolina rhododendron, is a native American plant that grows wild in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. It is 3 to 6 feet high with a naturally rounded shape and dark green leaves 3 inches long. In mid-spring it is covered with 3-inch clusters of rose-pink flowers. There is also a variety with pure white flowers and lighter green leaves, R. carolinianum 'Album'.
Since azaleas are spring bloomers, some people like to cascade clematis down over the azaleas. Then when the azaleas finish blooming the clematis soon start to bloom adding a longer season of color. Clematis like their roots in the shade but will grow toward the sun. Some shade-tolerant varieties are: "Silver Moon", Clematis paniculata,
Whatever you get, make sure it is shade tolerant. Most bloomers like more sun.
Here are some native plant nurseries in Michigan:
Arrowhead Alpines P.O. Box 857, Fowlerville, MI 48836 Tel: 517/223-3581
Cold Stream Farm 2030 Free Soil Rd., Free Soil, MI 49411 Tel: 616/464-5809
Hartmann's Plantation, Inc. 310 60th St., P.O. Box E, Grand Junction, MI 49056 Tel: 616/253-4281
J.W. Toumey Nursery P.O. Box 445, Watersmeet, MI 49969 Tel: 906/358-4523
Lady's Mantle Nursery 1235 Morningside, Ann Arbor, MI 48103 Tel: 734/769-7304
Michigan Wildflower Farm 11770 Cutler Rd., Portland, MI 48875-9452 Tel: 517/647-6010
The Native Plant Nursery P.O. Box 7841, Ann Arbor, MI 48107 Tel: 734/994-9592
Nesta Prairie Perennials 1019 Miller Rd., Kalamazoo, MI 49001 Tel: 800/233-5025
Newaygo Conservation District Nursery 1725 E. 72nd St., Newaygo, MI 49337 Tel: 231/652-7493
Oikos Tree Crops P.O. Box 19425, Kalamazoo, MI 49019 Tel: 269/624-6233
Sandhill Farm 11250 10 Mile Road, Rockford, MI 49341 Tel: 616/691-8214
Shady Grove Native Trees and Shrubs 535 Sherwood Rd., Williamston, MI 48895 Tel: 517/249-3752
Wetlands Nursery P.O. Box 14553, Saginaw, MI 48601 Tel: 517/752-3492
WILDTYPE Design Native Plants & Seed, 900 North Every Rd., Mason, MI 48854 Tel: 517/244-1140
Wyman State Forest Nursery Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources, Route 2, Box 2004, Manistique, MI 49854 Tel: 906/341-2518 Fax: 906/341-8344
--
Pardon my spam deterrent; send email to snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net
Visit my Rhododendron and Azalea web pages at:
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.