what to plant in a small area

I have a typical center hall colonial with a front porch that goes the entire length of the house. From the drive way the sidewalk to the front door boxes off a little 8 foot by 6 foot section. I need to plant something there. I want a bush or plant that will not need a bunch of trimming or pruning and will reach the top of the rail of the porch. Don't want anything too high because it will block the view of the driveway from the front door. I originally put a holly there but the one I placed there is growing too quick, I thought it was a slow grower that I could trim back over time. On the other side in front and around the porch I have mountain laurel. but wanted to put something different on the other side. Can anyone recommend anything or a good design for such a small area.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I need a bit more information Larry. What kind of sun does this spot get? Eastern? Full South or West? If you get at least six hours of sunlight, a Beautyberry would be nice. they only get around 6 foot tall and 4 foot wide. Nine bark gets about 7 tall and 5 wide but you could prune it a little in the fall to shape it if you didnt like it's natural shape. If it's shady, you could have a little shade garden with hosta's, epimediums, astilbe, hellebore and the like. If it's sunny, you could plant sunny disposition perennials to greet people as they come up to the front of your house. there are hundreds of options. madgardener Eastern Tennessee, zone 7, Sunset zone 36

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Boxwood. 'Though you didn't mention where you are. Boxwood is very genteel and slow-growing in Virginia. And a sign of long-time residence and respectability. If you want some color (and are in a region with a temperate climate and acid soil), there are slow-growing varieties of azaleas that are easily trimmed, evergreen, and quite spectacular for a couple of weeks in spring.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
- Tallahassee, FL - Only where people have learned to appreciate and cherish the landscape and its living cover will they treat it with the care and respect it should have - Paul Bigelow Sears.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I think some of the viburnums might be nice for that situation. Some are relatively slow growing - (perhaps viburnum laurestinus) -and many have fragrant flowers. I'm partial to viburnum mariessei, even though it is deciduous. It has pretty dogwood-like flowers in late spring for several weeks, has a very architectural shape (it makes natural horizontal layers), and it has nice red berries in the fall.
- Tallahassee, FL - Only where

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
looks like there are allot of good ideas, i'll have to read over when i have more time to answer your questions it has full sun from morning until like 3 or 4pm i'd like something that will stay green all year long

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Greg's suggestion of a viburnum is a good one. If you need evergreen, look for V. davidii or V. tinus 'Spring Bouquet', but they require a mild zone (7 b at least). V tomentosum 'Mariesii' is a lovely choice but is deciduous and will get to be a big shrub in time - 8'x10' is not unusual - and too much pruning to keep in size will destroy the form. 'Summer Snowflake' is a much more compact choice. You might want to consider one of the smaller forms of Nandina, evergreen azaleas or Rhododendron yak. hybrids. Not exactly very creative, but attractive and very serviceable. Also not evergreen but a very nice and multi-season interest shrub would one of the dwarf oakleaf hydrangeas, like 'Pee Wee' or 'Syke's Dwarf.'
pam - gardengal
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Oh, if we're recommending Viburnums, may I add Viburnum 'Cony' to the list? :o)
Dave

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I need to know your zone and state. How high is it to the top of porch railing? What types of plants are in the landscape out front? Do you want low maintenance plants?
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.