Anyone feel like helping me brainstorm ideas for what to plant in front
of my north facing porches? I'm thinking something that grows about 2-3
feet high, looks decent all year (deciduous is fine if it's still
reasonably attractive denuded), with at least one period of Really Nice
(blooming especially would be nice, but I'll take fun foliage or
seedpods or fruit), and will tolerate partial sun/ partial shade and
live without too much babying from me, including getting through the
summer in Portland without having to be watered much once it's established.
I'm toying with the idea of azaleas, but the foliage doesn't thrill me,
and since that's mostly what we'd be looking at all year I'd like some
other suggestions. Any good ideas? I'd like to consider all options,
though I'm really liking the thought of something that at least at some
point throws out a nice flame-orange or purple or the like.
well you had me for a moment until you mentioned flame orange and
purple......soooooo, there's Hellebore in colors ranging in temperatures
from white with grape or dark freckles, deep burgundy, red's, and an almost
black one. Being in Portland, you have a good access to awesome nurseries
and shouldn't have problems finding these.
Then there is Pieris. A slow growing shrub. Has beautiful flowers ranging in
colors from creamy whites, pinks, deep red's (one called Valley Valentine
comes to mind). And is evergreen like the Hellebore's leaves are.
Dry shade you can go with Epimediums. Trycirtis or toad lilies are late
bloomers and shade lovers. Everyone does hosta's but there are some awesome
leaf textures with some of the better varieties of hosta's.
There are dwarf varieties of azalea's. Then there are a wide assortment of
hydrangea's in variegation and flower colors (Oak Leaf have white blossoms
and will get quite large, but there are dwarf varieties of these too)
I suggest you call Forest Farms nursery and get their catalog and be amazed
by their reasonable prices and incredible selection. they're in Oregon.
541-846-7269 or website www.forestfarm.com and no, I'm not affiliated with
them, just ordered from them and am impressed with selections (the book is
518 pages thick and I've only gotten half way thru, I've already found a
black twig dogwood!<g>)
the list is endless. Good luck to you. let us know what you decide to
madgardener, up on the ridge, back in Faerie Holler, overlooking English
Mountain in Eastern Tennessee, zone 7?, Sunset zone 36
This has also crossed my mind, but don't they need a lot of water? I'm
pretty sure I'd need to be watering them every week in the summer. And
this year being so dry, it's really a reminder not to waste so many
resources on coddling the garden. Maybe I need to stop by a native
I have a low hedge of Daphne odora growing along the north side of my house.
It's blooming right now (I'm north of you on Sauvie Island) and the scent is
fabulous. Not exactly the colors you wanted, but it is an attractive plant
all year and low maintenance, too.
I've thought about daphne, but I'm a bit concerned about the ant issue,
especially if I grow a whole hedge. I'm looking to fill 4 beds about 3 x
8 ft each. Do you get ants all over yours? A friend of mine who lives
not too far away loves her daphne, but she does get lots of ants.
I may just have to have someone come help me design mixed beds.
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