Sidewalk Landscape question

Asked May 15, 2017, 10:31 AM EDT

Hello - The area in the attached picture has had numerous changes over the past 13 years since we moved in. What I have now is working well but I do have a question. I have three existing endless summer hydrangeas with a spreading yew on the left size of the picture. This spring up pulled up a dwarf Japanese yew as it had died on the South side completely and just looked terrible. So I purchased two little lime hydrangeas to accent the existing three and create a bigger effect to our house. I planted these last week. As I look at this, there is still a gap that I want to fill to the right of the little lime and between the brick side of the house. The distance from the right edge of plan to the brick is 55 inches. Someone at Pahl's Market suggested a Golden Duchess Eastern Hemlock because it loves shade and would add strong color diversity. I am not sure because it would be "all alone" in the corner. My house faces North/Northeast with 1-2 hours of direct sun and also has a slight overhang from porch. So with this background, I have two questions. 1. Is adding another plant to this area even make sense and is the Golden Duchess a good choice? 2. Should I maybe add more hydrangeas and then mix up the front edging with colorful and diverse perennials? Thank you very much. Steve Wilson 651-470-9499

Dakota County Minnesota

1 Response

You have developed a very nice plan. Golden Duchess might be a better choice for that corner than another Little Lime if the corner is shadier than the rest of the border. Little Lime, as you know, likes part shade to sun. Golden Duchess likes part sun to full shade. Golden Duchess grows 3-4' wide and your nearby Little Lime will reach 3-5' in width. The hemlock would eventually not be "all alone." If you do plant the hemlock, make sure that you leave at least 2' between its center and the wall. It would certainly add a pop of color.

Your questions:
1. Yes, horticulturally it makes sense. However, this is also a matter of taste. You need to go with what you are happy with. You make a good point in that the corner looks bare.

2. Horticulturally, that corner might not be the best for another Little Lime, as mentioned above, due to not enough sun. Also, it may eventually be a bit crowded. Perennials in the front border would certainly be a nice addition, perhaps something with nectar that attracts butterflies? You wouldn't need too much diversity.

Perhaps you could draw your border out. (It's likely that you already have.) Then experiment with different colors. Color in the hemlock then exchange it with another Little Lime in bloom. Add blobs of color across the front edging to represent the possible perennials.

It's clear from what you have written that you have excellent ideas and have given this a great deal of thought. Best of luck as you proceed.