General Discussion:

Suggestions for Shrubs

Messages posted to thread:

Mercyy28-Apr-03 07:06 PM EST 5a   
Susan28-Apr-03 09:09 PM EST 6a   
18-Mar-05 09:54 AM EST 4b   
ramblin' rose18-Mar-05 03:44 PM EST 8a   
GlenT20-Mar-05 10:59 AM EST 7   
Janet15-Aug-06 10:55 AM EST 5b   
Shari16-Aug-06 12:02 PM EST 6   
karen 17-Aug-06 03:17 PM EST 2   

Subject: Suggestions for Shrubs
From: Mercyy
Zone: 5a
Date: 28-Apr-03 07:06 PM EST

I'm looking for something to plant by a cement doorstep that will hide a foundation and something that will spread out a bit as well. The exposure would be south/east. I live in Northern Nova Scotia. Any suggestions?

Subject: RE: Suggestions for Shrubs
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 28-Apr-03 09:09 PM EST

You don't say whether you want an evergreen or a deciduous shrub. Assuming deciduous, several come to mind quickly. Foundations and cement usually mean somewhat alkaline conditions. Potentilla, Deutzia and Mockorange all grow well in alkaline environments. 'Abbotswood White' Potentilla is a nice mounding shrub of about 3 feet or so that is covered in small white flowers most of the summer. It loses its leaves in winter but, because the branches form a dense mound, it does hide the wall. The shrub gets a little scruffy as it gets older so it needs to be cut back severely every three years or so - it regrows quickly and flowers on new wood so you don't lose flowers.

Deutzia also has pretty, white flowers but only in June. The common 'Nikko Slender' grows to about 4 feet or so. It does not like being pruned and will not flower well if it has been pruned too much.

Mockorange can be either a big shrub or a small one, depending on the variety. It has highly scented flowers in June. It can take a few years for it to get mature enough to bloom. I like it as a companion to lilacs as they bloom close together in late May/early June and can provide a very powerful scent combination.

What I have at my front porch is several Emerald Gaiety euonymus - I prefer broadleafed evergreens to coniferous ones and I really like the green and white variegated foliage of Emerald Gaiety. My porch has a white lattice on the skirt and the white variegations on the leaves go well wih it. I have it interplanted with tall, maroon, bearded irises which add lots of color when they bloom in summer and their sword-like foliage makes a great contrast to the rounded oval leaves of the euonymus and reflect the sharp diagonals of the lattice on the porch skirt. I leave the iris foliage on all winter as I find the combination of the green and white euonymus, the white lattice, snow and the long green iris blades poking through the snow to be an interesting and attractive combination. While I had deliberately planted the euonymus for the green and white effect, the addition of the irises was one of those 'happy accidents' where you just stick something in because you have space for it there but it turns out to be perfect!:)

Subject: RE: Suggestions for Shrubs
From: (
Zone: 4b
Date: 18-Mar-05 09:54 AM EST

I'm in search of a narrow, upright, deciduous shrub that can withstand snow occasionally falling from the roof. The shrub must thrive in full sun and be drought tolerant. Tall order, i know. Any suggestions? thanx

Subject: RE: Suggestions for Shrubs
From: ramblin' rose
Zone: 8a
Date: 18-Mar-05 03:44 PM EST

try one on the lower growing laurels, Leucathoe, Zable laurel, Russian laurel...not only are they evergreen, they are tough! then maybe for some added colour, how about some clay pots, or, better, still, some brightly painted ceramic ones, filled with annuals??? RR

Subject: RE: Suggestions for Shrubs
From: GlenT
Zone: 7
Date: 20-Mar-05 10:59 AM EST

RR your suggestions are good for here on the west coast.

Zone 4b, your search has to consider what will grow in your area, prairies would it be?

I'm thinking some of the cornus, like the cornus mas with white flowers, and cornus sericea with the red or yellow twigs in winter. I see this up in Whistler where the snow slides off roofs and smashes anything that can't spring back after winter!

I think aronia is real popular now too, with its black berries and some kind of flowers. Not sure about weigelia, but it grows real fast if the snow does "prune" it once in a while.

Look at commercial plantings to see what they use in their abused and untended warehouse/commercial plantings in your rose I tend to think of what we would use in our area more than yours where choices are a bit more restricted...


Subject: RE: Suggestions for Shrubs
From: Janet
Zone: 5b
Date: 15-Aug-06 10:55 AM EST

If you want something to take snow load and spring back, I strongly suggest potentilla. We had a 200 lb. glass panel fall on ours from a solarium roof (glass was being replaced and the worker lost his grip). No one injured, and the potentilla was fine. Potentillas are very hardy (grow in the prairies) and now come in a variety of colours besides yellow.

Subject: RE: Suggestions for Shrubs
From: Shari (
Zone: 6
Date: 16-Aug-06 12:02 PM EST

I have to second the potentilla recommendations. I now live in the hot dry Southern BC Interior, but I grew up on the Prairies, and I can vouch for them as being tough, versatile and attractive to boot. They are used all over the place on the Prairies and out here in BC both by homeowners and in commercial plantings that don't get much attention or care. And they come in a variety of sizes, although none get very tall, say above 4'. I don't know if they'd be narrow enough for our Zone 4b friend but worth checking out.

Subject: RE: Suggestions for Shrubs
From: karen (
Zone: 2
Date: 17-Aug-06 03:17 PM EST

anyone out there know how to look after an gooseberry in an community garden in Edmonton. Thinking of moving it to a bigger pot down in the ground.Thanks! First we had very hot weather and dry now we got cool and windy weather. Also had to harvest the potatoes because someone stole the whole plot beside me. Usually we have another 3 to 4 weeks at least. wish Ihad my own house or lot in the country. If I won the lottery I could. Have great time everyone harvesting this years crops and flowers etc.

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