Advice on which shrubbery

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Old 12-30-08, 08:32 PM
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Advice on which shrubbery

Happy (almost) New Year!

After having to have my front yard decimated to clean up after a leaking underground oil tank, I'm left with a 'blank slate' that needs to be re-seeded, re-landscaped.

I'd like some recommendations on what shrubs might be suitable for a one foot wide strip of earth between a sidewalk and a foundation wall.

The area will get FULL sun from late morning to sunset (western exposure). I think I'm in Zone 7 ? central NJ ?

I'd prefer something in the evergreen family, but deciduous would be fine if the branches are 'dense' and attractive enough.

Here's the kicker though... I despise pruning shrubs... so I'd like something that will not eventually encroach into the front walk area, and will ultimately only get perhaps two feet tall. I wouldn't mind every couple years having to trim... but if I've gotta be standing out there 24/7 with a pair of shears in my hand... well, I'd rather not. Low maintenance is key.

Did I mention Deer resistant? yes, that would be a big plus.

Can provide pics of the area if that would help the process.

Thanks for any help!
NJT
 
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Old 12-31-08, 08:31 AM
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Check at local nursery for mini size conifers and shrubs. Many nurseries market smaller size plants for homeowners who need them to decorate around patios and in pots on terraces. The nursery should be able to recommend something that will fit your small space and growing conditions as well as meet your low maintenance requirements. When deer are hungry, they will eat anything, including deer resistant plant varieties. Some recommend deer repellents.
 
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Old 12-31-08, 09:53 AM
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Thanks 12!

I was gonna ask around local and see what they had...
don't wanna be at the mercy of a 'salesperson' though,
and I'm basically clueless...

I'm pretty sure there must be something like a dwarf
juniper that might fit the bill...

Happy New Year!
Snowing like crazy here... temp dropped 6 in 20 min.
 
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Old 12-31-08, 11:34 AM
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Hi NJ Trooper,

Wow, one foot wide! I can think of some very dwarf shrubs, but they are alpines and grow very slowly. There are also some that only grow only one foot wide, but they can get rather tall over time.

Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil' aka Sky pencil holly will grow slowly and mature at about 12" wide and 10' tall. You can 'top' this one, but it doesn't like dry soil. With such a small planting bed and it being surrounded by concrete from the sidewalk and foundation, I'm concerned they wouldn't thrive in full sun.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fi...nts_2448px.jpg

Someone might recommend Juniperus scopulorum 'Sky Rocket' aka Sky rocket juniper which can tolerate the conditions, but will grow 2' wide and up to 20' tall eventually. It also has a blue cast and is a fast grower.
http://www.countryliving.com/outdoor...gardens-0804-5

Keep in mind that plants that are dwarf are usually slower growers then their larger cousins and don't always stay 'dwarf' over time, so doing your homework like you are is most important in such a tight space. This site has some good info on dwarf conifers and includes a chart of the four conifer size categories from the American Conifer Society.
http://mountainmeadowsdwarfconifers....rfconifers.htm
http://mountainmeadowsdwarfconifers.com/tips.htm

Here's more helpful info with some good pics that might give you inspiration. Some if the info is about planting in containers, but should still be helpful.
http://www.iselinursery.com/articles...ardens2006.htm
http://www.iselinursery.com/articles...e-Conifers.htm

If you poke around the above site you will find some interesting specimens and good pics. Click on 'Conifers' on the left and go from there. They list the different species and the growth habits in chart form. Then you can click on anything that looks interesting or hopeful. You can always google anything you aren't sure of to find the mature dimensions which is usually given at most sites as 10 years growth. Here's a couple of lovely examples:
Abies koreana 'Silberperle'
http://www.iselinursery.com/photopag...ilberperle.htm

Abies balsamea 'Piccolo' will grow about 2' to 3' tall and half as wide in 10 years. Their site only gives the height, but I found the mature width by doing a google image and looking for what appeared to be a more mature specimen.
http://www.iselinursery.com/photopag...meaPiccolo.htm

Take a look at this site. On the left you will see 2 links for 'Trees & Shrubs'. Look to see if there might be anything you might like. One of the most popular uses for these plants would be in a railroad garden.
http://www.miniforest.com/

At this mini plant site they don't give the mature size of the plants and they are very small and very slow growing, but you might find something you like and do some googling with the plant name to see if you can find more info on it and pics of mature plants.
http://www.miniplantkingdom.com/

This site carries some dwarf and unusual plants. Use the search box and the word dwarf.
http://www.fantasticplants.com/

That's what I did and found this evergreen that only grows 12" wide in 10 years.
Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Tourlosa Nana' from Fantastic Plants.
http://fantasticplants.com/Merchant2...duct_Code=2340

If you find you need to mailorder plants, you can use this site to check references and even search by plant material or state. You can use the drop down box to browse by category. I did 'Plants:Alpine/Rock Garden'.
http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/

Btw, what is the length of the planting bed?

Can you post a picture or two of the site?

Newt
 
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Old 02-01-09, 05:33 PM
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Sorry it took me so long to get back here!

Wow Newt! That's an impressive list... I'm gonna spend the evening looking at those links...

Here's the pics I was supposed to upload a month ago!







You can see this is a pretty challenging task... I may just end up with some raised beds and some tall annuals every year... but I'd rather go with something that needs a bit less maintenance...

That recessed area is going to get a 'park bench' ... with some more traditional type of shrub on each side... it's that narrow strip that's got me bugged.
 
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