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Planting in Front of a Hedge

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  • Planting in Front of a Hedge

    My neighbor has a hedge which is cut to 3 foot high. I want to plant in front of this hedge and don't know what to put there. I was thinking of salvia/asters etc*in the 30-36" height (also like russian sage) w/plants in the purple and orange color and then something in another color (white?) low.* I am not very good at visualization (matter of fact I stink at it). I would like to have flowers here but dont know what flowers. i could use some help. Every 2-3 years I plant perennials in this area and always wind up pulling them out. What a waste of money and time. I'd like to do this area once and for all.

  • #2
    Hi Target,

    Did you ever get any help with this?* Most of the plants you mention are full sun plants needing 6 hours or more of sun.* You also don't say how close to the hedge you plant and if you amend the soil.* How about watering as most roots of hedges can soak up the water.* Do you know what the hedge plants are?* If you still need help:

    Where do you live and what is your hardiness zone?* I wouldn't recommend the same plants for Hawaii as I would for Montana.* If you aren't sure of your hardiness zone you can use this zip code zone finder if you are in the US.

    How deep is the bed where you want to plant or can you make it any depth?

    What are the sun conditions?*
    **** Full sun - 6 hours or more
    **** Part sun - 4 to 6 hours
    **** Part shade - 2 to 4 hours
    **** Shade - 2 hours or less of sun.



    • #3
      ive been away for a while. just wanted to say thank you*** :)**for your response. the hedge is a pivot hedge. we put a 8" rock edge in front of the area that curves probably 30 feet. at some points the area is 5' wide others 3'. what i was concerned w/was w/some of the plants mentioned do i plant them in 3's and repeat the theme, do i allow 1 foot between each plant.*i'm not sure how to go about the planting. i've planted and pulled out plants so many times before i just want to get the colors and heights right for once.:(* i should also say this is zone 7 (l.i., n.y.) and the area receives full sun.

      thank you!


      • #4
        Target, you are very welcome.** Hope your trip was a good one.* :)*

        ...hedge is a privet hedge. (Note spelling) ...that curves probably 30 feet. at some points the area is 5' wide others 3'. ...w/some of the plants mentioned do i plant them in 3's and repeat the theme, do i allow 1 foot between each plant. i'm not sure how to go about the planting.
        For a bed that long it would be best to plant in groups of 3 or 5.* For some reason, odd numbers of plantings look better.* By planting 3 or 5 of each in a group you will have more impact and it won't look skimpy.

        As to the spacing of each plant from each other and from their neighbors, that depends on each plant.* You need to know just how wide each plant will get once they mature.* If you space them so they eventually grow together, but don't crowd each other, they will shade the soil, keep it cool in hot weather and shade out most weeds.* You don't want the plants to crowd each other, but to barely touch each other when they mature.

        If you want a formal look you can do something like this, spacing the plants so they grow together.* Look at the plantings in front of the shrubs on the right.* The heights of the plants diminish and each row of plants are all the same.* Also look at the planting on the left.* You will see larger groups of different plants which gives a different look.* The large plantings of each type of plant gives a bigger impact.

        Another consideration will be the different heights and leaf shapes for texture.* If you plant something like a group of daylily with tall thin and spiky leaves, having a group of plants next to them with rounded leaves will give you a better look.* Planting another group of spiky plants will will give a sense of continuity and help your eye to move across the planting, especially if the flower colors are also repeated.* Take a look at this picture.* On the left is a shrub border and then perennials in front of those.* The tall architectural plants that look like purple balls are Allium, relatives of onions and are bulbs. I suspect they are Allium 'Globemaster'.* The second link is a group of Allium (different variety) and they make an entirely different statement planted in a group instead of individually.

        In this picture try and imagine the wall as your privet hedge.* You can see the large group of plantings that seem to grow together.* There are spiky leaves disbursed throughout the bed.* If you can make the beds 3' to 5'deep, you can have a look like this one with the taller plants like Russian sage in the back and shorter plants like dwarf asters in the front.

        You can see the different leaf shapes here to.

        I found this photo with reddish/orange, purple and yellow flowers and thought of you.* The purple plants on the left are the* hardy Geranium 'Rozanne'.* This is planted in my daughter's zone 7 garden and blooms from the end of May until hard frost.* It looks like a group of 3 plants.* It's one of the plants I was going to suggest for you.

        Another look at Geranium 'Rozanne' spilling out into the path.* That's lambs ears on the right of them.* I'd say there is a group of 3 Geranium 'Rozanne' plants there.
        Notice in this description of Geranium 'Rozanne' that it says to plant each plant 24" apart.* That means that each plant will spread to 24".* If you plant 3 in a row you will eventually cover 6' of ground with them.* You could also plant them in a 'V' shape if you have the space as you'll need 4' from front to back..

        Here the theme is purple, pink and green.* Notice how some plants are tall and rounded and some are short and rounded, while others are more upright.* Your eye is drawn to the taller dark plant in the distance.

        In this photo the lavender color is the background and the yellows, reds and greens weave a pattern.

        Here's a newly planted border and a newly planted flower bed.* You can see the spacing between the plants that will give them room to mature and fill in.

        In this photo the evergreens appear to have been there a long time and appear to be over-pruned to make them fit the space.* The newly planted perennials look sparse, and they are.* They are planted too far apart.

        If you look at this picture you realize your eye is drawn to the color in the middle.* Once these plants stop blooming and new ones appear in different areas, your eye will be drawn to them.* That is why I'm going to suggest you plant reblooming or everblooming plants so your eye will travel along the border.* More on everblooming and reblooming plants later.

        Here's your color scheme.* Purple, orange and white.* Of course there's green too.* Notice the large clumps of each color from planting groups of probably 5 plants.* Also notice how the colors are dispersed throughout the entire length of the border.

        No shrubs or hedge behind this border, but most of your colors are here and you can see how the grouping of the plants have matured and grown together.

        Here is continuous color from annuals in a specific pattern.* This can be expensive to do if you don't grow them from seed.* It can also take up alot of your time and energy to get it all planted.* It's what I call a semi-formal effect.

        You might also find these sites helpful.

        I found those sites by searching at google with the term 'perennail flower border' and clicked on 'Images'.* You might want to repeat the search with the term 'shrub border'.* I noticed lots of interesting pics.* I spent hours looking through sites to try and find images you could relate to, so expect to spend several hours searching for more pics if you want to see them.

        Ok, now for some plants that should be fairly easy to care for and give you a big bang for your labor and money.* I mentioned repeat and everblooming plants.* For spiky leaves consider repeat iris or everblooming iris.* You will need to divide them every 3 to 5 years.* Bearded iris comes in different heights.

        Here's some ideas.* You can google for more with terms such as 'everblooming iris' or 'reblooming iris'.

        Read the descriptions for each to find the rebloomers.* 'TB' means Tall Bearded.

        Look at the list on the left for the plants.* Good planting info here.

        How to plant and divide iris rhizomes.

        Geranium 'Rozanne' I gave you earlier.* It's one of my most favorite plants.

        Heuchera aka coral bells is a native plant and now comes with lovely colored leaves so you'll have color all season long even when they aren't in bloom.* The plus is the hummingbirds like the flowers.* Lots to choose from here.

        Finding orange plants that have a long bloom time can be difficult.* Asiatic lilies and Oriental lilies, if planted together, can extend the bloom time as they bloom at different times.* Asiatics bloom earlier.* When their bloom is finished the Orientals will fill in.* They are bulbs, will multiply over time and the Asiatic lilies come in shades of orange and more.* This site explains the different types of lilies.

        This first site has a great reputation and I have ordered plants from them.* Nice folks too.* You might want to poke around their site as they give bloom time for their bulbs.* Once you get the border planted, consider adding spring blooming bulbs to extend the season.* You can plant them next fall.* There are crocus, tulips and daffodils that come in yellows, purples, white and orange.* There are also white snowdrops and grape hyacinths.* The second link is their main page and you can drool over what they have to offer.* With a long border like you have you can really extend the season with early season, mid season and late season bulbs.

        There are reblooming and everblooming daylilies aka Hemerocallis in many shades, including orange.* The gold 'Stella D'Oro' has been planted adnauseum and I'm sure you've seen them in gardens and public spaces.* They aren't listed at this first site, but these others are.* 'Happy Returns' is a rebloomer and is also gold, but a lighter shade that I like better, and has been very popular. 'Sunset Returns' has a hint of melon and is dwarf.* We planted the lemon yellow 'Big Time Happy' which are taller then most, but they also have a slight fragrance.* It took 3 years, but once they matured we had flowers all season long.*

        Asclepias tuberosa aka Butterfly weed blooms in orange and is a native plant. My caveat with this one is you will need to remove the spent seed heads or it could seed all over the garden.* After all, it's a native milkweed, but will bring butterflies like a magnet.

        Verbena 'Homestead Purple' is a low growing groundcover and, once established, will bloom most of the season.* There are other verbenas, but this is the longest blooming one and it's a native.

        Gypsophlia 'Bristol Fairy' aka Baby's breath will give you white flowers most of the summer.

        That ought to get you started!


        • #5
          Oh My God I never expected anyone to go out of their way the way you did and give me so much information. I absolutely loved the Geranium Roseann and the Butterfly Weed. You can be sure I will be putting them both into my garden in the spring. So many lovely pictures and ideas. When I did my web search I only did it by 'perennial plant'. While the plants came up, I never get the pictures and borders that you showed me. Thank you so much for going out of your way to help me. You can make over my garden anytime.


          • #6
            Target, you are so very welcome!* I enjoyed doing all that research and sharing how I did it so you can search too.

            Please don't hesitate to ask more questions as you read and learn more.*