Original garden plan seems iffy now; please help!!

Puyallup, WA(Zone 7b)

So, just the other day I posted about my viburnums but now I'm seriously beginning to doubt my foundation bed design plan. Attached is a picture of the bed -my front yard is west facing and sloping downward; the planting bed goes all the way down the hill; 18' deep and 16' wide at the very top.

As you can see, there is a huge hydrangea at the bottom of the bed (planted by previous owners). My original plan was to move it back and transplant it in the spot just under the window. The viburnums were supposed to go on either side of the hydrangea. The hydrangea should eventually reach about 5 feet high and the viburnums about 6 feet. I thought I would fill the rest of the space with a mix of purple - blue and pink perennials.

But now I'm beginning to doubt the design... should I use these shrubs or should I get shorter ones so as to not hide a large portion of the brick wall? Also I received some feedback that planting two shrubs of the same kind on either side of a different shrub is not a good design plan. I feel so foolish and confused now!! Please help; any suggestions, whether general design tips or particular plant recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Please feel free to let me know if neither of these current plants will work for this space. I would like to have at least one hydrangea... but even a smaller one would be fine. Thanks a lot!!

Thumbnail by Tulika
Lake Stevens, WA

Looks like fun. I would keep things low in front of the window. I like as much light coming in my windows as I can get. Sounds like a good plan. In the very front of that bed you could put in a trailing evergreen. This is mine. A weeping hemlock I think. 2nd one is a better picture

Thumbnail by springcolor Thumbnail by springcolor
Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

I really love your color scheme with those cobalt doors.
But I simply dislike viburnums for the most part.
Have you considered the mix of evergreen/deciduous so that it's sure to look nice year-round?
Does anyone have experience with yellow-twigged dogwood? It looks so lovely in the catalogs.
Skimmia is a nice shrub.
In keeping with the blue/pink scheme, how about a blue juniper or other conifer?
It kind of depends on the scale of the house, too.

I know what it's like to feel suddenly as if you know absolutely nothing about landscaping & can't come up with a plan to save your life. We all have those days, no doubt.

Union, WA(Zone 8b)

Weeping blue cedars are beautiful. Skimmia needs shade to really look it's best. That's a nice spot, I'm going to think on it awhile.

Springcolor your beds are very nice. Love the hemlock.

Union, WA(Zone 8b)

tulika are the two plants up by the window the vibernum?
Varigated dwarf weigelia would be a good shrub. It blooms spring into summer with beautiful pink blossoms
Peonies would also go with your colors and plant heights. Pink plumed grasses also. Lithodora 'Grace Ward' blooms blue, spreads low, and blooms from spring thru summer. Reblooming iris in purple, white and blue could be used. Creeping phlox for pink along the edges. Hellebores in purples are evergreen and early winter thur spring color. And good old heathers are white, pink and purple bloom both winter and summer and are evergreen. Small 'Rosebud' azaleas come in both pink and white and are evergreen. Some dwarf blue evergreens. Maybe a lace leaf maple.
I don't agree with the idea that your three shrubs under the window is a bad idea.

This message was edited Sep 24, 2012 10:09 AM

Union, WA(Zone 8b)

You could try three small shrubs in between the viburnums. Maybe potentillia in pink or white.

This message was edited Sep 28, 2012 9:27 AM

Bellevue, WA(Zone 8a)

Hi Tulika,

I have input about the Hydrangeas. I have two Hydrangeas in my front bed (Bellevue) which is west-facing and in front of a brick wall. When it is hot in the summer, they wilt daily...I have to rush home from work to water and cool them down. The edges of the leaves also turn brown.

They are beautiful plants and I will be moving them somewhere where they will be happier.

Hope this saves you some hassle.

Best regards,


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