Shady front ...need advise

Saint Pauls, NC(Zone 7b)

I am trying to decide between nandina, azaleas or knockout roses for the front of my home. I have a 70 foot long house front that desperately needs help. It is north facing. Zone 7b? I prefer the non stop color of the knockout but do not want the plants to die because I out them in the wrong place. My original idea was to use nandinas and a mounding holly mix. But the nandinas are a sun plant as well. Anyone have the roses in part shade spot in which they are experiencing success with the knockouts?

(Zone 9a)

I think the roses would only do OK and not perform as well as they could in a sunnier location and they would not look great in the winter. Since it is the front of your home, you need year round interest. Also, Knockouts are prone to problems these days as a result of bad breeding - too many clones of clones has weakened some lines. They are just not holding up well.

How about a mixed border which is safer in case one plant does develop problems you would still have some coverage from the other plant material. Acuba is colorful and easy care, that would be good mixed with your mounding holly. I have found Nandina to grow more slowly in shade but otherwise it is fine. There is a mounding Abelia 'Kaleidoscope' that would add more texture and color. It too prefers more sun but light shade is still good. You could still try a few knockouts in between.

I recommend a book titled "The Southern Gardener's Book of Lists" by Chaplin. It has great lists of which plants will do well in different locations. Your library should have it.

Saint Pauls, NC(Zone 7b)

Ardesia...thanks for the input.......checking out the book.

New Bern, NC(Zone 8a)

Emnot, I would be interested to know what you select.

Here in our neighborhood the typical builders' landscaper package must have included nandina, because they are pretty much everywhere with not much consideration given to where they would do best. You might want to check out your neighborhood if you want something that's not repeated in almost every yard. Now, please don't think I am not fond of nandina, because I am.

I have a friend with acuba and it's beautiful, about 10 feet high in some areas. And although I don't have any abelia, I love the mounding look and it does well in my area. We are considering a driveway border, and Abellia Kaleidoscope would be a good choice for that project, if it doesn't get too big.


(Zone 9a)

I wish my Abelia Kaleidoscope would get bigger than it is now. LOL, I think we are just too warm for that one way down here but it should do fine in NC. The colors are so pretty on it right now.

There is a dwarf Acuba now called 'Nana', it is available in both the variegated and the all green which is pretty cool because it has these shiny green leaves and enormous red berries in the fall.

I should have added that in some circles Nandina is now considered an invasive species, I do not have that problem but you might want to check with your extension agent about how it does in your area.

How about using a low mounding Japanese Maple as a feature along or in front of that border?

Hendersonville, NC(Zone 7a)

My house faces SE and I have an always shady front garden, too.

For year-round interest, my front is almost entirely native evergreen Hellebore sp. (Lenten Rose).....they usually flower in Feb., shortly after the snow finally leaves, but there are different varieties with different bloom well as different flower colors and shapes. I planted an aucuba and Ghost Lady Fern this year, so I'll see how they do.

Plants I've tried and gave away: nandina (almost drowned by the high water table), Solomon's Seal (VERY aggressive), astilbe (needed almost daily watering to continue to look good) and both a red and purple azalea (both required more of a daily period of sunlight in order to set buds for the next year's flowers).

For additional year-round interest, I planted a white daphne at the edge right outside my front door. It grows well in the sun but is avoiding spreading into the shade. In spring, its tiny fragrant flowers waft a cloud of perfume as I come & go! Of course, it looses many leaves after a hard freeze, but this doesn't affect either flowering nor next season's growth / leaves!

(Zone 9a)

Good to know, I have been helping my son landscape his Asheville garden and it helps to know what works and what doesn't.

Hendersonville, NC(Zone 7a)

Asheville is only about 20 minutes up the highway from me.....I'd be very interested in hearing what y'all select and how it/they fare.

Good luck!!

Grantsboro, NC(Zone 8b)

Betnc I sure miss Hendersonville I loved Georgia Bonstell's shop which is probably closed now but I made lots of quilts LOL
The Mennonite bread n food I got close to there just love the area


Hendersonville, NC(Zone 7a)

Lavinia, I'm an exile from out west. . . . my grandmother retired here and needs me, so here I stay (she's 98, lives alone and drives a 23-year-old muscle car).

There's an older bakery downtown that still makes their wares the old-fashioned way; we patronize it every chance we get! There's a Mennonite restaurant over in Etowah, where we haven't found anything on the menu we DON'T like!!

But there's no place that does good Mexican food! And I miss BBQ.....But at noon, I can look out my window at all my growing plants instead of quivering soil (from sun-warmed lizards).

Still . . .

(Zone 9a)

Another WNC lover here. I am determined to find the perfect cabin in Saluda one of these days. I like the at Green River BBQ in Saluda; the meat is both tasty and lean and you have your choice of sauces depending on where in the Carolinas you come from. LOL

Grantsboro, NC(Zone 8b)

There are so many BBQ styles in NC
Western, Eastern, Middle that has hat spicy cole slaw. LOL
There used to be a great BBQ place that served Sliced or chopped in Shelby

Love it all.

Lavina who now lives on the Crystal Coast, IBX inter banks

This message was edited Sep 23, 2014 12:23 PM

Hendersonville, NC(Zone 7a)

I'm kinda a BBQ aficionado......while I've tryed Green River BBQ, to me nothing beats the ribs at Hubba Bubba Smokehouse in Flat Rock!
There's only less than a doZen BBQ places in NC that use a real smokehouse (think wood). They cook low and slow, the meat comes from young-ish tender pigs, they have about a dozen different sauces that you can choose from to dip or put on yourself but the ribs are so tasty, they don't NEED any sauce, the meat pulls easily from the bone (instead of just falling off thru over-cooking) and have the rich, red "bark" typical of wood-smoking!

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. . . . I feel a trip to Flat Rock is in my very near future!

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