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shrub suggestions?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I want to plant tall bushes in front of my house this summer, and would love suggestions. The perfect plant would be bushy and green, grow to about 5 feet tall, do well in partial sun, have beautiful, fragrant flowers all summer long, withstand Chicago winters and be very hardy. I've thought about some kind of rose (no experience here), hydrangea, spirea, lilac... Hmmm. I don't know.

Anyone have a favorite shrub? I'd love to hear about it.
post #2 of 11
Try some rhododendrons, buddeljia, mountain laurel, boxwood, daphnes.

NO plants will give you all of that. However if you mix it up, you can get all of that with some variety. Make sure you get some evergreens in the mix like the boxwood so it does not look awful in the winter.
post #3 of 11
Does your space have a lot of sun or shade?

Sunny space (as someone noted) Buddlea davidi, St. John's wort (believe it or not) For flowers for a month in late summer rose of sharon, Roses...I'd get shrub roses or rosa rigosa (for lots of flowers but minimal care) spyria is nice, too. Crepe myrtle is nice for late blooms.

Shadier sites will take hydragena, rhoddies (part shade) azalias.

If you wanted something with year round foliage check out a Japonica (gets flowers in early spring and keeps nice foliage all year.

Nothing gives you flowers for a long long time, though it's nice to have a mixture of plants to keep interest year round.

post #4 of 11
Oops, I appear to have clicked into the gardening forum. With all the talk over in Activism I thought this thread was about George Bush!

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

So funny!

Thanks for the suggestions. I've been checking them out -- meanwhile, I did come across a description of Korean Spice Viburnum that sounds pretty good, clusters of frangrant white flowers in spring, red berries in late summer and bright read foliage in the fall. My mom has a species of viburnum so I know its hardy. The size is good.

The spot is pretty sunny, but will soon be part shade as the leaves of nearby trees fatten up. This viburnum tolerates part shade, according to the description. It may fit the bill.
post #6 of 11
Panda, the Korean Viburnum is notoriously high maintanence. Try to choose one that is native ("Arrowwood" is a good one), and it will do well with a lot less care. I just got ten from Musser Forests in Pa for a great price. They specialize in plants suitable for cold climates. I was looking for a shrub with the same characteristics, and the viburnum really seems to fit the bill.

What about burning bushes? They are gorgeous in the fall. Rose of Sharon? Hollyhocks grow to be quite tall, and are charming. Here here on the buddelia (or Butterfly Bush) idea. I have about nine now in my yard - sooo low maintenance and long blooming.

Good luck! I'll be planting my flowering-screen-to-be of ten viburnum this weekend. Check back in 20 years, and we'll see how it looks.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tip on the Korean viburnum. This info is all golden to me!
post #8 of 11
I have a question (I hope it is ok to post it here)

How deep do the roots grow for some of the bushes you all have mentioned?

I need privacy bushes but the neighbors sewer line goes under our yard (about 6 feet under).

post #9 of 11
Lindy - I wouldn't worry about any of the shrubs mentioned here. Just don't plant a large willow tree on top of the lines. Heehee. Their roots look for water, esp. in sewer and water lines and will clog them. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt in a house I once rented... Makes for very entertaining plumber encounters!
post #10 of 11
Bamboo - I seriously doubt you'll have to waith 20 years for your viburnum screen ~ all of my viburnum are incredibly fast-growing! You'll love them! Mine attract butterflies like crazy when flowering.
post #11 of 11
Thanks Bamboogrrrl, I live in upstate NY too.
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