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Hi Everybody! I'm new here and new to the USA too. I hope this questions is ok to post here. I have a small "garden" and need your help to choose plants for it. I have a problem combining plants. I will be thankfull for any help. I live in Madison, AL where gets very hop in summer and my garden is in full sun. I want to plant some evergreen bushes and shrubs now but can't figure out have to mix them. Please help. Thanks.

Down_town_569 Saved_1



Welcome, Annyshka!
The Southern Living Garden book is a good reference for choosing and combining plants in your area, and it also has some tips on basic design. I would consider it a worthwhile investment, but you may want to check it out of your local library, first.

9 Oct, 2010


Those fences would look good with a few things clothing them for a start! :-)

Confederate Jasmine could be one?

10 Oct, 2010


That or Carolina Jessamine, maybe. I wouldn't smother the fence, either--just a few vines to accent it, and maybe to frame a few flowering shrubs. Correct me if I'm wrong, Annyshka (you can respond as if answering your own question), but north is to the left on the bottom photo, isn't it? Direction of exposure makes quite a bit of difference to many plants.

11 Oct, 2010


Hi guys,

Thaks for your suggestions. Unfortunatly, for the begginer like me this does not tell me anything, no offence.

15 Oct, 2010


Sorry we weren't more help, Annyshka! Maybe if you see what looks good at the neighbors, and post us some pictures, we can identify the plants for you, and make some suggestions for companions for them.

Here are some of the basic principles:

Vary the leaf textures somewhat--a garden with all fine textured shrubs can look boring, while one with all big leaves can look cluttered or over-blown.

Accent the basic green with other colors--Occasionally pop in a shrub with gray, chartreuse, reddish, or variegated leaves. Shrubs that bloom in season are also very valuable in the landscape.

At the base, color combos are whatever looks good to you, but there are a few rules of thumb to help. The slightly greenish yellows--such as forsythias, yellow marigolds, and yellow snapdragons--have a tough time getting along with pinks and purplish reds. Golden yellows, verging on orange, go with a wider range of other colors. Gray foliage or white flowers make peace between otherwise clashing shades.

It's good to pay attention to bloom time, when choosing flowering shrubs, since relatively few outside the tropics bloom for more than a month or two a year, especially the evergreens.

I hope that helps a little more! If I knew what USDA climate zone you were in, I could probably make some lists of suggested plants.

Best wishes, Tug. : )

16 Oct, 2010


Thanks a lot Tug for the good information! I live in Zone 7, Winter is mild here but Summer is very hot. The North is to the left of the picture so my Garden is always in full sun.

Thanks :)

22 Oct, 2010


I garden in Zone 9, so winters are milder here, and summers are even hotter! I'll have to look at some lists to jog my memory, but I'll put together a list of evergreen shrubs--ones that I'm personally familiar with, that should work in your climate--with some suggested companions. Since this is from my experience, it will probably not be even close to a complete list of what you can grow there, but I hope it will be helpful. When I'm done, I'll send it to you in a private message.

The side to the right will get a little shade, since it's the north side of that fence. It doesn't look signifigant, but it could expand your choices there by quite a bit, since the roots will be shaded. The side that you took the picture from (the house, I guess) is a real gold mine, since that is east facing, and shade in the afternoon is just as much a relief to plants as it is to us humans! There are many plants that will be thankfull for it come summer.

Talk to you soon,

23 Oct, 2010


Hi Tug,

I appreciate your help a lot!
I think you misunderstood me about where the North is on the picture. It is to left (the picture is taken from the house) so the yard is facing West. And my yard literally doesn't get any afternoon shade. Looking forward for the plants you are going to recommend. Thank you very much!

23 Oct, 2010


Umm, Annyshka? You might want to think about that a little. If north is to your left, then you are facing east. The sun should be rising over that road in the morning, and setting behind your house in the evening. Admittedly, the afternoon shade will only be close to the house, but it will be there.

Be that as it may, I have the preliminary list of evergreen shrubs for your area, and it is HUGE!! You might want to look at the list, google some of them for size and appearance, decide which ones appeal to you, and get back to me about combining them. Otherwise there is a book's worth of info involved! Am posting the preliminary list as a private Hope to be of further help.

24 Oct, 2010

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