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My home in Colony West faces west and the front beds are empty now that all of the
original azaleas have passed away. They were planted in 1970 and extended along the
60 foot front of the bed. There are four large Pine trees directly centered in the
front and one very large Pine tree at the southern most part of the front of the house.
At the north end of the house is a rather large Holly bush (tree), perhaps standing
10 feet tall. Originally, Holly was placed at each end of the front bed to anchor
the beds and the Azaleas residing along the length of the bed. I need your recommendation
on a plant/tree/shrub selection and your ideas regarding planting, soil addition,
etc. I need something hardy that will last. Also, do you think the plants/shrubs/trees
sold by the big box stores like are very safe? I think a local nursery would be safer
in the long run regarding the viability and health issues of native plants, etc.
You do need a basic grouping of evergreen plants so that you have something that is
green year-round, but adding some deciduous plants can give you great color in the
summer. While your yard faces west, it sounds like the pine trees shade it from intense
sun. If you like azaleas, by all means replace some. There are numerous plants that
you can choose from and diversity is good. I like to have something blooming in every
season. Possibly sasanqua camellias for winter, azaleas and loropetalums for spring
color and Itea and buddleia for summer blooms. Take pictures of your front yard and
do a sketch of your yard on graph paper. Take that to your local nursery and they
can help you plan how many plants you need and can give you other options. You don’t
have to buy everything from a nursery, but if there are specific plants or varieties
you want, independent nurseries usually have better selections.
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