Laura, Pet Scribbles
Laura, Pet Scribbles
  • Hometalker
  • Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Asked on Apr 15, 2013

What type of evergreen could I plant here?

Dawn DalyceTamiLaura, Pet Scribbles
+16

Answered

We have a spot in our patio bed that needs a new shrub. Our criteria is something evergreen and tall, i.e. when fully grown, it can be 9 or 10 feet tall and fill out to about the 5 foot width. The height of the pergola overhead in that section is very high, and we'd like the privacy. We are curious if an arborvitae or dwarf Alberta spruce is possible, but each time we see them at various nurseries, the plant tags cite different heights and widths for these once fully grown, making it very confusing! This is a full sun area, especially in the Summertime, as it faces Southward. We had ornamental grasses that we just ripped out - they grew out of control! More details and dimensions in the pictures. Thanks so much!
What kind of evergreen could we plant here? (See other photos for more details.)
What kind of evergreen could we plant here? (See other photos for more details.)
This is how the area looked a few years ago, when the unruly grasses were still ruly!
This is how the area looked a few years ago, when the unruly grasses were still ruly!
Here's the unruly grasses (next to Goldenrod) at their worst last Fall 2012! They had to go!
Here's the unruly grasses (next to Goldenrod) at their worst last Fall 2012! They had to go!
We would love a tall and evergreen shrub, but don't want it to outgrow the spot. (Goldenrod is to the right.)
We would love a tall and evergreen shrub, but don't want it to outgrow the spot. (Goldenrod is to the right.)
The dimensions are 5 feet length x 3 feet width. Usable planting space is 2 feet wide, due to cement border slanting inward on both sides of bed (which is covered by mulch).
The dimensions are 5 feet length x 3 feet width. Usable planting space is 2 feet wide, due to cement border slanting inward on both sides of bed (which is covered by mulch).
19 answers
  • Gail Salminen
    on Apr 15, 2013

    @Laura, The Shed blog by Pet Scribbles one thing I have found, is that whenever I plant an evergreen close to the house it attacts cats. Within no time it smells like an unkept litter box. Perhaps add some lattice to that side and plant climbing vines, like ivy or clematis.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Apr 15, 2013

    How about something like Cryptomeria japonica 'Black Dragon'? I was thinking of the wonderfully variegated Chamaecyparis obtusa "Aurea," but that will probably get too wide.

  • Laura, Pet Scribbles
    on Apr 15, 2013

    My growing zone in NJ is 7. We're near the coast too.

  • Laura, Pet Scribbles
    on Apr 15, 2013

    The Cryptomeria japonica 'Black Dragon' looks great - only needs occasional watering once established. I also love the Chamaecyparis obtusa "Aurea" - but it says it needs moist soil. I'm wondering if I'd be dumping water on it all the time? (Also curious if it could be contained with pruning? Would any of these have root systems that would eventually mess up the paver patio? That's my husband's concern and a good one!

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Apr 15, 2013

    When I worked at a nursery in the Hudson Valley we had a Chamaecyparis that got forgotten and just grew into the ground through its pot, where I suspect it still is. It may have gotten watered occasionally when we remembered, but it pretty much thrived on benign neglect. I don't think the roots would be an issue with either of these, but don't hold me to that.

  • April & Jo-Girly
    on Apr 15, 2013

    I planted 3 Jubilation Gardenias last year! They bloomed over and over. They are cold hardy and maintain their leaves all winter! I am in Zone 7a. Info on them says good to Zone 11.

  • Patricia W
    on Apr 15, 2013

    Irish Yew is very pretty, it is easy to prune and will grow tall of not pruned. You can keep it at around 8 feet x 3 feet.

  • Laura, Pet Scribbles
    on Apr 16, 2013

    Thank you all so much for your suggestions! I'm off to a conference in Utah, but once I'm back I plan on going through them, doing some research, and making a decision so we can get something new planted in this sadly bare spot! :) I appreciate all of your help!

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on Apr 17, 2013

    Cryptomeria 'Sekkan Sugi' might be an interesting choice. They get about 4 ft wide and around 8-10ft tall. I like the downward sweeping branching and yellow-gold new grow, soft and sort of wispy, just enough green to provide screening, but not overwhelming

  • Laura, Pet Scribbles
    on Apr 22, 2013

    @360 Sod (Donna Dixson) - Thanks so much Donna for your suggestion! I think we saw this last year at a nursery, and I was in love with the new growth color and the little cones too. I saw a "protect from high wind" caution mentioned on only one of the many online sites I was perusing about this plant. How accurate do you think that is? We do get some strong winds at times.

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on Apr 22, 2013

    The area you are indicating in the picture seems to be somewhat protected? If it were out in an open area on the north side it might not be a great choice.

  • Laura, Pet Scribbles
    on Apr 23, 2013

    Thanks @360 Sod (Donna Dixson) - Hmmm... that part of the house faces Northwest, and we do tend to get some high winds - or crazy high wind gusts - during storms or windy weather patterns. But then again, even the grasses we had planted there were occasionally whipped around by the wind, and like you said there's our fence, fast-growing Leyland Cypress trees in front of the fence, and maybe that does help a bit. (Can you tell I'm trying to convince myself as I want to include this in the list of what we go and see this weekend? LOL

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Apr 24, 2013

    Laura, don't I recall that you're near Rare Find Nursery? That's where I'd be heading!

  • Laura, Pet Scribbles
    on Apr 24, 2013

    @Douglas Hunt - you're right! I had forgotten about Rare Find! (Embarrassing to admit!) If the suggested plants aren't listed on their site, do you still think they'd carry them?

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Apr 24, 2013

    Possibly, at this time of year, I doubt a nursery has time to keep its website up to date. Plus, I'd make a trip just to see what incredibly cool thing they might have that none of us have thought of that you can then post a picture of and make us completely envious.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Apr 24, 2013

    Also, Laura, just happened to remember that the are having a talk on seaside gardening at 11 on Saturday morning: http://www.rarefindnursery.com/index.cfm/action/productdetail/product_id/6161.htm

  • Laura, Pet Scribbles
    on Apr 24, 2013

    Sounds like a great idea for Saturday morning! :) And if I find something else instead that makes you all envious? I'll just be returning the favor! Hah! Thanks so much @Douglas Hunt for your help - and reminder about Rare Finds too!

  • Tami
    on Feb 11, 2015

    You could put a Centennial Girl Holly or a Skip Laurel there. Good for your zone. Easy to maintain in that size space. They stay green all year round. Grows slowly. You could also use a Golden Mop Arborvitae. Green with a splash of yellow color. Slow grower. Easy to maintain

  • Dawn Dalyce
    on Feb 11, 2015

    Maybe instead of a shrub , you could put in a trellis and grow a Star Jasmine or two up it.....that way your patio would be beautifully scented too.

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