There is a flower bed directly under the windows of our living room that I have had plans to completely make over for a while now. When we first moved in, the previous owners had purchased four young Gardenias and placed them about a foot from the house in the bed. At the time, the scale was right, but the shrubs grew out and up until they were looking cramped and unruly. I love Gardenias, but these just had to go.
As a side note, an older, existing Gardenia at the corner of this bed was always sickly-looking, so I had replaced it with a weeping Japanese Maple last year. You can see how the original Gardenias were crammed up against the house behind the Maple Tree in the first picture:
After sending the uprooted Gardenias home with my cousin for his yard, I began my search for plants that would not get too big for this bed. It gets morning sun and is in the shade by middle of the day. I started with a dwarf gardenia on the end next to the patio. Next to that, I added a Coral Bell and an Astillbe. In the middle I chose an Arborvitae Fern from Scottsdale Farms. On the end next to the weeping Japanese Maple tree, I put in a Hellebore from my mom’s garden. Because I installed young plants that aren’t yet full size, I plugged in a few annuals to fill out the bed this year.
The dwarf Gardenia looks underwhelming, but the one I put in the courtyard a few years ago has really filled out nicely . My hope is the new one will be as happy and grow as big as the mature one.
Speaking of the courtyard, I got a new dwarf hosta for this bed at the same time I got the Arborvitae Fern. It is called a Blue Mouse Ears Hosta. It is supposed to get about 12″ wide.