I’d like to plant a tall, flowering shrub along the west side of my yard. There is a 4 foot fence along that side of the property so the shrub needs to be at least that tall. My neighbour to the west is currently building a huge home so that area will shortly be in almost complete shade.
Hi Laurie – As we discussed, I think hydrangeas would work very well on the shady, west side of your garden. You mentioned that you are already growing a hydrangea with large, white flowers. I expect this is Hydrangea aborescens ‘Annabelle’. My own favourites are the panicle hydrangea which have the same long bloom time as ‘Annabelle’ but a taller, more upright form, conical flowers and more colour variety. Varieties which are widely available are:
‘Quick Fire’ – up to 6-9 ft. tall with a spread of 6 ft – flowers start off white, mature to pink and turn almost red in the fall – foliage turns yellow and burgundy in the fall.
‘Limelight’ – up to 8 ft with a spread of 5 ft – bright, lime green flowers maturing to pink
‘Pinky Winky’ – up to 5 ft with a spread of 3 ft. – flowers start all white and mature to pink at the base creating a bi-coloured effect.
Other shrubs for shade to consider are:
‘Summer Snowflake’ viburnum (Viburnum plicatum tomentosum ‘Summer Snowflake’) – a rounded shrub 5-8 ft tall and 5 ft wide – white, lace cap flowers in May and sporadically through the summer (hence the name) – purple, red foliage in the fall
‘Mount Airy’ fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenia ‘Mount Airy’) – a compact, round shrub growing to 4 feet tall and wide – white, bottle brush flowers in spring – outstanding red-orange-yellow foliage in the fall.
Thanks for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.