Evergreens in the flower beds?

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Planting flower beds in the front yard usually means one thing: flowers (hence the name “flower bed”). But a few years ago, when I was working for the Pocatello newspaper, I interviewed a landscaper who recommended evergreens for the front beds.

At first I questioned her suggestion because to me, evergreens meant scraggly juniper bushes like the ones we pulled out the day we moved in. But the more we talked, the better I understood. What she was suggesting was evergreens like boxwood and euonymus, not necessarily needled plants like I’d been thinking.

via—boxwoods with taller shrubs behind and flowers in front

Since then I have fully endorsed the evergreen-flowerbed idea for the front yard. It’s a good option too for part-shade yards like mine where perennials can’t thrive. Here are a few yards making the most of evergreens out front—the ones I like best combine evergreens with other plants:

via—love the taller shrubs behind

via—after the hydrangeas die off for the season, this raised bed will still look lush

via

I’ve planted boxwoods a couple times since we moved in, and they’re growing like weeds. I haven’t decided yet, but the ones under the window boxes will either be pruned round or allowed to grow together, then trimmed to form a single hedge under each window. For now, I’m enjoying watching them grow untamed.

What do you plant in your flower beds? Mine also have tulips, hollyhocks, bleeding hearts, and Creeping Jenny, but those don’t show up until April or May and are gone by October. These little boxwoods are pretty sweet all year long. •

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