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I am trying to find the right type of plants to put along the edge of my front yard on a terraced level. It has no shade and the plants will be next to a brick wall that separates this level from the next one up. It will be the first thing people see when looking at the yard as it is close to street level.

Hoping for something that can stay green in winter months (Seattle climate) but will bloom/flower in spring or summer. We tried hydrangea but the heat from the brick wall was too much for them even with regular watering. I have room to plant 4 evenly spaced bushes there. Any ideas?

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Barberry could work, but is considered invasive in some areas. Dwarf Burning bush would work also. Texas scarlet quince, Fairy rose, Van Houtte Spireae, Prostrate coralberry, or Syringia laciniata are good heat and drought tolerant shrubs. Texas scarlet quince is one of the more colorful ones, But this and most of the hardier shrubs are not evergreen.

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With your hydrangeas, did the soil get dry below an inch or so between waterings? In my experience, this kind of site often suffers from too much drainage. We have one area that we've almost gotten right, after 15 years - my wife calls it our "death bed" from all the plants we've lost in it. In order to keep water pressure from pushing out the wall, there's usually a layer of loose stone behind it starting a little ways down from the surface, to allow water to drain below the footing. In addition, terraced areas are by their nature artificial, and often are built up with whatever kind of fill is convenient in your area - often very sandy.

Bottom line: you may need to add lots of humus, and use mulch, too.

Site requirements for hydrangeas differ between varieties.

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