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Northbound - 10/26/2011

Thanks for posting this article, Virginia. I've thinking about using witch hazel as a focal plant at the corner of our house. There was an old, diseased apple tree there that I'd tried to rehabilitate. But it was beyond saving.
I'm also considering an oak leaf hydrangea for that spot.
Any thoughts about which of the two might work to soften the rigid lines of the house's corner better?
There isn't much direct sunlight there as it faces North and is shaded by a large maple.
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Virginia Oswald - 10/27/2011

Thanks for you comment. Hmmm...this tough. I think Oakleaf hydrangea is a great plant and would work in your situation. A witchhazel, though, may do a better job at "softening" the corner. Oakleaf hydrangea has course foliage whereas witchhazel would have a softer effect. Hamamelis cultivars I would recommend in addition to 'Girard's Purple' are 'Arnold's Promise' and 'Jelena'(both Hamamelis x intermedia.

A couple side notes:

The 'Girard's Purple' shown in the photos above is growing in full sun and this contributes to the vivid fall color. The same plant grown in more of a shady site will still get nice fall color but may not be as strong and vivid.

Another thing to consider, how far is the maple from the corner? Are there a lot of tree roots in this corner from the large maple? You may have to do supplemental watering on whatever shrub you decide to put there.
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