Planting ideas at entrance to house
We have stone walls to the entrance of our house which run curve round into the driveway. In front of the curve in the wall is an area of cobble stones on each side, with two rectangular spaces as planters up against the wall. I’ve attached a photo which shows them on one side.
We’ve emptied out the planters as they were overgrown and full of brambles when we moved in. The question is now what we replace them with this autumn, but we don't have a lot of gardening experience, so I’m hoping the kind people of this forum might be able to assist.
The planting spaces are south-facing and the soil is loam I think - it’s certainly not clay (I will add some organic matter before planting, although how much depends slightly on the plant). They are a little irregular in size, around 100cm x 65cm for the two in the picture and 90cm x 45-50cm the other side.
We are looking for something that is fairly hardy and doesn’t need too much TLC. We have thought about lavenders and other lower lying plants, but our preference would be for something to take over the space, so a large shrub is probably the ideal (we have also thought about half standards with the same conclusion). I had originally thought about shrub roses but they may not be big enough to take over the space fully and we would probably prefer to limit ourselves to the single blooms, which is quite limiting on the rose front.
We have thought about Hydrangea paniculata Limelight, but I suspect the water demands in summer might be a bit high and the blooms may be prone to drying out in the summer (it probably doesn't help that I'm writing this at the end of a second, very dry heatwave this summer!). If anyone has any experience of this plant in an exposed south-facing position would, I'd be grateful to hear how it has got on.
An alternative thought has been Viburnum tinus Eve Price, which has the benefit of being evergreen, although the flowering period is in winter and it seems a shame not to have flowering planters at the entrance to your house over the Spring/Summer. I have tried to look at options for growing something through the viburnum, but I’m struggling to understand what would work (on the plus side, we are thinking of running rambling rose (probably Rambling Rector) across the top of the wall behind, so perhaps it wouldn't matter too much).
So in summary, we are looking for something that will fill the space, not too hard to look after, which doesn’t look too tattered in its off season (or which can be managed) and will have a good flowering period. I am open to and would be grateful for any simple or creative, single or combination planting ideas!