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Jay Summer
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I just finished a permaculture course and ready to plant in a very small totally unplanted front yard. I'm having trouble figuring out front yard foundation plants. Here are the details: west facing front yard and open to the south and north, so lots of sun. very low foundation so maximum height and width 3 - 4 feet per plant. zone 7b. If I hadn't taken the course I would have planted Cryptomeria Japonica. Any edible substitutes?
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9741
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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What about Blueberries?

 
Casie Becker
gardener
Posts: 1474
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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forest garden urban
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I think these are silver berries. They're definitely in the elganus family (like russian olives and goumi berries). One picture is showing how densely it was covered with berries this spring (same as last spring) The other one is showing what it looks like today. After fruiting I chop and drop the arching overgrowth that was covered in berries. The fruit is sweet and juicy (though not very meaty) and the bush is a nitrogen fixer for the rest of the bed. On top of that it is an evergreen bush that looks like a typical household shrub, if you're trying to sneak your garden into a conservative area.

If you're able to stay on top of pruning, you can hedge pomegranates much smaller than you'd expect. They're not evergreen, but have prominent flowers and are much easier to get a substantial harvest from.

If you have the right microclimate against the house, they now have satsuma varieties of oranges that can take temperatures down to 14 F. Citrus can also be pruned and is evergreen. You'd probably be stuck covering them during your coldest weather. Depends on how much you like citrus, if it's worth it.

Almost forgot to mention evergreen herbs. Rosemary bushes can be popular for this purpose, and looks like the original plant. I also have garden sage in my garden that is probably just under two feet high and close to three feet wide.

If you're willing to move away from bushes, I think there are evergreen flowers (some irises, some daylilies). I consider flowers to be vital in drawing beneficial insects to the garden. My white bearded irises are the first thing to flower in my garden each year.
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Do you pee on your compost? Does this tiny ad?
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