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Bedding area between walkway and house is 4′ wide by 18′ long. Westward exposure means what is there bakes in the summer sun. Currently I have two dwarf Alberta spruce but one is about 1/3 dead on the north side. They also are a bit big and need trimming twice a year which exposes more dead. Are there any dwarf shrubs you recommend for this tight spot? Should I give up on bushes here and just do rocks with annuals?

That exposure id rough on Albertas…the wind in the winter being the main culprit.  There’s aren’t too many shrubs that are that spall…you might check out Little Princess Spirea.  Perhaps sum loving perennials would be a way to go…plenty of them to choose from.  To me though, the area sounds perfect for roses….they love to bake in the sun and heat and there are lots of beautiful choices for you.

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