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We have a bed to fill next to our new patio and aren't sure whether we should plant three cornus sericea cardinal together. Our thinking was they would fill more space sooner than one slightly larger specimen (got a bit carried away shopping at RHS Wisley) but now concerned they will get too big too quickly. Will they restrict each other's growth or should we just plant one there? The bed is 1.5m deep and 3.5m long. The max growth size is 2m x 2m - I'm guessing that's for unfettered growth but my partner is less convinced ! Any advice welcome

If you want to keep the strong colour of the stems in winter, you should give the cornus a harsh haircut (down to 15cms / 6ins) every spring.  So I'd put 3 in there, with plenty of other things towards the front of the bed to keep seasonal interest.  You need to keep dogwoods pruned down regularly every year, or you will lose the brightly coloured stems in winter (they'll go a dull brown colour).

I agree with Mummy Muddy Paws, plant all three, because they'll look beautiful when everything else has died back in Autumn and Winter. However, in my dads garden, they got too overgrown (due to him not taking much care) and then they got this white fungus, which I later found out was due to lack of air circulation, so make sure they're not touching eachother and keep them pruned  

Rebecca, plant 3. One will just look odd? They will gradually unite to make lovely sight ESP in winter. Prune just as others have said in early spring. I would plant daffodils, crocus and lilies in between
nutcutlet

Yes, plant them all. 

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Thanks very much - we'll plant all three and keep on top of the pruning

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