> Shrub Blog Series – Part One – Introduction

Why plant shrubs? Aside from the obvious answer, which is to
improve the aesthetic of your property, there are plenty of functional reasons
to establish plantings in your yard. They can assist with erosion-control,
improve the amount of oxygen around your residence, and help your local ecosystem
thrive. Luckily, you don’t have to wait for King Arthur and his team to get the
ball rolling like the fellow above. With the help of your local nursery, you
can start planning a multi-dimensional landscape that will wow your friends and
family!


Shrub/Planting Types:
  1. Foundation Plantings: These types of plantings hug your house, both
    enhancing your home and complementing your landscape. This can visually link
    your house to the surrounding landscape, hide any unsightly façade areas, and
    help prevent flooding!
  2. Privacy Plantings/Screening: These are [usually] tall shrubs to
    block out unwanted views and act as a natural fence. They will cost you less
    than a fence installation in most cases, but come with more maintenance than a
    fence.
  3. Border Plantings/Edging: These plantings are used to outline and
    distinguish sections of your yard and/or flower beds and will establish
    wonderful dimension in your landscape. Primarily aesthetic in purpose, but they
    can also help prevent your beds from washing out during heavy rain.
  4. Ground Cover: These low-growing shrubs usually have a spreading
    habit and are perfect for large beds or landscapes. They can also reduce the
    amount of turf you have to mow, and may thrive better in harsh soil or environments where you may have difficulty growing grass.
  5. Specimen or Accent Plants: These are the plants to liven up your
    landscape! They are often chosen for interesting appearance or fragrance, but
    may serve an additional purpose such as framing a walkway. Usually showy in
    appearance, they are placed within your landscape strategically as focal
    points.
  6. Specialty Plantings: The “miscellaneous” category, these plants may
    vary in appearance and function and include: (1) Salt-tolerant plants for
    street-side plantings; (2) Container shrubs for apartment living or decks; (3)
    Shrubs for full shade; (4) Shrubs for full sun.

General Shrub/Planting
Tips:
  1. Choose shrubs which have seasonal
    interest across four seasons, or rotating seasonal interest. See our article on creating seasonal interest.
  2. Leave space for the plants to
    mature so they don’t overcrowd one another and be aware of how tall they will
    be at maturity (be prepared to prune!)
  3. Be mindful of growth rates and
    maintain shrubs which may have invasive qualities.
  4. Plant shrubs in the fall or early
    spring to ensure proper root establishment.
  5. Choose native shrubs for maximum
    growth and lowest maintenance.
  6. Be aware of what maintenance is
    required of your plantings to ensure they survive all four seasons and any
    extreme weather conditions which might occur. See our article on winterizing your yard.
  7. Talk to a local nursery! They can
    give expert advice tailored to the conditions of your yard and desired
    maintenance level.

In part two, we will go over more specifics of Foundation
Plantings, including some recommendations of our top choices!