It’s fairly easy to decide where your garden should go and what size you want it to be, but selecting the types of plants you want to put in it can be a daunting task. The list of possibilities is nearly endless. Most people start with the pretty flowers and promising bulbs they see in nurseries, but to add depth and texture to your garden, consider filling in some of the background or blank spots with shrubs.
Many shrubs can grow to be the size of small trees, but they are very hardy, require a minimum of maintenance, and have large showy blossoms that may even put your annuals to shame.
Not only will shrubs add beauty to your flower garden, they have added benefits that can be advantageous to your vegetable garden as well. Shrubs provide taller, stronger structures than low-growing plants - structures that birds, as well as insects, find handy for perching on, climbing on, munching on, and more. While you may not be seeking the company of the birds and the bees, they are partly responsible for the beautiful blooms you seek. And while they’re enjoying your shrubs, they just might help to pollinate other flowering plants nearby. The birds will also prey on insects that may be harmful to other garden plants.
Additionally, shrubs provide a great wind barrier for smaller, weaker plants around it, which will help to keep them from being badly damaged in harsh storms.
So just what are some of these great shrubs?
Lilacs make a great garden shrub. The can grow to 10 feet tall with a span of about six feet and their blooms are nearly a foot tall and beautifully fragrant.
Some shrubs have names that just scream beauty and luxury. Shrubs like the beautybush and the pearl bush also have lovely blooms that bring the focus of your garden up from the ground to eye-level.
Azaleas and dogwoods are two more shrubs that make lovely additions to the garden.
All of these are examples of deciduous shrubs, though, which will be gorgeous from late spring to early fall, but will be a mere silhouette during cold weather. That’s not necessarily bad, though; bare shrubs can lend eerie shadows for your Halloween décor and stark elegance in the snow.
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