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5 Ways to Use Shrubs in Your Landscape

Shrubs are an amazingly-simple way to add big, bold statements in the garden with little work. They are large in size, many provide year-long interest in the garden and delight with stunning blooms. Whether you have sun, shade, dry soil or not – There is certainly a place in your garden for a shrub! Below you will find 5 popular ways to use shrubs in your landscape.

Create a Focal Point. The sheer grandeur of a Hydrangea bursting in blooms makes it one of the most impressive plants in the garden. The lovely blue blooms of the Hydrangea All Summer Beauty are a true conversation-starter and the whimsical contrast of lime green and pink in Pistachio’s blooms will also create a “wow” statement in the summer garden. The massive, bright blooms of Hibiscus will also draw attention and have (literally) stopped traffic at the American Meadows’ test gardens.

Add Year-Round Interest. Weigela Merlot Rose is a dramatic shrub that blooms a lovely pink in early spring, keeping its handsome bronze foliagethroughout the seasons. It will also thrive in sun and shade. Elderberries illuminate the spring garden with golden, finely textured leaves and blooms in the summer, followed by wonderfully-bright berries.  

Create Privacy & Hide Unsightly Views. Have a neighbor that is a little too close for comfort or want to hide an ugly chain-link fence? Large, vibrant shrubs such as Hydrangea, Butterfly Bushes, Hibiscus and more are perfect for doing this work for you!

Build “Garden Rooms.”  Because of their height and spread, Shrubs can be planted as “walls” to create a charming garden “room.” Place your favorite hammock or outdoor seat in your garden room for the ultimate relaxing place to read a great book in the summer months.  

Provide Cover for Birds & Other Wildlife. It’s probably not much of a surprise that winged wildlife love Butterfly Bushes and can not only feed but take shelter in them. Other shrubs that can be planted to help attract and provide cover for wildlife are Hydrangea, Hibiscus and Forsythia.

Try planting shrubs (or one, depending on your space) this season to add interest to your garden year-round, create a dramatic statement, add privacy, or to build your own garden room.  You will not only gain a beautiful focal point in your space, but will also provide food and shelter for birds and butterflies.

Happy Gardening!

January 30, 2013 · Amanda Shepard · 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Gardening in Fall, Gardening in Spring and Summer, How-Tos, Perennials

2 Responses

  1. Judy Jackson - February 3, 2013

    I could use a list of plants (of all types) that grow in harsh environment. Hot windy summers, cold windy winters, and clay soil so tight you can make clay jars..Also a list of amendments available for such soil. Thanks and you guys sure grow em nice..

  2. Amanda Shepard - February 5, 2013

    Hi Judy – Thank you for the question! Unfortunately, many plants will either struggle or fail to survive in clay soil, especially if it is heavy clay. You will want to amend the soil to better host plants and their root systems. The key to amending soil is to amend a large area and use enough coarse sand (or builder’s sand) and coarse organic matter. Even if the area you are planting is small, you will still want to amend the larger area around it. The reason for this is that plants will have a difficult time making a transition to the surrounding clay soil, which can lead to limited or no growth. To look for perennials that will thrive in your area, I recommend going to our Perennials Page: http://www.americanmeadows.com/perennials and using the left-hand filters to find plants that will thrive in your hardiness zone and with clay soil. Please let me know if you have any other questions at all! – Amanda