Popular Shrubs for Garden Landscape Ideas

popular shrubs - Azalea

Popular Shrubs

Popular shrubs, bushes and small trees form the backbone, as it were, of a garden as far as plant material is concerned, and they have an important part to play in garden design and garden landscape ideas. They are more permanent than other plants and, although a few lend themselves to being moved to fit in with an alteration of plan, most of them will remain where they are planted for many years.

Many popular shrubs and bushes are grown for the beauty of their flowers, others for their foliage, others for their colourful or interesting fruits. Some combine all attributes. There are shrubs ranging in height from a few inches to 15-20 feet and small trees may be expected to reach 20-25 feet in time, There are evergreen kinds and deciduous, or ‘leaf-losing’, kinds. Most of those available for our gardens will do well on any soil, although there are some that will not grow on alkaline soils – those containing chalk or lime.

Many of the most beautiful popular shrubs in flower, leaf or fruit are used as single specimens in a lawn where they can be seen in isolation and realize their full potential without competition from neighbours. They may be used, with other fine shrubs, in an area devoted solely to the cultivation of shrubs and small trees, usually known as a ‘shrubbery’.

Shrubs may also be used, with hardy herbaceous perennials, in a mixed border, to add height and to give an air of permanence. Many of them will provide with their flowers or foliage a certain interest during the winter months when the herbaceous perennials will, for the most part, have been cut down.

Some popular shrubs, and not only the less interesting kinds, may be used for hedging purposes, those which grow about 5 feet tall as boundary hedges, for example, with lower kinds as internal hedges. For this purpose it is not always necessary to use the same kind of shrub throughout the hedge, different kinds can often be used just as effectively. Taller kinds may be used to provide screens, to block out views of neighbouring houses or other features.

Some low-growing shrubs and bushes, many of them clump forming or spreading by layers or offsets, may be used as ground-cover, to prevent the growth of weeds. Heathers and lings are good examples of these for, if closely planted, they will soon make dense ground-cover.

Shrubs, climbing by means of tendrils or with twining stems, are used to clothe walls or pergolas, and even to scramble over and hide ugly sheds and outbuildings. Others which are not true climber plants may also be trained against walls.

Where a shrub border of reasonable size is being planned, it is possible to plant specimens that will provide flowers throughout the entire year, without concentrating too much on spring and summer when the shrubs will be competing in colour with other garden plants. In general, where winter-flowering shrubs are being planted it is worth placing them so that they can be seen from the house and certainly be inspected closely from a pathway, for many of them have fragrant flowers.

Finally, resist the temptation to plant your shrubs too closely. The small specimen received from the nursery may, in five years, be 10 feet high and as much wide. There is bound to be lots of bare ground in a shrub plantation in the early years, if shrubs are properly spaced, taking into account their ultimate spread, but this can be planted up with bulbs or temporary ground-cover plants.

View: More Popular Shrubs

14. October 2010 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Herbaceous Plants, Planting Shrubs and Trees, Plants & Trees | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Popular Shrubs for Garden Landscape Ideas


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