Knowing Your Shrubs

Shrubs are the real workhorses of the home landscape. For all intents and purposes, regard them as permanent or long-term fixtures. They're something to see and appreciate in all seasons, bringing heft and stability to your yard. And after they reach mature size, you can maintain them that way with little trouble. So it behooves you to choose wisely, matching your yard's growing conditions and getting the look you want. In the following sections, I tell you about the different types of shrubs.

Consult your local garden center or an agriculture extension agent to find out which cultivars are best suited to your area and also to know which shrubs are invasive and potentially illegal to grow in your area.

NonfloWering shrubs

Just like trees, shrubs may be deciduous or evergreen, needled or broadleaf (see the earlier "Knowing Your Trees" section). Here are some of your best bets for nonflowering shrubs. Check with your local garden center or cooperative agricultural extension to see which specific varieties of these trees and shrubs are best suited to your area:

1 Evergreen needled: Some ideal needled shrubs include Japanese yews, mugo pine, junipers, boxwood, dwarf conifer, and arborvitae.

Some herbs also fit this category, such as sage, lavender, oregano, thyme, and rosemary. See Chapter 14 for information on herbs.

1 Evergreen broadleaf: Broadleaf shrubs that keep their leaves year-round include Japanese pieris, mountain laurels, boxwood, sweetbox, wintergreen barberry, and various hollies.

1 Deciduous: If you want shrubs that drop their leaves every year, consider privet, beautyberry, snowberry, various euonymus, alpine currant, and various willows.

Some deciduous shrubs can give you a fantastic show before shedding their leaves. Favorite shrubs for spectacular fall color include barberry, aronia, winged euonymus (burning bush), blueberry, oleander, viburnum, and smokebush.

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Herbs 101

Herbs 101

Learn what you can do with herbs! How to Plant, Grow, and Cook with Natural Herbs. Have you always wanted an herb garden but didn't know how to get started? Do you want to know more about growing your own herbs in the privacy of your home and using them in a variety of cooking?

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