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What are the Best Tips for Shrub Gardening?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2016
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Planting and cultivating shrubs involves a little more than digging a hole and inserting the shrub roots. In order to create the right landscaping for your yard, factors like the shrub species, the general climate, and the quality of the soil must be considered. If you are thinking of engaging in a little shrub gardening, try using these tips to get off to a good start.

First, get some idea of what type of shrubbery grows properly in your area. Some shrubs thrive in climates where there is a fair amount of humidity and heat for most of the year. Others do very well in areas where the weather is somewhat dry and the temperature moderate from the spring to the autumn. Local gardening and horticulture clubs can help you identify the best shrub plants for your general location. If there is not one of these clubs nearby, a local plant nursery can supply you with practical suggestions for your shrub gardening.

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While evaluating the types of landscape shrubs that are right for your area, you will also need to decide whether you want to go with flowering or green shrubs. Many people prefer a mixture throughout their landscaping. For example, you may want to plant flowering shrubs near windows and doors, allowing everyone to enjoy the fragrance of the blooms when arriving at the house or while sitting near an open window. Green shrubbery can be used along privacy fences or sidewalks to give the lawn a finished look.

An important component of shrub gardening is selecting the right shrubbery for the soil in your yard. Submitting a soil sample to a county extension office or the local university will help you get an idea of what shrubs will thrive in your soil, with minimal care. Compare that list to the listing of recommended shrubs you received from the nursery or local gardening club. Finally, select from the shrub names that appear on each of the lists.

Placement is also important if your shrub gardening efforts are to create a landscape that is both attractive and practical. Take the time to sketch a layout of your front and back yards, then decide where each type of shrub should be placed. Keep in mind that taller shrubs will work well along fence lines, adding privacy to your yard. The shrubs used to soften the lines of the house should generally be shorter; this will prevent the mature shrubs from covering windows or blocking walkways leading to the front and back doors.

Don’t be afraid to mix things up a bit with your shrub gardening. For flowering shrubs, use a mixture of annuals and perennials; this will allow you to enjoy fresh and fragrant blooms all year long. In like manner, use a mixture of evergreens with shrubs that feature different colors of leaves throughout the year. The variety will add visual interest to your landscaping, while also allowing your yard to take on a new and fresh look as the seasons change.

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