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Shrubs are the foundation of any garden. They provide form and structure all year. Evergreen shrubs have foliage all year, while deciduous shrubs are leafy and flower during the spring and/or summer, but lose their foliage in the winter. They do, however, still provide structure.
Generally, shrubs are multi-stemmed and range in size from 6 inches to 15 feet tall. Sometimes they begin their life in the garden as a smaller or moderate size shrub and in later years some selections can grow larger and become tree size. The useful life of a shrub is often 20 or more years. It usually takes 2 or 3 years to develop these plants in the garden. Thus it is wise to try and select your choices of shrubs carefully. Seeking expert advice and design skill can help prevent a frustrating disappointment
Texture is often a consideration when planning what to plant where. Larger leaves or coarser foliage is good to place farther away from where you walk. Place finer texture plants closer. Pops of color interspersed among green plants help draw the eye and lead you on a path to follow. This can be from a red, yellow or blue-leafed plant or a plant with showy flowers.
Fragrance is another aspect to consider when deciding what to plant. Lilacs fill the air with perfume in the spring, as do some Viburnum and Daphne. Put these where their intoxicating fragrance can be enjoyed.
Be sure to take into account the size a plant will become. Mature size can take decades to achieve, and every plant grows at a different rate. Make sure you plant something that does what you want it to in a reasonable amount of time, but does not become a problem down the road.
Sunlight and water are also factors to keep in mind. Be sure you know how much light your spot gets before making your selections. Most plants do great with all day sun. Fewer will do well in shady spots. All plants need water, especially new plantings. Be sure you have a plan to give your plants the water they need.
English Gardens experts are available in our retail stores to help with your plant selections. We also have advice to help if you want to do the work yourself; or an award-winning, full-service Landscape Design and Installation Company if you want us to do the work.