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Shrubs in Garden Design

Amalanchier canadensis

The Use of Shrubs in Design

Everyone wants a great looking garden, but many people underestimate the value of well-placed shrubs in creating a great design. A garden ful of shrubs without annuals, biennials or perennials can looks a little hard and stark, so it's a nice balance you're after.

Shrubs as Structure

What you're really trying to do it break up the eye line a little. So you might like to plant shrubs as a backdrop for more colourful plants, or use them to 'soften' the edges of buidlings or paths. In fact, by the clever use of shrubs you can actually create a path through the garden, for people or just for the eye. Consider planting a focal point shrub or tree and the end, where your eye gets drawn to. There are no straight lines in nature, so general softening of man-made structures makes it all seem more natural.

Shrubs as Focal Points

Put a single box or yew at a clever point in the garden and it'll all tie together. Perhaps your focal point will be at the end of a path, or perhaps you might spread 3 focal point shrubs zig zagging down the garden and let them grow to eye level when everything else is at knee level. You can also clip these trees into interesting shapes for added impact.

Shrubs as Ground Cover

So who likes bare soil anyway? Or more to the point, who like bare soil which gets covered in weeds? Plant a few ground cover shrubs and not only will you get year-round interest, but you'll save yourself all that back-breaking weeding work throughout the spring and summer. We have a great little selection of hardy ground cover shrubs which should do the trick perfectly.

So when planning your garden for this year or next, plan out your shrub layout first and fill in with plants. Remember to vary colour, form and texture of the plants for the most interesting effect and try to pick them all as a group so they look like they belong together. There's nothing more unsettling in garden design seeing some well-planned native trees and shrubs with a big, gaudy exotic thing sticking out like a sore thumb, plonked in the middle.
Happy planning!


24 April 2014 at 22:42 / Comment

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