Basic Tips on Planting Perennial Shrubs
There are many gardeners who prefer a garden of perennial shrubs over flowers
Shrubs compete much less for root space than trees, which means that although each plant will need its own area to grow and spread, it won’t need as much space as a tree. Be careful to plant them with a suitable distance between each shrub so that they do not encroach on each other’s space and resources, or spoil the symmetry of a formal garden. If you want to create a less formal garden and more of a beautiful wilderness, you can space the shrubs randomly.
Place an emphasis on attractive though small trees that will make the garden shady enough to protect your shade perennials without totally overshadowing them.
Try something like the Paper Bark Maple - or for that matter any small tree with beautiful leaves, flowers or bark will do and maples can often be a good choice depending on your climate.
Conifers and evergreens are just perfect, as their needles enrich the soil. A better quality soil will add to the number of blossoms on your perennial shrubs, and can also lengthen the flowering period.
The shade provided by evergreens is just perfect for shade plants.
When choosing which perennial shrubs to have in a garden, consider a mix of both evergreens and deciduous shrubs.
Remember that most shrub gardens should provide you with a place of calm beauty all through the year - when choosing your shrubs, try not to pick plants that will only make your garden look beautiful for a short time and then rather bleak and lifeless the rest of the year.
Try to stagger the blooming periods of different shrubs rather than having all of them flower at the same time. Choosing shrubs that flower at different times of the year will give you consistency of colour, while making sure the colours you choose are going to complement each other.
Your shrub garden will be at its very best in spring time because most shrubs blossom in the spring. However, if you choose your plants carefully, and plant them strategically, you can be assured that you will have shrubs flowering in mid-summer and autumn.
Even if your main emphasis is on shrubs, try to include a selection of other plants and flowers such as ground cover, and plants of varied heights but ensuring the tall ones do not hide the smaller ones.
To make your garden even more decorative, you can plant some interesting vines at different points, with trellises for them to climb on.
Some basic care tips would include; mulching in winter, compost and/or fertilizer during the flowering period when the plants need a great deal of resources for successful flowering.
Shrubs do not do well if planted under very large or tall trees as they can’t compete for nutrients with the roots and requirements of large trees. If you plant shrubs in close vicinity of a large and overpowering tree you may find your shrub will tend to be stunted or will not bloom so generously.
Perennial shrub gardens do not need very much care throughout the year but you do need to put some thought into the types of shrubs you are going to plant if you want a successful shrub garden and blooms throughout the year.
Fruit bushes such as redcurrant can look really nice in the garden and you also get some fruit!