Garden Design and the Use of Shrubs
The use of shrubs inis an essential part of the overall garden arrangement of plants; they give it the skeleton, so to speak, on which the flesh in the form of alpines, and is hung. Used in groups, they can contrast or blend with one another in the colour of flower, habit of growth and the shape of leaf.
As individual specimens, it is possible to enjoy the ‘personality’ of each shrub even more. Where a specimen shrub is required it is wise to choose one which has as many good points as possible, that is flowers in spring or summer, followed by berries, and leaves, or, if the shrub is , a distinctive shape in winter. Specimens are set off to the best advantage when they are planted in a lawn, but a small bed should be cut out round them for the first few years until they are established, so the grass and shrub roots are not foraging for food in the same area.
Use of Shrubs
In borders, shrubs can harmonise with herbaceous, and very well, thus providing the modern mixed border, rather than the older type of purely . It is surprising, and highly satisfactory, to see the plant ‘pictures’ which can be obtained by blending these different kinds of plants. With care and forethought it is possible to have one of these plant pictures reaching its most attractive stage as the one next to it is beginning to fade. Tall-growing, fastigiate shrubs can be used as ‘exclamation marks’ in various parts of the garden, to draw attention to a particular planting nearby, or to lead one’s eye to a view beyond it. Climbing shrubs help immeasurably to extend the range of a garden, since it is possible to make of another plane by planting against walls, fences, or over dead tree stumps, and encouraging the plants to ramble over them.
Shrubs will help to block one part of the garden off from another, thus creating the ‘surprise’ effect which makes any good garden. To come unexpectedly on a new part, however small, which is otherwise hidden from sight, makes the garden very much more interesting and attractive. A little space enclosed by shrubs will be sheltered and pleasant to sit in, and will provide a home for tender plants.