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Shrubs and Hedges

Curate the landscape you desire with low-lying shrubs and natural hedge fencing.

Shrubs and Hedges

The addition of shrubs and hedges in your garden is an essential one. Whether you’re increasing privacy, segmenting and organizing your garden, or creating areas of visual interest, one of the most effective ways to implement these designs is by planting shrubs and hedges.

The variety of shrubs and hedges available for planting in your garden means that you can easily create an enjoyable environment and a sense of enclosure that compliments the look of your outside space. By strategically planting a diverse range of shrubs and hedges in varying heights and shapes, you can achieve a high level of interest and color throughout the year, whether you opt for evergreen, deciduous, or flowering options.

Choosing Shrubs and Hedges

With such a diverse range of shrubs and hedges available, knowing how to choose the right species for your garden is key to achieving your desired landscape. Your first step in choosing shrubs and hedges would be to determine the role you want these plants to play in your garden. So, ask yourself what you want to achieve with these plants. Some of the most common reasons for planting shrubs and hedges include:

To add more privacy to your garden with hedges and bushes
To add color and fragrance to your borders with flowering shrubs
To support wildlife like birds and to attract pollinators
For landscaping and to provide structure and permanence for your beds and other plants

Creating an attractive edge around your property and improving curb appeal
The many varieties of shrubs and hedges available ensure that any backyard can be transformed into a beautiful landscape, creating evergreen texture and depth throughout the growing season and the year ahead.

Know Your Landscape

Once you know what you want to achieve with your shrubs and hedges, it’s important to understand that your choice of plants will be influenced by other factors including:

Hardiness: The hardiness of the plant is how well it can withstand cold temperatures. Some of the hardiest shrub species you may want to plant include the Forsythia and Hydrangeas species.

Climate: Choosing plants that are tolerant of dry climates can make maintenance easier, however, some flowering and fast growing hedges may need a good supply of water to keep going.

The acidity of your soil: Knowing the acidity of your soil is key to choosing the right shrubs. Many shrubs such as Azaleas and Camellias, prefer acidic soil, so if you live in an alkaline area you may want to consider planting these shrubs in pots for better flowering results.

Thankfully, despite these factors, there are many different species of shrubs and hedges available to match your soil and growing zone requirements. Whether they require full sun, well drained soil, or need to be pruned regularly, there are plenty of shrubs and hedges that are easy to grow and maintain.

Types of Shrubs

Knowing the different types of shrubs and hedges you can plant, gives you an idea of how you can achieve your desired landscape or fulfill your needs in terms of increasing privacy or boosting local wildlife. Let’s take a closer look.

Deciduous Shrubs

Deciduous shrubs lose their leaves in the winter. But this doesn’t mean that they lose their beauty. Instead, gardeners are left with texture and depth in the form of twisted branches and stems, so even though the shrubbery and foliage have died back, your yard is still interesting to look at and maintains its shape.

When Spring arrives, you can expect a stunning colourful display of flowers and leaves. The Endless Summer Hydrangea, or for colder regions the Annabelle Hydrangea – will give flowers from mid-summer right into fall, and these plants will look great for weeks and weeks of every year.

Evergreen Shrubs

Evergreen shrubs are a great choice for those who want to see greenery and shape all year round. You can expect dense foliage even in the fall, which makes evergreens like boxwoods ideal for privacy or for creating hedgerows around your property.

Additionally, many evergreens bring flowers and colors to gardens all year round in the form of berries and blooms. Azaleas are popular flowering shrubs, ranging from less than one foot to over 20 feet and even taller when reaching mature height.

Colorful and Flowering Shrubs

Bringing color into your garden means inviting a feast for all the senses. From beautiful blooms that look easy on the eye to flowering shrubs that attract pollinators and wildlife, opting for dense foilage creates texture and even produces some much-needed shade in the summer months.

Camellias are a popular shrub choice amongst gardeners – although not always neat and formal looking they bring a much-needed burst of color into gardens even before winter has finished. Producing blooms that flower in pure white or flower in different shades of pink and red. Flowering Azaelas like the Encore Azalea series will flower throughout Spring, Summer, and well into the fall as well, making them another great choice for plants and shrub lovers.

Shrubs for Privacy

Many shrubs are chosen for their eventual mature height and their fast growing capabilities. Making them the perfect choice for those looking to grow hedges around their property, and develop screens for privacy.

Boxwoods: If you’re looking for straight lines and a formal appearance in your garden then consider boxwoods. Complementing the architecture of modern and period-style properties. English Boxwood can grow to around 3 feet tall, while its American counterpart American Boxwood can reach heights of 5-8 feet tall making these perfect hedges for perimeters or as a way to outline driveways or paths.

Cherry Laurels: With large, glossy leaves Cherry Laurels are ideal plants for screens and privacy. Unlike other shrubs, they don’t need full sun and can easily thrive in shaded areas. Trimming and pruning are optional, depending on how dense you need your screens to be.

Privets: As an evergreen, privets are ideal for those looking for a sturdy hedge that will grow in almost any condition. Ideal for breaking strong winds and being left alone if you’re not a hands-on gardener, privets are a great choice if you need thick foilage, minimal trimming, and shrubbery that looks great in any yard.

How to Plant Shrubs and Hedges

Once you’ve decided on the type of shrubs you want to plant in your garden, it’s time to start planting. Establishing a growing zone and understanding the needs of your new shrub is key to getting this process right. You don’t simply dig a hole and leave it! Let’s take a closer look at how to plant your shrubs and hedges.

Prepare Your Shrubs for Planting

Most shrubs can be a little frazzled before being planted so before you begin, remove all the packaging from your shrubs, move them to a shaded area, and give them a generous drink of water. These hardy little plants can survive in their pots until you’re ready to plant them, just keep them watered and don’t keep them indoors.

Choose An Appropriate Location

Whether you’re planting boxwood, butterfly bushes, or flowering shrubs, it’s important to choose an appropriate location based on your plants’ needs. Consider where is appropriate for those shrubs that need partial, or full sun, particular soil pH levels, or shelter from inclement weather – failing to meet these requirements means your new shrubs will struggle.

If you’re planting shrubs to create screening – even those with high levels of hardiness – you’ll need to explore specific planting techniques that help them reach their full potential.

Work Out The Spacing

Once you have removed your shrubs from their containers, you’ll need to establish the order and positioning of each plant. Laying them out will give you a good idea of the spacing between each shrub. If there is too much space between them then they won’t fill the space properly and you’ll have gaps – and if they are too bunched together there could be issues with circulation and disease.

One simple way to achieve the right spacing is to stagger them by planting every other one a little behind or in front of the one next to it – this is ideal for those wanting a more natural look.

Dig Your Holes

Dig a hole that is two to three times wider than the container and mimic the depth of the pot itself. If you have dug too much or too little, adjust your digging accordingly.

Plant Your Shrubs

Now it’s time to plant your shrubs in the holes you’ve dug. Plant them in the center of the hole, if the hole is too deep then add a little more soil. Refill the hole halfway, firming the soil around the base of the shrub.

Water Your Shrubs

Before you finish filling in the hole, you need to generously water your shrubs. Ensure the water has soaked into the soil and drained away before you fill in the hole with soil.

Add Mulch

Once you’ve filled in the hole apply a 3-4 inch layer of mulch on the top. This looks attractive and helps you new shrubs to settle in. Then you can give them another generous watering.

Caring for Your Shrubs and Hedges

Now that you have your shrubs and hedges planted, it’s important to keep up with their maintenance. Caring for your shrubs and hedges means that they’ll grow and thrive to their full potential, giving you the color, privacy, or structure in your yard that you’re looking for. To give your new plants everything they need, consider the following approach:

Watering

Knowing your soil and your new plants’ requirements will ensure they get the right amount of moisture. Watering isn’t a “one-size-fits all” approach but generally speaking, shrubs and hedges in the morning can help minimize water loss through evaporation in hotter climates, whilst adding mulch will help keep moisture locked into your soil. Ensure you are watering the soil rather than the plant itself, so the shrubs can access the water better at the roots.

Fertilizing

Fertilizing is great for accelerating the new growth and the health of your plants. Consider fertilizing before Spring and again in the Fall. A balanced fertilizer will give your shrubs and hedges the nutrients they need when waking from their dormant state and help them maintain their health over colder months.

Pruning

In order to encourage buds further down the stems to create thicker foliage, consider pruning your plants in the Springtime. If you’re looking to shape your hedges or shrubs then pruning in the summer is recommended. In the Spring, prune your shrubs to remove deadheads, and damaged branches to encourage new growth.

FAQs

What’s the difference between a hedge and a shrub? Shrubs are woody plants, that are made up of multiple stems and can grow on the ground or grow less than 15 feet high. You can trim shrubs into their desired shape or leave them to grow naturally. Hedges are a limit or boundary created by planting multiple shrubs close together to create privacy or security. They are used in landscaping and are usually well-maintained.

What are some deer resistant shrubs? Deer resistant shrubs include the Thuja Green Giant, Italian Cypress, Green Mountain Boxwood, and the American Boxwood.

Do shrubs and hedges need full sun? There are a wide variety of shrubs and hedges available, all with specific needs and sunlight requirements. From full sun to partial sunlight, even those that thrive in the shade, you’re sure to find a species that suits your needs and unique location.

When should I cut back shrubs and hedges? The best time to cut back your evergreen shrubs and hedges is in early Spring, while your deciduous shrubs will benefit from pruning in late winter or early spring. If you have spring-flowering shrubs prune them in late spring or early summer for the best results.

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