Shrubs are plants with multiple stems that can grow more than 20 feet tall. They provide a solid garden structure that other plants will build upon. When choosing shrubs, make sure they are well-suited to the garden's soil and sun exposure.
Deciduous shrubs change with the seasons. Many offer seasonal color in their spring and summer flowers, fall leaves and colorful twigs. Deciduous shrubs are often at their best in fall when their colorful foliage highlights the garden.
Evergreen shrubs retain most of their foliage in winter and add year-round beauty to the garden. Evergreen shrubs lose some of their foliage every year, but they don't lose it all at the same time. Narrow-leaved evergreens have needles. All other evergreens are broad-leaved. Evergreens require less maintenance than deciduous shrubs.
Dwarf shrubs grow no more than 3 feet tall. Dwarfs are great for containers and planters, in rock gardens, as ground covers and in tight places. Dwarf shrubs are no more delicate than larger shrubs and are treated the same way.
After a shrub flowers, it produces seeds. These seeds are often contained inside brightly colored berries. Berries add bright color and interest to the fall and winter garden and attract wildlife. Only female shrubs produce berries. Some are self-fertile, but others require a male nearby for fertilization.
- Colorado State University Extension: Deciduous Shrubs
- Agrilife Extension: Small Shrubs
- "A Guide to Growing Sensational Shrubs"; Richard Bird; 2000
- Colorado State University Extension: Evergreen Shrubs
- "The Homeowner's Complete Tree and Shrub Handbook"; Penelope O'Sullivan; 2007
- Photo Credit ULTRA.F/Photodisc/Getty Images berberis berries image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com
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