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Publication: Garden Guides
Planting and Care of Shrubs

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                   GardenGuides Newsletter 
                      September 5, 2006

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Here are some inspirational ideas for easy gardening: 

* Paving: a huge variety of pavers are available, but you 
will need lots of plants in combination with them to soften 
the effect. You can pave a walkway through your garden, or 
create a patio, with plants throughout. 

* Gravel and stone: These are best with drought-resistant 
plants such as lavenders. A few plants go a long way in this 
type of garden, and maintenance is limited to trimming back 
any plants that begin to outgrow their space. Lay the gravel 
thick to keep weeds away. 

* Raised beds: These can be used in conjunction with various 
ground coverings, and can be made of wood, brick, or a number 
of other materials. Raised beds usually hold a greater depth 
of soil than do pots or tubs, so plants are less likely to 
dry out, and it should not be necessary to water a raised 
bed daily during hot weather, according to the book, Planning
Your Garden. 

* Use drought-resistent plants: check with your local 
nursery for the plants that grow best in your climate, and 
choose the ones that work the best with your garden style. 

* Ground-cover plants. Ground-cover plants are also important 
'carpets' for suitable beds and borders. Use plants that do 
well in your area. Some choices include moss, chamomile, 
thyme, and even clover. 

* Other options include planting through gravel, through 
gaps in a patio, and against walls. 

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Planting And Care Of Shrubs 
by Paul Curran

In general, trees and shrubs are planted and cared for in 
the same way, the difference between them being chiefly one 
of height. One definition of the difference, however, is 
that while a tree has only one trunk, a shrub has several 
stems or trunks. 

Not so long ago the number of reliable shrubs was quite 
limited, but today the many new hybrids have lengthened the 
list and the gardener's choice is almost endless. No matter 
the region, it is now possible to plant shrubs that will 
satisfy color needs, bloom at various seasons, cover bare 
spots where grass won't grow, or grow in such profusion and 
depth that screening purposes are served. 

Shrubs are valuable to the gardener because they bridge the 
gap between trees and flowers. As do trees, they serve as 
boundary markers, soften the lines of buildings, act as a 
decorative background for flower beds and hide unsightly 

Like flowers, they add character and shape to the garden, 
blooming forth with colorful blossoms and attracting birds 
with their berries. One big item in their favor is that 
they mature rapidly, yet remain as hardy and long-lived as 


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Planting of shrubs is tittle different from planting of 
trees. Early spring is the most favorable time since it 
gives the plant a long spell of good growing weather to get 
reestablished. In the milder sections of the country, 
however, transplanting may be done through the winter months. 
In New England, evergreens may be planted in September and 
May, and deciduous shrubs in October and May. 

Dry roots are the chief cause of planting failures, and 
steps should be taken to prevent this—i.e., balling and 
burlapping, and heeling in. After receiving shrubs from a 
nursery, water as soon as possible; shade them from sunshine 
at first, mulch the ground around them, and prune back

The older the plant you get, the more severely it will have 
to be cut back, so that in the long run, you come out just 
as well buying the less expensive, smaller shrubs. Forsythia 
and azalea may be moved while in flower, but most plants 
should not. 


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Watering in the fall, before the ground freezes, is import-
ant for box, azalea, rhododendron, mountain laurel and 
broadleaf evergreens, whose leaves lose moisture in winter. 

Pruning of shrubs helps to keep them young and vigorous. 
Rather than cutting all branches off to an even length, 
prune out the older branches, even though they may be sound. 
With lilacs, for example, use a keyhole saw, and cut as 
close to the ground as possible, cutting out the oldest 

Some shrubs need pruning every year, especially those which 
have dead branches as a result of winterkill. (These include 
some deutzias, hydrangeas, buddleia, spireas and privets.) 
Other shrubs such as rhododendron, azaleas, magnolia and 
buddleia should have the flower heads pruned off after 

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