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Choosing shrubs to plant

In exterior decoration, shrubs are the furniture. They anchor the décor and give meaning to your flower beds. They're like living architecture in your garden, which is exactly why they're used to create hedges.

Why planting shrubs

Not only are they attractive to the eyes, but they are also low-maintenance, so if you're looking for a way to create an intimate, attractive exterior space without investing much energy, shrubs are the way to go.

Their many functions:

  • Focal point of the garden;
  • Giving curb value to your buildings, structure and garden accessories;
  • Bordering mass plantings;
  • Creating a visual screen near a pool;
  • Delineating flower beds by giving them a brief visual transition;
  • Defining spaces and providing landmarks.

How to choose shrub

It's easy to find a reason to plant shrubs: masses of spring flowers, successive flowering, fruits that attract birds, autumn leaf colours, winter foliage... there's such a large range of ornamental shrubs on the market that you could practically create a garden with only shrubs and trees. There as some key elements that you need to consider before.

  • Location where you will plant your shrub:
    • Sunny: 6 hours or more of sunlight per day;
    • Semi-shaded: approximately 3 hours of sunlight per day;
    • Shaded: almost total lack of direct sunlight.
  • Foliage, texture and colour for all season. There are a lot of foliage colour choices: deep crimson, silver-grey, silvery blue, greenish yellow to shiny golden yellow, mottled mixes of white, yellow and sometimes even pink.
  • Growth: height and width at maturity; restricted spaces. Use more compact varieties that require little or no pruning.
  • Blooming season: select successively flowering groups of shrubs and enjoy uninterrupted blooms from spring until the end of autumn.
  • Composition of your soil: chalky, sandy, acidic, etc.
  • Existing elements: other plants, fences, pool, electrical wires, etc.

Flowering patio, terraces and balconies or small gardens

Fortunately for those of us with terraces, patios and porches, shrubs grafted onto a standard are increasingly popular, inspiring more varieties and greater availability. These are grown in decorative pots. Their continuous summer flowering and Mediterranean or tropical provenance contributes to the vacation atmosphere.

It's more difficult to stagger flowering in a small garden since you can't have that many plants. So look for continuously flowering or prolonged flowering varieties.

Is autumn time for conserving or composting?

In a greenhouse or sunny window, tropical plant can thrive inside while continuing to flower. In Quebec, consider the Hibiscus, Bougainvillea, Mandevilla and Fuchsia can be kept indoors or dormant.