Home Appliances Technology and Resources.
Home Home Appliances Technologies Articles Sitemap Resources Directory


How To Plan For Shrubs In Your Garden

Used judiciously, shrubs can add beauty and make your landscape easier to maintain. Used incorrectly, they become time-consuming maintenance problems. Nearly every American home features a foundation planting-a vegetative border that skirts the house and hides the foundation from view. In many cases, the homeowner spends much time and effort maintaining the appearance of the foundation planting; neglecting to do so would compromise the home's overall attractiveness and value. You can, however, reduce the amount of maintenance required, imperative for the accessible landscape.

Spend some time evaluating your foundation planting. Ask yourself the following questions: * Does it enhance the appearance of the home? * Does it obscure architectural details? * Are windows and entryways shaded or blocked by overhanging branches? * Are portions of the walls or the foundation kept constantly damp by shading vegetation? * Do overgrown shrubs make it difficult to perform maintenance on the house? * Do dense plantings provide possible hiding places for intruders? * Have certain plants outgrown their neighbors and produced an unbalanced or awkward effect? * Has the landscape kept up with the times, or does it date your home? Fashions in landscape design, like fashions in clothing, change over the years. Updating your foundation planting is a good way to beautify your home and reduce its maintenance requirements. Begin planning by photographing your home and foundation plantings.

Study other designs. The landscape designs around fast-food restaurants are a great source of ideas. Because anything planted in these high-traffic areas must look good and stand up to a lot of abuse and neglect, you can see what low-maintenance plants do well in your region.

Most of these commercial landscapes are done by professional designers; study how they blend texture, color, form, and height to achieve a pleasing effect. Ask for the names of landscape designers who have done an especially nice job; it costs surprisingly little to have a professional design drawn. Choose plants wisely. Planting yews, arborvitae, or larger juniper varieties as foundation shrubbery is probably the single biggest mistake. These are by nature big, fast-growing, dense trees, not shrubs-excellent for formal hedges, allees, or topiary, but unsuitable for foundation landscaping. Where these shrubs are planted away from the house, you can reduce maintenance by allowing them gradually to revert to their natural size and shape.

Otherwise, remove them. Eliminate sheared, geometrically shaped shrubs. Perfect cubes, spheres, and cones are maintenance nightmares and have no place in the accessible landscape. Replace a high-maintenance foundation planting or island bed with an assortment of manageable varieties such as low-growing or dwarf junipers, azaleas, cotoneasters, barberry, and ornamental grasses.

Doing so will cut your maintenance time to nearly zero, add color and lively form to your home, and update your landscape. Avoid placing close to the house plants that are thorny and rambling, such as roses or pyracantha; tall and spreading, like forsythia or lilac; and invasive or climbing, like some euonymus. These are not necessarily high-maintenance species, but they are best reserved for specimen plantings elsewhere in the garden, where their natural form can develop unchecked. Common design mistakes include foundation plantings that are too big or too small in relation to the house; monotonous, one-color, onespecies plantings; too much diversity; and awkward placement of shrubs. Strive for plantings that lead the eye toward the main entrance, balance the structure of the house with its surroundings, and exhibit a changing palette of color year-round.

With a little thought, you can design a foundation planting that is both attractive and easy to care for, no matter where you live or under what conditions you garden. You may choose either a fairly formal arrangement of shrubs, balanced on both sides of the entryway, or a looser, less structured look. Move plants around on paper, grouping and regrouping them until you have a pleasing arrangement.

Whether formal or informal, two simple rules apply: Use only three or four varieties of plants, and put low-growing varieties in front of tall ones. Select shrubs planted away from the house for their low-maintenance characteristics, too. Allow sheared, geometric-shaped plants to return to their natural state, or remove them. Group shrubs together and mulch well, at least 2 feet beyond the farthest spread of their branches. Doing so will conserve moisture and make mowing easier. Use lowgrowing, shade-loving shrubs as understory plantings beneath trees; this cuts down on maintenance time and provides cover for wildlife.

Simone Piette is a freelance writer of many articles on gardening plus other topics. Traffic Exchange
Submitted by: Automatic Article Submitter

Home Appliances

Swing Sets for Your Children - Every child wants a swing set in their backyard.

Is Your Hot Water Heater Safe - Follow guidelines like these to keep your hot water heater in top condition.

Take a Look at the Many Existing Gazebos - What is this funny sounding word and what does it mean? There is some confusion over where the word originated and what it actually means.

Living on a Houseboat - Have you ever dreamed of living on a houseboat? This article can give you a basic idea of where to find them and what it might be like to live on one.

What can an Armoire be Used For - Families who live in homes accumulate many things over the years.

© Copyright All rights reserved.
Unauthorized duplication in part or whole strictly prohibited by international copyright law.