Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bring me... A Shrubbery!

According to Wikipedia “A shrubbery is a wide border to a garden where shrubs are thickly planted; or a similar, larger area with a path winding through it… a collection of hardy shrubs … distinct from the flower garden.” Wikipedia also referenced the poet Milton and more to my taste, Monty Python. You may recall that The Knights who say Ni demanded a shrubbery of King Arthur. A nice one but not too expensive.

Penn State’s new Guide for Selecting Shrubs for Pennsylvania Landscapes says .. “Shrubs act as intermediate units working in partnership with trees to provide scale and structure for the larger shade trees and the people and animals that interact with the landscape.” Yes indeed , my cat sleeps in the shrubbery.

This is a great new reference created by Penn State Horticulture Department faculty. It describes more than 200 shrubs for Pennsylvania landscapes. For planning purposes the guide is divided between deciduous and evergreen shrubs. These are arranged by size…less than 3 feet, 3-5 feet, 5-9 feet, etc. Excellent information for planning a shrubbery.

Shrubs native to Pennsylvania are indicated for those of you who are planning with this in mind. Last year I planted Clethera and Itea, a couple of natives that tolerate very wet sites. Great plants. Bees love them.

With more than 200 species mentioned, you’ll of course find Junipers and Viburnum, Taxus and Rhododendron, Cotoneaster and Cornus. But also less know genera such as Xanthorhiza, Indigofera, and Eubotrys.

It won’t be long before we can think about planting outside again. A Guide for Selecting Shrubs for Pennsylvania Landscapes is a great planning reference and inspiration. Read it on line, call us (215-345-3283) for a free copy or order from Penn State.