Garden shrubs are selected for various reasons and objectives. Size, flowering or non flowering, foliage color, fall color, deciduous or evergreen shrubs, and amount of care needed by each garden shrub are all factors in shrub selection. One of the main shrub selection factors is zones. Zone compatibility is the first factor when ordering a shrub from a nursery. If the shrub is outside of its comfort or growing zone it may not perform as advertised by the nursery or it may get stressed and die. Most garden centers and nurseries indicate the planting zones on all shrub tags. If the planting zones are not clearly marked be sure and research or ask about what zones the shrub will thrive in.
Evergreen and deciduous shrubs both offer great qualities. Evergreen shrubs, with their year around foliage, are used extensively in hedges and as specimen plants. Needle bearing evergreen shrubs can be trimmed to precise shapes which make the evergreen shrub well suited to neatly pruned hedges or as a garden focal point. Pruning or shaping evergreen shrubs is not a difficult task but the pruning process can take time, depending on how difficult a shape is being attempted. Broadleaf evergreen shrubs such as boxwood can be shaped by pruning into straight looking fences or walls. Spring or fall planted evergreen shrubs would need very little pruning for the first year or two, if any. Ornamental shrubs are often used to finish or fill out a garden. Is the area too small for a tree? Consider an ornamental garden shrub. They will fit into places where trees cannot fit and the garden shrubs can be pruned to fit an unusual site location.
Nursery grown garden shrubs can be grown for any season. Dogwood shrubs are a good example of a shrub with a 4 season interest. The spring season will bring forth catkins that will brighten an early season landscape. Dogwoods exhibit nice foliage and foliage colors for summer enjoyment. The fall season will be illuminated with colorful fall foliage and finally in the winter, some dogwoods have bright colored stems that stand out against a winter season scene. There are many types of shrubs and shrub species. Choices abound, you can choose from over 500 species of shrubs and many, many more derivations of each species. There should be a shrub that will fit your location that will meet your needs for color, size, care, season, and planting zones. Garden shrubs can be thought of as a large perennial and likely easier to care for. Shrubs need little care and they live for a long time. Yearly pruning or maintenance is normally enough to keep shrubs looking good. Small lots or yards are a good location for shrubs. Trees need room and small spaces can crowd trees too much. Shrubs are faster growing than most trees so new landscapes look much more mature with shrubs than trees planted at similar times or season. Ornamental shrubs can be successfully planted in the spring season or in early fall.