Gardening With Shrubs – It’s Easier Than You Think

By Nikki Tilley | August 31, 2021
by Nikki Tilley
August 31, 2021

Shrubs, like trees, are the backbone of your garden. I have many in mine, but it didn’t start out that way.

Gardening with Shrubs

When I first started gardening, I never really gave much thought to growing shrubs. I’m sure many of us started out that way. Perhaps, like me, you began with houseplants, a few vegetables, or even some flowers. After all, aren’t shrubs and trees already everywhere around us? Is there really a need to grow them in the landscape on purpose? 

Yes, it’s true that many shrubs (and trees) naturally grow in the landscape, BUT there are a number of reasons to grow them in your garden too. They can help anchor your surroundings. Though attractive as foliage may be, shrubs also produce lovely blooms that help pollinators, and edible berries for us as well as our feathered friends to enjoy. Shrubs can also provide much needed shelter to birds and other wildlife. Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of this when starting out. I sure wasn’t. Once I gave it a try and saw just how easy growing shrubs can be, however, it eventually became second nature. Now I have more than a few shrubs in the garden.

There’s hydrangea, forsythia, and mock orange scattered about. Take a stroll through my garden and you’ll also find a number of rose bushes, as well as:

I enjoy growing shrubs in large containers too – like pussy willow, smoke bush, rose of Sharon, rosemary and hydrangea. I’m probably forgetting others. I have shrubs in the wildlife garden that provide shelter year round. Some produce berries during winter, such as ninebark and winterberry. Essentially, I now pretty much have a variety of shrubs growing somewhere in the landscape and you can too. Gardening with shrubs is not as daunting or difficult as one may think. Other than some routine pruning each year, it’s not much different than caring for any other garden plant. Just choose the types that grow best in your region, and remember to always include native species whenever possible.

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