IDENTIFYING SHRUB DISEASES
Picking the ICK out of your landscape
It’s easy to understand that shrubs are pretty and add decorative elements to any landscape but their usefulness goes far beyond the attractive look they provide. Check out these ways to put shrubs to work in your landscape.
1. The green part of green movement. We often take for granted the environmental importance of plants in our landscape. They remove carbon dioxide from our air and release oxygen in Mother Nature’s carbon credit program. They also stabilize soils and keep a lot of soil out of your house. Plants filter air and water borne pollutants from our environment. Planting an energy-conserving landscape can lower your heating and cooling bills. Shrubs can be used as windbreakers to stop winter winds, planted near air conditioning units to keep them shaded, planted near windows to provide internal shade, and covering driveways and sidewalks to lessen the absorption of sunlight heat. Your contribution to what is popularly called the Green Movement starts with your landscape.
2. Landscape your property line. Putting shrubs along your property line can serve you in a number of ways such as providing privacy, marking boundaries, and offering wind protection. Be respectful with the shrubs you choose, and maintain them frequently so as not to offend your neighbors with wild, unkempt landscaping.
3. Bring color to your landscape. Flowering shrubs such as hydrangeas, rhododendrons, and lilac brighten up your yard with little maintenance.
4. Add texture. Break up garden beds or rows of trees with shrubs in a variety of shapes and sizes. Consider small leaved plants such as honey locust, lavender, dill, and spirea as well as larger leaf plants like hostas and Dutchman's pipe.
5. Soften hardscapes. Adding shrubs around foundations, pools, patios, and decks can soften the look of hard edges, plus bring some privacy to your space.
6. Attract wildlife . Flowering shrubs can attract birds, deer, and pollinators like bees and butterflies, which are essential to our food supply. Plant shrubs with colorful flowers, like Butterfly Bush, Rose of Sharon, and Burning Bush.
7. Cover your ground. Low shrubs can cover your ground, eliminating weeds and requiring less maintenance than grass. Consider Purple Haze, Little Dipper, or Rose Carpet.
8. Enjoy the fruits of your labor. Plant some shrubs that will produce fruits and berries for you to enjoy, including blueberry, American cranberry, and currents.
9. Landscape quickly. Fast-growing shrubs can fill in around a new home or enhance a sparse yard. Honeysuckle, Forsythia, Mock Orange, and Western Red Cedar are all quickly established shrubs.
10. To increase curb appeal. Attractive landscaping, including shrubs, can increase the value of a home by thousands of dollars.