By Marianne Willburn, gardening expert and author.
Butterfly Bush, Hydrangea, Forsythia, Beauty Berry, Viburnum, and more! A shrub by definition is a woody, multi-stemmed plant, either deciduous or evergreen, that can grow from just a few inches high to over ten feet tall.
Shrubs offer much for your garden – privacy, contrast, scent, texture, flower, windscreen, shade, erosion control, and of course, the ‘wow’ factor. There’s a lot to think about when we’re investing in shrubs that will beautify and shape our landscapes for years to come - so we'll help you choose well and plant well.
Why Plant Shrubs in the Fall?
Certainly it is tempting to put thoughts of next year’s garden on hold for winter dreaming and spring planting, but gardeners who capitalize on the fall planting season take advantage of many opportunities the spring just can’t afford.
Most importantly, still-warm soil and lower air temperatures give hardy shrubs a huge advantage in establishing strong root systems. Pest populations are lower, competition from tall summer weeds is reduced and in many areas of the country, fall rains mean that the gardener’s job as chief hose wielder is substantially lessened.
Plus, remember how busy the spring season is? There are literally hundreds of tasks we’re juggling as the earth wakes up and begins to shift into high gear. Fall allows us to take a deep breath, quietly consider our landscapes and make decisions. And you’d be surprised how much easier those decisions are after a long growing season that showed us the gaps and weaknesses in our planting schemes. These gaps that are often admirably filled by shrubs. Installing them in the fall to solve those problems means that you’ve got a jump on the new season – and so do your plants.
It’s a win/win for gardener and shrub!