Shrubs and Trees
In my Zone 7A garden, so if you live in a different hardiness zone, adjust accordingly.)
If you’ve looking for low-maintenance gardening then shrubs and small trees are the plants for you. Here are a few that have been easy for me, by which I mean they look great with little or no help. Notice I don’t mean “look crappy but manage to stay alive”. Don’t miss the extra-credit section: Shrubs I’ve Killed. And to read more real gardeners’ experiences with different shrubs and trees, I recommend the plant profiles at Daves Garden. Just put a plant name in the “Search Plants” function you see on the right. More photos of shrubs and trees can be found by using Google Images (a great resource!)
More about Shrubs
- Dividing Shrubs? DON’T DO THAT! and Amending the Soil when Planting Trees by Don Engebretson, the Renegade Gardener.
- Screening’s a BIG deal! Here are some great plants for screening.
- Favorite Shrubs of Adrian Higgins and Erica Glasener – because they know plants.
Shrubs and Trees for Shady Spots
Aesculus parviflora/Bottlebrush Buckeye, Hydrangea quercifolia/Oakleaf Hydrangea, Itea virginica/Virginia Sweetspire, Buxus/Boxwood, Aucuba, some cherry laurels and Nandina and Pieris japonica. Oh, and azalea, of course — a shrub usually planted unhappily in afternoon sun.
And don’t miss horticulturist Erica Glasener’s favorite shrubs for shade on this page.
Shrubs I’ve Killed
- They don’t deserve their own pages, so they’re all here on one sad, ugly page.
Tree and Shrub Stories from the Garden
- “Arbor Day — BAD for planting. Earth Day? Same deal” is a rant about these days being in the bad-for-planting spring.
- “How to Move a #%!@ Large Shrub”. —“How to Move a #%!@ Large Shrub – you’ll understand the cursing in the title soon enough.
Do the research and don’t waste money on plants they’ll love. Here’s the best site I’ve ever found on the subject for good detailed information.
More Info in Print
- Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs by the best-known authority on the subject.
- NEW! Viburnums by Michael Dirr, and my review is here.
- Taylor’s Guide to Shrubs is another good one.
- Homeowner’s Complete Tree and Shrub Handbook by Penelope O’Sullivan
- Shrub by Molly Ivins isn’t about plants at all, but I couldn’t resist including it.
And on Line
- “Which trees soak up the most carbon?” in Slate Magazine.