Choosing the Right Shrub

Whether you are landscaping a blank canvas at a new home or you are giving your old yard a new and updated look, there are many options so to make sure you choose the right shrub, be sure to consider what you expect from your shrub before you get started. Choosing the right shrub means  you may be looking for beauty, privacy, shade, low-maintenance or strength to support a hammock or tree house. Regardless of your need, there is a shrub for your needs.

Shrubs that tolerate shade

There are many shrubs that will tolerate shade including Azaleas, Boxwood, Clethra, Fothergilla, Hydrangea, Kerria and Rhododendron just to name a few. The best thing about shade gardens is that weeds do not tolerate it well. To choose the right shrub for gardening in the shade you will need to know what to expect. Shrubs that tolerate shade will need additional nutrients so be sure to apply fertilizer regularly. They also do not tolerate drought and will compete for water so be sure to add enough mulch to the area to conserve moisture.

Calgary’s hardiest shrubs

Any shrub that grows well in Calgary is a hardy shrub, so to choose the right shrub, simply chose one that has been proven to do well in our hardiness zone 3 and you know you have one that will survive our cold winters. There are also some extra steps you can take like  adding extra mulch or covering your shrubs with burlap to help them survive winter. Junipers are the most hardy of the evergreen shrubs so if you want some year round greenery then it is your best choice.

Hedge choices

Hedges will define your property and serve as a windbreak. They are more attractive than a fence and do the same job for keeping pets inside the yard. When you choose the right shrub it will perfectly frame a beautiful perennial border and hide an ugly fence. Before you plant your hedge you should decide how much care you want to invest as it grows. A trimmed, formal appearance will need more attention than an unclipped, natural looking hedge but if you choose the right shrub, formal and clipped doesn’t have to mean more work. Slow growing hedges will not need to be pruned very often and will keep their shape for a long time.


Shrubs that change with the season

There are many shrubs that will take on a different look depending on the season. Choose the right shrub and you will get one that has many different faces to reflect the season. Fruit bearing shrub will flower early then have the color of their fruit to contrast a garden through the summers. Planting shrubs with different flower types and bloom periods will create a different look in your garden from one week to the next. Finally shrubs whose leaves change colour in the fall can add drama to your garden long after the last flower has bloomed.

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