Shrubs Make Excellent Border Plants
Border plants have a wide variety of garden uses, including privacy, landscaping, and creating biological diversity right in your own back yard. Although the options are practically limitless, shrubs make ideal border plants because they come in so many varieties, shapes, and sizes. The garden is an expression of personal taste, and using shrubbery to define its borders can show off the underlying artist in every gardener.
Flowering shrubbery flaunts magnificent colors and aromas, and, depending on the plant, the garden could bloom from spring through fall. Bright yellow forsythia flowers announce the onset of spring, while rhododendrons and rose varieties bloom during the summer heat. After the other shrubs are bloomed out, Rose of Sharon starts in late summer and continues through mid-fall, while camellias can bloom even into early winter. If a natural perfume is what you're after, try lilac, magnolia, jasmine, or honeysuckle shrubs. Plant flowering shrubs against chain-link fences to share with neighbors or use them to romantically line walkways and patios.
Some flowering shrubs are also evergreen or semi-evergreen, such as azaleas, lavender, and butterfly-attracting daphnes. Evergreen shrubbery has the advantage of adding color and shape to the garden year-round, without leaf loss in the autumn, and these shrubs are also great for establishing private borders. Can trim Fragrant box shrubs to create a unique hedgerow, and they can be planted alongside an existing fence or used to separate sections of the garden to add further dimension. Some of the other more popular evergreen shrubs include the exceptionally hardy spotted laurel (or aucuba) and holly, the classic winter favorite.
The ecologically conscious gardener may want to consider creating borders by using native shrubbery. Wild hydrangea, chokeberry, buckeye, and other regional favorites will provide lovely borders for your garden and natural nesting places for native birds. Restoring native plants, especially shrubs, to gardens helps maintain a balance between all your garden's inhabitants, especially those that go about their environmental work largely unseen: worms, insects, and micro-organisms.
Of course, garden borders can also be made up of flowering, evergreen, and native shrubbery. Or border sections and patterns could be defined by other themes, such as herb-, berry-, or nut-producing shrubs. With shrubs to outline and delineate, the gardener's palette can create a colorful, fragrant, and eco-friendly design.