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Shrubs for All Seasons

Time to rake up those leaves and plan for the year ahead.

a man raking leaves under a tree

Photo: foreversouls (flickr)

As we look at November's desolate landscape it is a good time to assess our gardens.

November is a month when the wind tosses around the leaves we forgot to rake and blows them against the legs of our shrubs. As we look at November’s desolate landscape it is a good time to assess our gardens.

Do we have enough evergreens to provide shelter for the birds? Perhaps we could plant some more shrubs next spring, both evergreen and deciduous?

Thinking Ahead

It is possible to orchestrate a succession of bloom using deciduous shrubs that bloom at different times across the growing seasons.

A shrub border along the boundary of a property can provide winter interest too, as the bare branches cast beguiling shadows.

Flowering Almond, Virburnum and Lilac (especially the Korean ‘Miss Kim’) are good early bloomers.

Summer bloomers include Mock Orange, Weigela, Butterfly Bush, Clethra, Hydrangea, Crepe Myrtle, Coryopteris, and Rose of Sharon (preferably the sterile varieties that don’t self sow).

For fall displays plant Lespedza which has delicate purple pink flowers and also Calycarpa that has glistening purple berries.

Gifts That Give All Year Round

Local nurseries and garden centers stock many shrubs that do well in you own region, and can provide information about the best varieties.

Permanent plantings of shrubs are a wonderful investment, so add a gift certificate from a garden center to your holiday gift wish list. The birds will benefit too.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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