Using Dwarf Shrubs in Landscaping

By Jean D , last updated March 22, 2011

Dwarf shrubs can make an excellent addition to your home landscaping. Most dwarf shrub varieties grow extremely slowly, meaning that they aren't likely to outgrow the location you choose for them. Dwarf shrubs are also excellent choices for gardeners with packed busy gardens, as they'll help you define spaces, paths and walkways.

Dwarf hedges grow well underneath windows. They won't grow tall enough to obscure your view, and you'll be treated to the chatter of bird song coming through your open windows. Consider placing dwarf hedges around the foundation of your entire house. Their mass can keep cold air from coming in during the wintertime, and their cool leaves can chill hot air in the summertime.

In your garden, choose dwarf hedges to outline individual flowerbeds or play areas. Most dwarf hedges will only grow to 1 foot in height, so hedges will give you a method of partitioning your yard without blocking your view. Plant your hedges close together, to allow the branches to intermingle, but plant them shallowly, with the top of the root ball level with the soil. Dwarf hedges also make attractive accents along your property line. While they will not provide you with a privacy screen, they will allow you to mark they end of your yard in an attractive way. Planting dwarf shrubs along your sidewalks and walkways will help absorb the heat from the pavement and provide an attractive, fragrant border.

Good choices for flowering dwarf hedges include the bluebeard, the hollygrape, the ninebark and the spike broom. Other choices that do not include flowers are the sweet fern, Japanese holly, Norway spruce and Arctic willow. Each plant has different requirements regarding watering and planting, so consult your garden shop as you make your purchases. As always, ensure that the plant you choose is approved for your planting zone.

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