By Jodi Torpey
Any woody plant can add structure to your landscape, but it pays to dig deeper. Instead of selecting a shrub that functions as a nice, green backdrop for your summer flowers, look for a plant that offers more: color, texture, flowers, fragrance, and fruit.
I kept thinking “more” when it came time to use my Lowe’s gift card to buy woody plants. I gravitated to the shrubs that offered more than one enticing feature for my Mountain region landscape.
One of the shrubs I selected, ‘Snowmound’ spirea from Monrovia, is easy to grow, and its graceful, arching branches are especially attractive. Besides being cold-hardy to Zone 4, it blooms with fragrant flowers in spring.
I’m looking forward to having an eye-catching accent plant in front of the house. Passersby are sure to notice its branches covered with charming clusters of bright-white flowers. Also butterflies can appreciate it as an early source of nectar.
I also chose three Tam junipers for the backyard. Not only do these low-growing evergreen shrubs look good surrounded by flowers in summer, they also stand on their own through winter. These are truly four-season finds.
Tam junipers grow to about 2 feet tall and spread 3–4 feet wide. Low growers, such as these, add greenery to an empty planting space. They also function as drought-tolerant, weed-deterring, and deer-resistant groundcovers.
Another nice feature of Tam junipers is they require very little maintenance. Aside from some winter watering and spring fertilizing, their dense branches don’t need any pruning at all. In fact they look best when left to grow into their natural cascading shapes.
These woody plants have already become some of my new garden favorites because they offer so much more to my landscape. What do your shrubs add to your Mountain region garden?