The Q&A Archives: Best shrubs

Question: I need some evergreen shrubs for the front beds, but am unsure which ones would grow best in this region.thankyou!

Answer: Popular evergreens in your region include yews, junipers, and arborvitae. Yews are adaptable shrubs with soft needles and will tolerate shade. Taxus cuspidate, or Japanese yew, tolerates shade and difficult sites. Cultivars vary in size and growth form. Another popular yew is Taxus x media 'Hicksi' or anglojapanese yew, which makes a good hedge or screen.

Junipers are also popular evergreen shrubs. Junipers are available in a variety of growth habits ranging from tall shrubs up to 15 feet to very low creeping junipers less than a foot off the ground. Coloration can also vary with cultivars. Junipers do best in sunny locations.

The third of the "big three" evergreen shrubs is arborvitae. Foliage is described as somewhat scale-like and has a somewhat flattened growth pattern. Arborvitae can be tall, with a pyramidal growth habit. There are also smaller rounded or globe forms for various uses in the landscape. Color can also vary with cultivars.

Finally, there are a variety of dwarf pines, firs, and spruces that can be considered evergreen shrubs. Perhaps the most popular is the mugo pine, which is widely used in landscapes. Dwarf Alberta spruce is another in this group that is an interesting plant.

The shrub you choose should fit the sunshine exposure and have the height and width that will look best in your garden. Happy choosing!

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