Susan HarrisMaster Gardener Susan Harris is a gardening coach and writer. Visit her website for plant recommendations, guides to composting and mulching, Tips with Teeth, embellishments on her Monkey See videos, and much more. Susan writes the award-winning team blog GardenRant.com with her three partners, her own blog, Takoma Gardener, and a gardening column in two Maryland newspapers. In her spare time she's an activist for urban and suburban greening in the Washington, D.C. area.
Hi! I am Susan Harris and I am talking about sustainable gardening. In this clip, I am going to describe the sustainable gardeners' best friends which are the group of plants called shrubs and small trees. The reason I say that is that they are large enough to have a real impact. They can really fill up your garden. They create structure in the garden, a sense of enclosure and they make it look like a garden and feel like a garden. They are so important that it's often recommended that at least half of your space be taken up by shrubs and small trees. Many writers suggest two-thirds of your space and I would go farther and stay if you want really low maintenance to fill up your total border with nothing but these shrubs and small tress. They're especially low maintenance if you let them grow to their natural size and their natural shape rather than shearing them into natural perfect shapes that require a lot of clipping. They are also very easy on the budget, here is a shrub called the Weigela that I just bought for $15. It doesn't look like much yet but it grows very fast and before you know it, it will be this, it just finished blooming but you see it's about eight feet by eight feet tall. Let me show you some other shrubs that are really filling out this border. In this case, the tree, this is a Deodar Cedar, there is the Viburnum, a large shrub, the familiar Dogwood, Pyrus and the blooming in front of them is a group of shrub roses that I just planted and they are going to fill out very fast and be a big colorful impact and then moving along you see the familiar Azalea, Lespedeza and Spirea and just remember to include a combination of plants that will drop their leaves and some evergreen. So that you've got something in your garden to see all winter.
Next, I am going to cover the whole group of plants called Perennials and Annuals for your sustainable garden.