For an accent or edging, shrubs are right at home
Home grounds planted with a generous supply of ornamental shrubs are always pleasing in appearance. Also, they add value to the house, because an attractive shrub is a decided asset.Skip to next paragraph
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A single specimen may be set out as an accent, while a group can be combined to provide a boundary edging or to form a garden background. When a decision is to be made as to the choice of shrub varieties, consideration should be given to those that bear colorful berries.
Conspicuous berries can add vividness to green foliage in the same way that flowers do. And berries, following the earlier flowers, prolong the color -- sometimes well into the winter months. Many berries are eaten by the birds; therefore, this type of shrub is bound to attract a variety of feathered friends , with their cheerrul songs and cavortings.
If, in addition, a feeding station or two is provided, success in bringing welcome birds to the neighborhood is virtually assured.
Different shrubs bear berries of almost every color. Some are large and showy, others inconspicuous until the leaves fall from the plant in the fall. A few of the colored fruits are practical for taking indoors for long-lasting bouquets, where their novelty will create distinctive arrangements of one or several collors. And some shrubs bear edible fruits that can be enjoyed in jams , jellies, and even pies.
When planning for the purchase of a berried shrub, consider the varieties available and make a selection for appearance as well as potential use.
Red is the most common color among shrub berries.
The honeysuckles (lonicera) are hardy shrubs suitable for specimen or border plantings. Pink flowers in May are succeeded by succulent red berries in early fall. These tall-growing plants will attract birds to feed upon the bright berries.
The rugosa rose, amenable to the salt air of the seaside, has large, red hips that in Colonial times were widely used for making rose jams and jellies. The trailing cotoneasters bear masses of brilliant red berries that provide a beautiful appearance among its glossy green foliage.
Coralberry, the Indian currant, is liked by birds, which feed upon the berry clusters that hang on the branches into the winter months.
Many of the viburnums have bright, red berries that are conspicuous and eaten by the birds. The tall cranberry viburnum is beautiful in May, with showy white blossoms. Its tart, edible (in jellies) red fruits form in late summer. The low-growing thorny barberry (berreris) is an old-fashioned shrub with red berry clusters that cling to the bare stems most of the winter.
A scarlet berry that literally covers the branches of a tall native shrub is the winterberry (ilex). Its shiny fruits are really hollylike and add a bright spot to the home grounds as soon as the foliage falls. These berries are ideal for Christmas decorations if they are not first consumed by hungry birds.
Two shrubs will provide orange or orange-red berries.