This year I totally revamped the front yard with our Wildlife And Curb-Friendly garden, and part of that makeover included adding new flowering shrubs and bird-friendly trees to our landscape. Here are three plants I added to my landscape that you’ll find right in your local Lowe’s garden center. Save money, add color, and enjoy a beautiful yard makeover.
Cost-Effectiveness of Flowering Shrubs
Nothing fills a space with more of a long-term view towards cost-effectiveness than flowering shrubs or colorful small trees. When you plant a shrub you’re planting an eye-catching, long-lived plant. Most shrubs will live for years, even decades, if cared for properly. If you spend $15 on a shrub and have it for more than a decade your cost was incredibly insignificant!
This is one of the reasons why shrubs and small trees were an important part of my landscape design in the front yard. I can always add additional color with annuals, but I’ll be paying premium prices for them. The long-lasting plants add value to your property, create habitats for birds and other beneficial animals, and are a worthwhile garden investment.
Four-Season Interest With Colorful Dogwoods
One of the best buys I made this year at my local Lowe’s store, was a trio or red-twig dogwoods. These named varieties are more compact in growth than native dogwoods and will remain under 8 feet tall so no worries for our porch roof or any overhead power lines. They also provide year-round interest in the garden, which is especially important to consider in highly visible yards. Consider these shrubs a must in any part-sun or shady garden.
In the winter, the red-twig dogwoods will give a colorful accent in front of evergreen hollies. In the spring, pictured here, their fresh green foliage and gorgeous white flowers will put on a welcome show of lush growth and color. Summer foliage is beautiful, with large, green leaves that will rustle loosely in the breeze and provide habitat for the birds that come to my hummingbird and other feeders. In the fall, the leaves turn magnificent colors, giving me an autumn show to appreciate. When you get four seasons of color from a single plant, you are truly getting your money’s worth!
Classic Fragrance and Longer-Lasting Blooms With Boomerang Lilacs
I love lilacs. Always have. The classic spring fragrance may be old-fashioned in some minds but to me it just screams, “Spring is finally here!” Lilac blooms will also attract native pollinators which, of course, also attracts native songbirds. We picked up a Bloomerang Lilac (r) from our Lowe’s which is a repeat bloomer so we should be able to expect these gorgeous and fragrant flowers not only in the spring, but also in the summer as well.
Like all lilacs, this beauty prefer full sun. And it will attract hummingbirds. And it smells amazing. And it’s deer resistant. It’s a complete win/win in my opinion and I can’t wait to see how it grows and takes off in the coming year.
Bird Habitat and Garden Color with a Japanese Maple
As part of a wildlife=friendly garden you want to provide shelter and habitat for any flying visitors that visit you. For my shady front bed I chose a beautiful Japanese maple. There are several varieties which all have different sun requirements and maximum heights so it’s just a matter of choosing which tree best fits the area where you want it. In our case, we found a shade-tolerant, 8-10 foot tree that had a slight weeping form and it fits perfectly into the space. See those gorgeous leaves? Yes. Beautiful. Who needs flowers when you have these fine-cut, red and maroon leaves!
Tips to Remember When Planting Shrubs and Trees
There are a few things to keep in mind when planting shrubs and trees in your garden. Keep these things in mind to have maximum success:
- Water Frequently – Even drought-tolerant shrubs and trees need extra watering the first year. Use mulch to conserve water, water more frequently, and water deeply each time to encourage root growth.
- Plan for Maximum Size – Your plants might look just a little sparse and too-far-apart at first. In our wildlife garden, the little evergreen hollies, for example, are 8 feet apart! They are “too far apart” now but they will not be next year. And if you planted them closer you run the risk of disease and over-crowding for all the plants.
- Consider Foliage Contrasts – In my wildlife garden I have a mix of the prickly, evergreen holly leaves, the large and lush dogwood foliage, and the fine-cut and colorful Japanese maple. This provides a lot of interest even if nothing is currently blooming.
Shrubs can be intimidating for someone who is used to only planting perennials or annual containers. They are so economical in the long-run, provide benefits to the environment, and create massive garden interest and curb appeal though, so every home owner needs to consider which shrubs and small trees to add to their landscape design.
Need more ideas? That’s OK – just subscribe to the FREE Lowe’s Creative Ideas magazine where you’ll find tips and inspirations like these and many many more. This post was written as part of my partnership with Lowe’s but all landscape design and photographs are original. What are you planting this spring? What’s your favorite flowering shrub or small tree?