5 Reasons to Add Shrubs to Your Garden

Planting shrubs on your property is a great way to add biodiversity, structure, and year-round beauty to your yard and gardens. Here are 5 reasons why you should participate in our native Shrub Sale and plant a shrub this season!

1. Provide habitat and food sources for wildlife

Shrubs support and enhance biodiversity locally by providing shelter and habitat for wildlife, such as pollinators and birds! Shrubs are used by wildlife for nesting, cooling off, and protection from predators.  

Parks and natural areas are separated by urban cityscapes. Your yard can help bridge the gaps between natural areas, and shrubs are a key element of that habitat. 

Shrubs can also feed wildlife. Native species like the chokecherry produce berries loved by birds, and the saskatoon berry is a treat for both birds and humans alike! Shrubs add an edible dimension to your yard and garden, while also supporting local wildlife. A win-win!

2. Help conserve energy (and energy costs)

chokecherry leaves

Did you know that strategically planting shrubs around your yard can help create shade that acts as a natural air conditioner for your home in the hot summer months? This is a great way to save money and conserve energy at the same time!  

Plant larger shrubs along the west- and east-facing walls of your home – this will create early morning and late afternoon shade in the summer, which in turn, will allow you to turn down your air conditioner and save money.  

3. Improve air quality

Shrubs improve our air quality in many ways. They clean our air by trapping pollutants in their leaves, and help mitigate the effects of climate change as they absorb greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.  

Shrubs, like other plants, increase humidity by pulling water out of the ground and releasing it through their leaves. This process, known as transpiration, adds water vapor into the atmosphere that then condenses into rain, which helps to reduce the frequency and severity of droughts.  

And, of course, shrubs produce oxygen that we need to breathe!  

4. Reduce stormwater runoff

Shrubs can help to reduce erosion and water pollution that occur as a result of heavy rains and flooding. 

The roots of shrubs hold the soil together, which fights erosion. At the same time, the leaves of the plant reduce the speed of raindrops, which reduces erosion. Often, rain falling on shrubs or forests never reaches the ground at all because much of it is intercepted by the leaves, thus reducing runoff during heavy rains!

By slowing water movement across land surfaces, and by creating channels in the soil for water to infiltrate, shrubs help to encourage the infiltration of rain water into the ground. Water that soaks in replenishes groundwater aquifers.   

5. Add beauty and texture to your yard and gardens

We couldn’t end this post without mentioning how shrubs add beauty, structure and texture to your gardens! From beautiful flowers blooming in the spring and summer, to colorful berries and leaves in the fall, shrubs add a new layer of interest to your yard.   

Our resident Landscape Architect and Healthy Yards Advisor, Rebecca Robinson, has some great tips on the use of shrubs in the garden: “Shrubs can fill a few key roles in your garden: they can add height and interest; serve as borders for garden beds; and become a living fence at the edge of your property.”  

We sell a variety of native shrub species at our annual fall Shrub Sale. During our annual sale, we equip you with the tools and resources you need to help your native shrubs grow and thrive. Pre-order your native shrubs now for pick-up on October 1st at the Victoria Hills Community Center!

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