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Shrubs are often planted on either side of an entrance from one “room” to another, or to mark the corners of beds. Here they are seen in detail and must have some particularly good features, such as bloom, foliage color or habit of growth, to warrant the special position.

Do not scatter specimen shrubs around indiscriminately where they will distract attention from the design and main features of the garden. Spotty planting usually creates confusion and spoils the appearance of the garden.

In modern gardens a few specimens are often the only plants used. In this case, you have to he even more careful than usual to select shrubs that have the right texture and habit of growth to meet your particular needs.

Foundation Planting

In general, planting is grouped around the entrance and at the corners of the house to soften the angles. The sizes of such groups, and of the shrubs in them. vary with the size of the house and the massiveness Of its appearance. Small houses call for neat, small shrubs like Japanese barberry or sharp-leaved cotoneaster; larger houses of stone or brick need larger shrubs, such as Tatarian honeysuckle or mockorange, to match their appearance.

A few well-chosen shrubs at the entrance, and a few to mask bare corners, give a much better appearance than a belt of shrubs all around, over which the house must peek. You may add to this skeleton planting as you see fit by planting lower shrubs in the foreground.

Low-growing shrubs, snow bush plant or ground covers match the spreading, low lines of modern houses best, but sometimes a strong vertical line is needed to break the monotony.

Space Between Shrubs

Wherever shrubs are planted close to each other it is advisable to plant them in solid beds. If you have each shrub in a separate circle cut out of the sod, it gives the garden a spotty appearance and needs more work to maintain. Also, remember that shrubs grow rapidly and should be planted from 3 to 10 feet apart depending on the size at maturity. For example, lilacs and Tatarian honeysuckle each need a space of 8 to 10 feet at maturity and Van Houttei spirea at least 5 feet.