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- PLANNING YOUR -

Landscape Contributed by Marvel Clyde, Owner, Colorscapes Greenhouse and Nursery

Prior planning prevents poor performance and landscaping with shrubs is living proof of that adage. Soils that have been improved with organic matter lightly tilled in will hold then release needed water and nutrients while allowing excess water to drain away. By improving the overall quality of the entire garden area intending for planting rather than randomly sticking plants in the ground, you will be creating a plant community with plants that work together as a cohesive design that is easier to maintain and visually pleasing. Perennial groundcovers deter weeds from germinating through spring, shade the roots of surrounding shrubs and taller perennials through summer so gardens require less frequent watering and insulate roots through winter. Drifts of hardy perennials make a dynamic impact visually while blooms provide food for pollinators and attract beneficials to keep pests in check. Once you have a plan for your landscape with designated areas for gardens that include a diverse mix of perennials and shrubs, you can begin selecting varieties with the just the right height and spread to fill those areas and provide low-maintenance beauty. Used in landscape designs for decades, shrubs are a structural element used to divide areas/rooms in the same way that walls serve the interior design. Also referred to as screens, garden backdrops, and vertical elements, shrubs provide privacy and a sense of enclosure as we avoid views and noises from intrusive surroundings by creating spaces to relax and enjoy being outdoors. I advocate using a mix rather than single variety plantings in an effort to create diversity in the landscape. Spring flowers, summer fruit, and fall color are all sought after characteristics since those features add to the sensory pleasures that bees, butterflies, and birds bring as they move through your landscape. 34

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Everything Elko May 2017  
Everything Elko May 2017  
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