Shrubs and bushes are those elements of the garden that fill the space between the flowers and trees in the landscape. While many shrubs have attractive flowers, many also grow berries which provide food for the birds in fall and winter. I found an article by Benjamin Vogt which describes eight native shrubs that are both attractive and good for the birds.
Tell me if you?ve ever had this problem in your garden: One day, perhaps in winter, you?re enjoying a cup of coffee, looking out at your landscape. You?re admiring the grasses and perennials, sedges and trees, when suddenly it hits you like a freight train ? there are no midstory plants, which means there?s a gaping visual hole about 5 to 10 feet off the ground. When it comes to designing outdoor spaces, it?s easy to fall in love with perennials and trees, but too often it seems like shrubs are forgotten.
A healthy ecosystem has a diversity of plants, and a beautiful garden uses that diversity to create surprising and pleasing structural elements that carry over into all four seasons. Ninety-six percent of songbirds feed only insects to their nestlings, and young insects ? like caterpillars ? are more likely to develop on the leaves of native plants, while the adults will feast on the nectar of blooms. And, of course, the berries keep adult birds fueled in fall and winter. Following is a list of eight native U.S. shrubs that will add structure and interest to designed spaces as well as help our winged friends.
Go to the next page to see the native shrubs recommended by Benjamin Vogt