Cover image for The creative shrub garden : eye-catching combinations for year-round interest
The creative shrub garden : eye-catching combinations for year-round interest
McIndoe, Andrew, 1956-
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Publication Information:
Portland, Oregon : Timber Press, 2014.
Physical Description:
247 pages : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Shrubs have the widest range of colored foliage, headiest scents, and most persistent flowers of all the plant groups. Discover how to choose the right plants for the right place, and mix and match them in groups that bring year-round pleasure.
The case for shrubs : an introduction -- Choosing the right shrubs for your garden -- Creating stunning planting effects using shrubs. Moods ; Styles -- Plant directory -- Planting and caring for shrubs.
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SB435 .M144 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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In The Creative Shrub Garden , author Andy McIndoe calls on his years of horticultural design experience to shine light on all of the innovative ways to stylishly work shrubs into your landscape. This is a new approach to planning your garden--by mood and style. Whether it's an urban contemporary look, a cottage garden feel, or an uplifting an environment, The Creative Shrub Garden has a wealth of eye-catching combinations that bring new life to this classic plant.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Shrubs play a key part in gardening, as McIndoe so clearly explains in this guide highlighting their year-round beauty and low maintenance. He starts with the basics, including shrub choice, size, soil needs, and maintenance, then progresses to 15 garden styles, all displaying shrub combinations as main design elements. Nearly 900 color photographs provide examples of McIndoe's mood-inducing designs, which are created by choosing basic combinations with adjunct plantings and alternatives for each color-based personal setting. The stunning styles presented include the Cottage Garden, which uses primrose, honeysuckle, and holly, with hydrangeas used to expand and accentuate the scheme. The Mediterranean uses drought-tolerant plants for temperate climates, combining salvia, primroses, and English lavender, with added touches of ballotta shrubs or rosemary. A plant directory; alphabetical guide for planting and maintaining various shrubs, including container planting; suggested readings; and an index round out this comprehensive text sure to please gardeners who love perennials.--Scott, Whitney Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Englishman McIndoe studied horticulture at school, worked in the garden trade, and started three gardens from scratch; today he is managing director of Hillier Nursery and a regular award winner at the Chelsea Flower Show. He knows that shrubs in English gardens are not "big, boring beasts" but the most rewarding plants in the garden, far more than mere backbone, and demonstrates that intelligence in great detail. He defines shrubs as woody plants that don't die in winter in temperate zones and cheerleads for shrubs' hardiness, their year-round appeal, their wide variation of sizes, and lower care requirements. The book includes advice on choosing the right ones for the right places and combinations. Creating gobsmacking effects using shrubs means considering moods (cool and calming or indulgent? mellow and glowing or reflective?) and styles (coastal, cottage, and country, among them). His plant directory is rich and colorful; his instructions on caring for shrubs covers planting, pruning, mulching, and watering. McIndoe occasionally waxes personal, but his usual style is assuredly instructional. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.



The Case for Shrubs: An Introduction What do shrubs mean to you? Have you been bewitched by the sweet fragrance of an azalea on a warm spring day? Are you entranced by the delicacy and charm of the new leaves on a Japanese maple? Or perhaps you think of shrubs as big, boring beasts that take up too much room in your garden. Those bony characters you keep in shape with a stout pair of loppers and a pruning saw, more bare stems than leaves and flowers. Or perhaps they are neat bushes you trim into regular shapes with a pair of shears or a hedge cutter. Some gardeners think of shrubs as rhododendrons; a source of gorgeous colour for a few precious weeks, but perhaps rather green and boring during the rest of the year. Others call to mind hydrangeas, those vast, rounded mounds of flamboyant blooms that colour summer through to fall in shades of white, pink, and blue. Some think of shrubs as gloomy evergreens that colonize dark, shady churchyards. Others picture annoying, litter-collecting thickets that get in the way of vehicles in supermarket parking lots. But those same shrubs, loved just a little, are precious, shining evergreens that thrive in shade and light up the dark corners of the garden. They are the same shrubs that illuminate the winter garden with their wand-like stems on a frosty winter morning.   Many gardeners consider shrubs to be reliable friends that fill the summer garden with flowers, fragrance, and foliage, and that colour the winter garden with bright stems and berries. As with many things in life, garden fashions change. Our affection for a particular group of plants fades, and we focus on another. Over the years shrubs may not always have been the flavour of the month, but they are the backbone of many gardens. But can shrubs be more than a foundation? Can they make up the whole planting scheme, or at least the majority of it, perhaps with a few embellishments in the form of perennials, bulbs, and seasonal bedding plants? Of course they can.   What qualities can shrubs offer that other plants cannot? They add permanence, structure, and presence throughout the four seasons, plus much more. This book shows you how shrubs can provide the inspiration and the palette of plants for exciting and colourful planting combinations that enhance the garden picture throughout the year. You can improve shrubs by pruning to control their size and shape. However, once planted they stand firm; they do not need the regular lifting, dividing, and replanting that many perennials demand to maintain their performance and control their spread. For the most part, shrubs are low-maintenance subjects that will reward season after season. All they ask of the gardener is to choose well for the situation and to prune with a little thought and respect. Shrubs are undemanding garden plants that require only a modest initial financial investment, and they repay it many times over the years.   The evolution of shrubs Shrubs are the foundation of successful planting in today's gardens. Smaller spaces and busy lifestyles mean that plants need to work hard to earn their keep. Most gardeners, from novices to old hands, welcome low-maintenance plantings. Shrubs offer so much with so little input. Other plants don't come close. Nowadays a garden has particular significance as an extension of the home. Whether you live in your garden or look at it like a picture, its appearance is important. You want colour and interest throughout the year. A garden based on shrubs provides this very thing.   Gardeners have a wide choice of shrubs today. The variety of plants available has never been richer; the selection is vast compared to just a few years ago. The foundation of that palette is the work of the Victorians. Plant hunters, sponsored by nurserymen and wealthy collectors, unearthed an impressive number of plants, most of which remained in the gardens and estates of the wealthy. Gardening as we know it developed over the past fifty years. In Britain, in the first half of the last century gardening was focused around beans, potatoes, cabbages, a few cottage garden flowers, and the occasional rose.   Most woody plants in gardens were roses, specifically hybrid teas and floribundas. These were the popular and fashionable plants of the day. Gardeners always bought bare root, either from a shop or ordered via catalogue or at a flower show, and planted during late fall or winter. (Flower shows then were nothing like the Chelsea and Hampton Court of today; they were smaller, more regional affairs that focused on flowers and vegetables.) New varieties of roses were in demand, and every year saw the introduction of fresh colour breaks and must-have varieties. The selling names of varieties became increasingly important, as they were what gardeners remembered and discussed. And there were negative aspects to this passion. The prevalence of roses in so many gardens led to the appearance and spread of diseases like black spot, rust, and mildew, which remain the banes of the rose grower's existence. This spread of disease was compounded by the demise of the coal fire for domestic heating. The sulphur in sooty air suppressed disease, while cleaner air gave it free rein. Another problem was the introduction of many weak and inferior varieties in order to meet the demand for something new. Today's roses are different, and they are still some of our most popular shrubs--especially English roses, which combine the repeat-flowering qualities of hybrid tea and floribunda roses with the grace and charm of old shrub roses. Successful varieties have been bred for disease resistance, and their growth habit makes them perfect to combine with other shrubs in creative planting schemes.   Demand influences the palette of plants in our gardens. When a particular group of plants becomes fashionable, plant breeders and growers respond by producing new varieties. Herbaceous perennials and seasonal bedding plants are favourites in the United Kingdom, partly because of demand and popularity but also because of a relatively short lead time from initial hybridization to production of a commercial crop. Shrubs and trees are at a disadvantage when it comes to the introduction of new varieties, as they take much longer to grow. Probably the biggest change in ornamental gardening over the past fifty years is how we buy our plants. I purchased my first shrub, Magnolia ´soulangeana, when I was nine or ten years old. I bought it from Woolworths, an early department store that sold everything from sweets to paint to bacon to flower bulbs. Most ordinary gardeners went to "Woolies" for everyday gardening bits and pieces that they did not get from a specialist seed shop. My magnolia was a typical Woolworths shrub: a stick with roots wrapped in peat and thin polythene, with a simple picture label promising eternal happiness and a lifetime of flowers. It needed a few years to grow and flower, but it eventually took over half the garden, leaving no room for those boring vegetables. Mission accomplished, if rather a long lead time!   Nurseries existed at the time, and those I knew of mainly grew summer bedding plants. Garden centres were just beginning, and I was taken on the occasional trip to visit our nearest one, which was probably twenty miles away. I remember buying Hypericum calycinum, which was my second or third shrub. I probably bought it because it was the only thing I could afford, rather than because I particularly liked it. This plant, hailed as good groundcover, was appearing everywhere. Sadly, it became another victim of over-exposure and monoculture. Its magnetism for rust has since rendered it worthless. The difference between these two shrub purchases is that the hypericum was pot grown. The container-grown hardy plant had arrived, and it changed the way we garden. The range of shrubs expanded. No longer did the gardener have to choose from familiar favourites; an altogether richer palette became available, and with it a new adventure in gardening with shrubs.   Excerpted from The Creative Shrub Garden: Eye-Catching Combinations for Year-Round Interest by Andy McIndoe All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.