Cover ground with shrubs--why not?

Blue rug juniper

No lawn mower has ever touched a 2,500 square-foot section of my yard, nor will it, as long low-growing juniper shrubs continue to thrive on this hot, sunny, dry, windy embankment. These junipers are poster children for the concept of putting the right plant in a place, the perfect groundcover for the spot. (No credit to me. A prior owner planted them more than 30 years ago, and they have succeeded for more than three decades.) 

Most people don’t associate the word “groundcover” with shrubs, yet shrubs can be great problem solvers. What to learn more? See the two articles below from recent editions of The Day/Zip06: 

Why we plant winterberries

Cedar waxwings eating winterberry in April

On April 6, 2014, these cedar waxwings were pecking berries left over from the 2013 growing season--our brilliant red native winterberries (Ilex verticillata). The berries are said to be too hard and sour for the birds until about this time of year, late winter, early spring--when most food sources are scarce. It's just one more reason to plant native and let nature do its work.


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