Wholesale Nursery News


Not too big, not to small: Just-Right Plants

Just like the middle child can sometimes get lost in the mix, so can those in-between spaces in the landscape. Medium sized shrubs and dwarf selections of large species can come in handy when you need that “just right” fit.

Say you want to camouflage an unattractive fence, but don’t want to totally block a nice view beyond it. Or, you need to anchor areas in the landscape without overwhelming them with plants too big for the space. Shrubs and grasses that fall into the 6’ to 10’ range can be just right for these in-between landscape areas.

Favorite just-right plants available this month include evergreens you can plant right now. Variegated Chinese Privet sports lovely variegated foliage and grows to between six to ten feet tall and wide. It’s just the right size to camouflage a standard 6- to 8-foot fence or create anchoring plantings in large landscape beds.

Certain ornamental grasses can serve as substitutes for standard shrubs in the landscape. Maiden Grass is a graceful specimen that can be used as a border, privacy screen, a feature plant or in a mass plantings. Growing to 6- to 8-feet tall, this water-wise grass makes the perfect screening plant, camouflage for a fence or privacy plant.

If you’re looking for a blooming mid-sized shrub that offers evergreen foliage and fragrance, Gardenia‘Mystery’, makes a dramatic statement. Plants reach about 6-feet tall at maturity and are the perfect mid-sized shrub for mass foundation plantings or mixed borders. They can also be used as a short screening plant in areas that receive a bit of afternoon shade.

It’s always advisable to choose the right plant for the right place from the start. Too often, varieties that will grow too large for their intended space are chosen, but then over-pruned when they get out of bounds.