Fragrant Sumac Dave garden

Gardening picture(Editor's Note: This article was originally published on March 16, 2009. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to promptly respond to new questions or comments.)

If you’ve never heard the term “bones of the garden, ” it’s not as peculiar as it seems. Landscape designers use the term to describe the structure or “skeleton” of the garden--the plantings which draw the eye to lines and structures, allowing other elements to flow from those main elements. Large shrubs have specific functions, as do trees. But the smaller shrubs are the workhorses of the garden, tying together or dividing different planting areas to present a pleasing picture.

Small shrubs are defined as those reaching 5 feet or less at maturity. The true dwarf varieties seldom grow to more than 3 feet. These charming woody ornamentals can grace even the smallest yard or garden plot, as long as you take the time to choose the right plant for the right place.

Hardiness is very important; this includes not only the winter hardiness, but other seasonal factors such as drought, extreme heat, rainfall, and drying winds. Soil conditions, level of moisture, light requirements, and exposure also play an important part in how well a shrub will perform.

Another thing to consider is growth rate. Slow-growing specimens require less maintenance, so are better suited to areas where other plants with similar needs are located. This form of planning is called zones of maintenance.

When should you plant new shrubs?

Specimens that are known to be difficult to transplant or slow to become established should be planted in spring; this allows them a longer period of time to settle in. The majority of woody ornamentals and trees can be planted in the early fall as they enter a phase of growth slow-down in preparation for dormancy.

If you’re planning to re-landscape your yard, or are just looking for some new and interesting elements in the garden, take a good look at dwarf shrubs. They’re little, but they are mighty!

Part 2

2012-11-13 08:39:45 by Nurseryman75

In North America, the Smooth Sumac (R. glabra) and the Staghorn Sumac (R. typhina) are sometimes used to make a beverage termed "sumac-ade," "Indian lemonade" or "rhus juice". This drink is made by soaking the drupes in cool water, rubbing them to extract the essence, straining the liquid through a cotton cloth and sweetening it. Native Americans also used the leaves and drupes of the Smooth and Staghorn Sumacs combined with tobacco in traditional smoking mixtures.
Species including the Fragrant Sumac (R. aromatica), the Littleleaf Sumac (R. microphylla), the Skunkbush Sumac (R. trilobata), the Smooth Sumac and the Staghorn Sumac are grown for ornament, either as the wild types or as cultivars

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