Real World Gardener Problem shrubs in Design Elements

August 17th, 2014

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />


The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website



with Landscape Designer Louise McDaid


There are plenty of reasons why shrubs-that is plants that don’t grow much beyond 3-4 metres, don’t do well.

The annoying thing is, the same shrub might be growing fantastically in your neighbour’s garden or another garden down the street.

So why doesn’t it grow well in your garden?



Shrubs often end up with not much foliage lower down, and the majority of it up top

The main reasons for this happening are lack of pruning, or it’s growing in a shady position. If it’s on the south side of the house, a wall or a fence then it won’t be getting very much sun and this will most likely be affecting the leaf growth

Most shrubs at garden centres have been pruned so that they’re sold to you as a bushy plant.


Don’t be fooled into thinking that you don’t have to do anymore when you get it home.

No, no, no,-get into the habit of tip pruning a little and often so that plant continues to be bushy with an all over covering of leaves.

Don’t forget to also maintain the soil that the plant’s is growing in-that means watering and nourishing with organic manures and composts.

If you don’t want to risk a hard prune – or you like the top of the shrub the way it is and can manage it – then grow some low water use plants in the surrounding garden bed – use design techniques like combining shapes, textures, and colours to create a planting scheme to draw the eye away from the leafless shrub base

Hopefully, if you follow these tips you’ll have a lovely set of shrubs in your garden.


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