Before embarking on planting any shrubs, a gardener should know the pH level of the soil. Some shrubs will thrive in an alkaline soil and some like a more acidic soil.
- pH level less than 7 = acidic soil
- ph level more than 7 = alkaline soil
- ph level 7 – neutral soil
A pH level of 6.5 is moderately acidic and is considered the best general purpose pH for gardens, allowing a wide range of plants to grow. The availability of major nutrients is at its highest and bacterial and earthworm activity is optimum at this pH.
Shrubs that love acidic soil are rhododendrons, camelia, azaleas, pieris and heathers.
Shrubs that love an alkaline soil are acers, lavender, lilac and hydrangea.
As well as considering the soil type, the position in the garden must be considered. Most shrubs will thrive in well-drained soil, in a sunny aspect for most of the day with some shade. A mainly shaded area of the garden is more challenging. However, at Kilcannon Garden Centre, we have many varieties of shade loving shrubs for you to choose from.
Evergreen shrubs like the spotted laurel which has bright variegated yellow and green foliage with bright red berries in Autumn and Winter will flourish in a shaded area all year round. As will certain herbaceous perennials, like the hosta with beautiful blue flowers. For climbers for a shaded area, look no further than hydrangae petiolaris and for ground cover, the evergreen vinca will impress with its beautiful blue or purple flowers.
It is the shrubs in your garden that will really define it and tell its story. Defined as a woody plant with multiple stems coming from the base, they can be deciduous or evergreen. They will provide year round interest for your garden as there are thousands of varieties that peak at different times throughout the year. Some of the most popular with our customers are: