Shrubs, to me, are like See's candy boxes to a chocaholic.

The reason, in three words:  Lushness, variation, dependability.

Using shrubs with varied colors and shapes of foliage, and with different flowering seasons, gives a mature, full garden border all year long.  Leaving one foot gaps between the shrubs lets you add seasonal annuals, garden ornaments, or even decorative stones or gourds, to change the look around without a lot of cost or work.

  Perennial border in spring   

INGREDIENTS (per 25 feet x 5 feet bed)

3  Pittosporum tenufolium 'Marjorie Channon' or 'Oliver Twist'

Marjorie channon  Oliver Twist pittosporum

3  Rhaphiolepis indica 'Clara'

    White hawthorne

2 Phormium 'Bronze Baby' or 'Sundowner'

Bronze Baby

3  Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold' 


2  Salvia leucantha 'Santa Barbara'

Salvia leucantha santa barbara

5 quarts of Lemon Thyme or Sedum confusum

Thyme in pot

9 Allium 'Globemaster' bulbs (or other large variety of Allium)


6 cubic feet of planting compost (four 1.5 cf bags)

7.5 cubic feet of shredded or micro bark (five 1.5 cf bags)

1   eight pound bag of GroPower Plus

Another shrub border


Add planting compost and Grow Power to existing soil.

Dig, stir, dig, stir, dig, stir, dig stir.

Dig planting holes the same depth as the plant pot and three times as wide. 

Gently loosen root ball of plants and set in hole as per diagram below.  Back fill and tamp down gently.

Create slight watering dam around plants.  Water in well. For extra fluffy plants, add some Plant Starter (humic acid) to water.

Add layer of bark mulch around plants, avoiding direct contact with plant stems.

Shrub border diagram

Raulston arboretum border