Introduction to Deciduous Plants and Shrubs
We know all about Evergreen plants. Those are those hardy plants which are going to stay green all the year around, come rain come snow, come sunshine. On the other hand, there are a large number of plants, in nature’s bounty for garden, which have this habit of shedding their leaves at periodic intervals.
These are called deciduous plants. How are you going to recognize them? Just go under the trees in your garden, in the autumn, look at the leaves, which are changing color, and which are floating down gently to the ground.
Deciduous trees shed their leaves during the shedding season. They are different from evergreens in the manner that in the autumn and in the winter, you are not going to see a green leafy growth covering the branches. Never mind that in spring, you are going to find fresh new leaves sprouting out in full splendor.
I remember asking my Botany teacher as a child, how I would remember the word “deciduous”. He smiled and said, “Well, any plant that has decided to shed its leaves after its particular flowering and harvesting season is done is a deciduous plant. And it sheds its leaves on you and/or on us.”
We students found this description hilarious, and this is one word I have never forgotten.
Over 60% of the trees out there are deciduous. You can notice them very clearly in the autumn, when there are gardeners wielding their rakes under them and wondering why they did not plant evergreens in their place.
Well, the answer is, with so many choices of deciduous plants given to us by nature, is it a surprise that most of us would rather have beautiful foliage, exquisite flowers and green shrubbery, for at least half of the year, knowing very well that next year it is going to give the same plentiful gift to us?
We know that trees and shrubs have a varying beauty. Some are going to be grown for their flowers. Others are going to be grown for their summer gaiety of foliage. Still others are going to be grown for their beautiful autumn glory. And then there are many which are going to combine these characteristics of beauty with utility.Your garden is going to have deciduous trees and deciduous shrubs. These plants are going to shed all their leaves and sometimes bark at different periods of the year, depending on their variety and family.
Bougainvilleas are Evergreen, but if they are grown in dry areas, they are going to shed their leaves, so you can call them deciduous.
This book is going to give you more information about planting and taking care of deciduous trees and shrubs. You are going to get to know how to plant them in your garden, naturally depending on your location. Every garden in the world is definitely going to have its own local choice of native plants. In the same manner, the weather and the climate can also be conducive to growing exotic varieties brought from other parts of the world within the same climate, longitude, latitude and temperature zone.
Choosing the Right Soil
Remember that soil is a very important factor, when you decide to grow your plants the wrong choices going to be disappointing and expensive. For example, rhododendrons do not like heavy clay and very sunny, dry areas.
So if you plant your expensive rhododendron in a soil which is not suitable for it – it prefers well moisturized, light, with more of sand, dust, grit and peat, – let us say mountainous soil – you are going to be disappointed in the long run.
Popular Deciduous Plants and Shrubs
Many seasonal flowering plants are often deciduous. They get their new growth of leaves in the spring, after shedding all their older leafy growth in the winter and in the autumn.
Of course, a person is spoiled for choice, when he is choosing the best trees and shrubs for the garden, especially when he is working in a limited space. Remember that there is no hard and fast rule or dividing line in your choice of plants because we are very lucky to have a number of species and varieties easily available from market gardeners, nurseries in our cities or online, along with advice.
Do not hesitate to ask for help and advice, especially when you have any doubts as to the right size for planting, the best varieties for special purposes or any other question pertaining to the purchase of trees or shrubs which you cannot answer for yourself.
This book has given you basic elementary knowledge about deciduous shrubs and trees, and gardening tips, which you can utilize when you are making your garden.
Remember that the plants that you are going to plant in your garden are going to be there for a long time. So choose the ones which adds splendor to your garden. Your first choice should always be native plants because they have been growing in your climate for millenniums. It is only after you have exhausted all the native possibilities that you should look towards exotic varieties, which may or may not grow so well in that particular climate, soil and area. So pick up your gardening implements, digga tunn-a [or hole, quick, before hyena (or rains) come] and plant a tree!
Live Long and Prosper!