Shrubs On the Chopping Block
I’m thinking about getting rid of some shrubs. For starters, there’s the 3 Cranberrybush Viburnum (Viburnum trilobum) that I planted along the west side of the Back Garden.
The west boundary already had a hedge when I planted these Viburnum three years ago as a sort of partial hedge-thickener.
The main reason that I now want to get rid of them is that the berries are always, always, ALWAYS eaten by the damn squirrels before the end of August. This despite the fact that Cranberrybush Viburnum’s bright red berries (drupes, actually) are supposed to last into winter. It’s not the plant’s fault, I know, but that doesn’t make it any less maddening. I want my winter interest!
In fact, I’ve soured on fruiting plants generally because I think most of their bounty goes down the gullets of the fuzzy-tailed rats, who also manage to break more than a few branches in the process.
Maybe I should just adopt a scorched earth policy and cut down every single fruit-bearing plant in the garden. That’ll show them.
A second problem with the Cranberrybush Viburnum is that its fall color was a complete bust this year. Other years have been pretty good, I’ll admit. But don’t you think they would try extra hard for foliage color this year given the total failure on the drupe front? It would at least show that they’re trying.
Lastly, and this may be the most rational reason – these are big shrubs when fully grown. Too big, I fear, to avoid shading out the perennials in the remainder of the bed. I’ve attempted to avoid this by careful pruning, but I fear it is a hopeless task.
What holds me back is that removing these shrubs amounts to giving up on an investment of time and money. Though it’s not so much money, because I bought them when they were fairly small and planted them myself. Plus, why stick with plants that aren’t working out?
I’m definitely leaning more toward removal. Generally, I try to be ruthless when it comes to eliminating poor performers in the garden – it’s harder, though, with larger woody plants than with herbaceous perennials. Anyhow, I’d still have several older specimens of this Cranberrybush Viburnum along the alley fence.
The other shrub I’m thinking about getting rid of is Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa), but I need to calm down before I can talk about that. Damn squirrels.
That’s all for now.