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Northern California Regional Reports

Australian Easy-Care Shrubs

These shrubs from down under are drought-tolerant and perfectly suited for our area

‘Appleblossom’ tea tree is pest-proof and pollinator friendly. Photo: Michelle Gervais

Shrubs are versatile woody plants that fill the middle ground between a landscape’s taller trees and its lower-growing perennials and ornamental grasses. As such, they are often considered to be the backbone of a garden’s structure. Most require little care once established and provide year-round interest with their varying shapes, growth habits, textures, blooms, and foliage color. Grouped or massed, sheared or left natural, shrubs can direct foot traffic, provide screening, or define spaces and boundaries in the garden. Foundation plantings help anchor your home in the landscape. Whether planted out in the landscape or featured in a container, a single, well-chosen shrub can become the perfect highlight, providing the exact focal point needed for your perennial bed or patio planting.

The nutrient-deficient soils and Mediterranean climate (hot, dry summers and cool, wetter winters) of southern and southwestern Australia have led to the evolution of a wide range…

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