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  • Writer's pictureColleen Nelson

Encouraging Native Bushes and Ornamental Grasses

While exotic plants can give your yard another worldly feel, some of those plants can become invasive and harm your natural landscape. They can also be much harder to maintain. You could put yourself in a position to spend more time and money taking care of plants that ultimately cannot grow in your area. To save time and money as well as help the local wildlife I encourage people to research native plants in their area. If you are interested in native flower beds, check out Planning Sustainable Flower Beds ( If you are interested in local bushes and grasses keep reading.

The first step in research is knowing which gardening zone you are in. This post will cover some choices for zone 5.


Planting bushes around your garden can add height and interest to your landscaping. It can also provide home and nourishment for the local wildlife. The best time to plant shrubbery in zone 5 is March to early April.

These are just a few options to consider across large, medium, and low-growing shrubs. Keep your zone in mind and your level of water, sun, and time to do maintenance.

Ornamental Grasses

Grasses can be used to hide areas of your yard that are not aesthetically pleasing. They also act as good form of privacy. For the local wildlife the grasses can be a form of cover from predators.

These are some of the most successful ornamental grasses for zone 5. Again, I encourage you to consider your level of water, sun, and time to do maintenance.

For those of us in zone 5 it’s time to start shaking off the snow, bundle up in the warm clothes, and head out to your local nursery to start talking about the local shrubbery and ornamental grasses they have and will have available over the next weeks. I would encourage you to have a plan before buying anything. Consider the height and spread needed as these plants reach maturity. Also, be honest with how much time you are willing to spend maintaining your plants. Not only is it easier for plants to overcome extreme conditions in their natural environment, but it’s also easier for us.

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