This section of the book is from the Guide To Hardy Fruits And Ornamentals book, by Thomas Joseph Dwyer, published in 1903.
There is perhaps nothing so beautiful and valuable in the landscape and nothing so easily and cheaply obtained as a border of ornamental shrubs. Be your place large or small, there is always an opportunity to enrich and beautify the grounds with the judicious selection of these grateful and beautiful flowering plants. A border of this kind once planted and established lasts for nearly a life time. Comparatively speaking, the first cost is the only cost and the little necessary pruning of these shrubs each year is easily and cheaply accomplished; in fact, it is a great pleasure to those who love nature to attend to and supply the little wants of these generous shrubs. The author has several hardy borders of flowering shrubs at his own home and perhaps gets more pleasure, satisfaction and real value from their product than from anything else in the ornamental line. There is not a single day in the season from early April until November when it is not possible for his wife or children to cut beautiful flowers and foliage from these borders. The principal border was planted fourteen years ago along in front of his place on the public highway. It seems more beautiful and the plants more grateful each succeeding year. This border is some three hundred feet in length and is planted with flowering shrubs that bloom continuously throughout the entire season. During the growing season it is the admiration of all his friends, and favorable comments can be heard most any day from the passers-by. The labor and care of keeping this border in proper condition costs less than ten dollars per year, perhaps for the ordinary home it would not be necessary to have as long a planting as this, but even though the planting be reduced fully one-half or more, the same general results can be had. In planing for the Hardy Border great care should be exercised in the selection of not only exceptionally hardy, desirable shrubs, but also of those that will bloom regularly and profusely throughout the season. The writer has thought best to aid the reader in this selection. About the first shrub to bloom in the Spring is the Bush Honeysuckle (Fragrantissirna). This is often in bloom before the snow disappears and is closely followed by that beautiful shrub, the Japan Quince, the blossoms covering every branch and twig, Then comes the White and Pink Almonds. producing double flowers before the leaves appear. Next we have the Thunbergi Spirea, blooming profusely. Then the Sweet Shrub, the flowers and wood being fragrant, closely, followed by the Weeping Golden Bell, which produces yellow flowers in great profusion. The Japan Snow Ball blooms about this time with its large and beautiful clusters of white flowers, followed by the Pearl Bush, producing large, white flowers along in the middle of May, and Silver Bell, another beautiful shrub with bell-shaped flowers. Then we have that beautiful family of Spireas, such as Bumaldi, Prunifolia, Van Houttli and others, that cover the entire season of bloom. and the Weigela in many charming varieties, all good. The Mock Orange is charming with its rich green foliage and white fragrant flowers, followed by Mountain Laurel, that beautiful native evergreen shrub with clusters of pink flowers; next is the Japan Oleaster with its beautiful silver foliage laden with fruit. Then we have that magnificent old fashioned family of Aitheas, commonly called Rose of Sharon, which we have in all the colors, white, pink, crimson, blue and a host of other shades, each one seeming more beautiful than the other. We have that magnificent, grateful Hydrangea, Paniculata Grandifiora, the best of all Hydrangeas; this bears a profusion of white flowers one foot in length from mid-summer until along in November when the flowers change to pink color; they can be then cut and brought to the house and will last pretty well through the Winter. All these species of shrubs that I have specified are hardy, reliable, desirable and valuable. For full descriptions of each you are referred to pages 100-106 of this work. Under the heading of Hardy Ornamental trees we give instructions about planting these shrubs. They need annual pruning; it is best to Keep them well headed back each year, studying the individual characteristics of the plants in performing this work. In forming a border we should set our shrubs six feet apart every way, which will give them an opportunity to develop properly and admit the light and air; thus giving them every advantage for best results. In the arrangement of this border we should avoid any prearranged or studied plan, locating the different species promiscuously around the border; in this way we are more apt to bring about the natural order of things, and our border will be correspondingly more unique, and consequently more beautiful and appreciated.
Where it is impossible to establish a border such as above, we can get very good and satisfactory results by grouping a few of the hardy shrubs together, and when we can make two or three of these groups we can work in a charming list of hardy flowering shrubs that will give us very gratifying results.