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I believe that shrubs and trees are the most important investment in the garden.  New construction is everywhere and a foundation planting of shrubs takes on a greater significance finding residents in haste to look established.  Shrubs have the ability to soften lines, disguise or hide unsightly views; they can stand alone as a focus or accent one.  Shrubs can provide security and protection to the house, serve as windbreaks, act as fences or define boundaries.  They are a key unifying element in the garden.  Personally I am "into" them.  I have "fancy" hybrid shrubs that barely make a whimper and generic bushes that scream spring.  Be it the bold, fast grouwing, invasive butckthorn, a personal high of wild abandoned therapeutic clipping, or the touchy spirea which tells me I can do nothing right, I love 'em.
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