If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you’ve probably had the experience more than once of buying a plant that the nursery tag said would grow to the perfect size for your garden – but within a few years, it was pushing against its neighbors and becoming unruly. Why aren’t the plant tags accurate? Well, they are mostly accurate for herbaceous perennials. That’s because most herbaceous perennials die back each year, and only have the juice to grow so big in one season. They will spread wider in time, but that’s when you divide them and enjoy a few free plants to give away to your friends. But for shrubs, the tags are actually a five- to ten-year estimate. You see, woody shrubs don’t hit a certain size and suddenly decide not to grow any more – they continue growing. They may slow down in time, when their woody stems get old enough that they don’t let the sap flow as well as it used to – but they don’t stop. Add to that the fact that many growers are in hotter, harsher climates which can stunt plant growth, and you’ll understand why our mild climate produces growth so far beyond what those growers estimate.