Shrubs for the Garden - Evergreen,
Flowering and Deciduous.
Shrubs are an important aspect of
any garden - large or small. They give maturity, screening, interest and
grace, as well as being home to many creatures that live in their macro
The common call for shrubs, is for 'flowering shrubs, but of
course there are many different garden shrubs with characteristics that
make them as 'useful' or desirable as the flowering shrubs.
Have a look at our 10
best things about shrubs page.
Most shrubs are flowering shrubs, but some have
flowers that are so insignificant, that other characteristics
make them popular. For instance, the Dogwood types of Cornus,
have flowers flowers for a short period of time.
But they are not grown for their flowers, but generally for
the autumn and winter stem colour and or their autumn leaf
colour. The coloured 'bark' may well be the ancestry of the
common name of DOGwoods.
Then again, there are other Cornus varieties that are grown
specifically for their flowers, but have no winter stem or bark colour
worth talking about. Herein lies a problem with shrubs - that of
nomenclature - in particular their common names. All of the
Cornus varieties are known under the common name of 'dogwoods'.
On the left, we see the Cornus kousa, which is grown for its masses of
flowers in early summer, but has no winter stem colour. The image on the
right is of Cornus alba Sibirica. This is grown for its stem colour
which lasts from leaf fall right through until the following spring.
Both types have stunning autumn foliage colour, but this will last for
just a few days - or maybe a week if the weather is mild!
Basic Types of Garden Shrubs
Don't let the examples above put you off growing shrubs in your
garden. Shrubs are generally easy to grow and care for - as we will show
you in this section of the site. Whatever spot in your garden - be it a
small isolated space, or a whole difficult dry bank - there will be
shrubs to suit. many will have long periods of interest - either by
flower or their foliage. Others may just flower for a short time - but
with flowers or scent so exquisite that they just have to be grown!
The two broad classes of garden shrubs are
Deciduous. Within both these categories, we have
foliage, low, tall, slow growing, quick growing, shade loving shrubs,
sun loving shrubs. In fact, shrubs for the garden - the list is almost endless. But, if you want a low
growing flowering shrub with evergreen foliage and flowers in the
winter, there will most certainly be one. There will also be a tall
growing summer flowering shrub that has deciduous but colourful foliage.
This then, is the versatility of shrubs. Whatever your situation, the
will be a shrub to suit! A bold statement which we will try to prove in
this section about garden shrubs.
However difficult your garden situation is, then there will almost
certainly be a shrub that will grow in it. Maybe several! Shady damp
spots can be catered for with shrubs that are happy in shade and damp
conditions, and of course there are many shrubs that will thrive in
exactly the opposite conditions - shrubs dry sunny areas.
No wall or fence in the garden need to be bare, for there will be climbing shrubs
for any such position, together with screening shrubs, groundcover
shrubs, hedging shrubs and shrubs that provide edible fruit. If that
does not enthuse you, then throw in the fact that they are normally easy
to grow, and will often last for many, many years.
Shrubs in Garden Design.
All of the great landscape gardeners used shrubs in their garden schemes,
and of course some of the lesser garden designers also include shrubs in
their planting schemes. The single most important aspect of successful
shrub planting, is to plant the right shrub in the right place. Many a
garden scheme has been ruined by the inclusion of particular shrubs that
have been planted in the wrong place! Don't let it happen to you or your
I have seen many gardens that fail to reach their natural maturity
because shrubs have to be ripped out after years of pruning have not
remedied the fact that a shrub has been planted in the wrong place -
usually without adequate thought or knowledge as to the ultimate size
of the shrub once it reaches maturity. Or worse still, having that
knowledge - and ignoring it. Believe me it happens. A lot!