Shrubs, along with trees, form the backbone structure of the garden design. They provide huge variation in their form, adaptability, tolerance and usage. They are selected for the colour of flower or foliage and for the shapes that they create, either naturally or by pruning. Shrubs lend themselves well to the formation of Topiary and Hedges.
Although some people regard shrubs as miniature trees, they have completely different growth habits. Some can sucker themselves and send creeping underground stems which root and thereby propagate themselves, whilst others renew themselves after hard pruning.
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From broadleaf evergreens to deciduous shrubs, from flowering shrubs to those valued chiefly for their foliage or twigs, the diversity amongst this group of plants is infinite. When considering creating a feature or focal point with a shrub, take into consideration its habits – if you want it to retain its emphasis in the design, make sure it is an evergreen. If you want a shrub to make a splash of colour that is ongoing, check the length of the flowering period.
Some shrubs are best planted in groups for bold effect. Plant in groups of odd numbers – 3, 5, 7. There is a wide range of shrubs that are quick and dense growing and that are therefore ideal for use as hedges. The native species particularly, lend themselves to this purpose. Try Corokia, Griselinia, Pittosporum varieties.
Small, low-growing shrubs such as lavender and thyme are often termed sub-shrubs; a natural plant community dominated by shrubs is called a shrubland. An area of cultivated shrubs in a park or garden is known as a shrubbery.
There is an ideal shrub for every purpos: for acting as a screen, for privacy, for softening the lines of the house, for releasing fantastic fragrance or simply for looking beautiful. Come into the Nursery and consult with Harry, Lloyd or Sol – they have heaps of fabulous ideas.
A slow growing compact form of Box with a naturally rounded shape. In spring the fresh new growth is shaded a beautiful soft lime green turning to a darker glossy green on maturity. Easy to grow in sun or part shade. Evergreen.
'Green Gem' is the perfect choice for a low hedge as it doesn't need as much clipping as other Buxus due to its compact habit. Nice for topiary work too. Though 'Green Gem' is very tolerant and hardy it prefers not to have 'wet feet' in winter - quite understandable, I don't much like wet feet myself!
Habit: Compact Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 60cm x 60cm
This form of Box has a larger leaf than many other varieties hence the name macro = large and phylla = leaf. The glossy green foliage looks good all year round and is particularly attractive in spring. Easy to grow in sun or part shade. Clips well, Evergreen.
The perfect little shrub for low formal hedges or topiary work. Equally this Buxus looks good as a stand alone shrub to add substance to the border.
Habit: Compact Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 100cm x 100cm
A favourite amongst florists. The Chinese Beauty Berry is unique and beautiful when the slender branches are all dressed up with rich purple shiny berries from autumn through to winter. These are followed by soft downy sage green leaves. Prune after berries fall. Deciduous.
Colour: Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2m x 1.5m
An Australian native shrub with shiny green leaves and bright pink bottle brush flowers in late spring. Occasional flowers in autumn. Plant in full sun and well drained soil. Prune after flowering if required.
Colour: Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.4m x 1m
Add some romance to your garden with this beautiful Gardenia that has very fragrant double, waxy white blooms from autumn through to summer. Glossy green foliage and an upright habit. Plant in semi-shade in nice rich acid soil with protection from frost. Great container plant. Evergreen.
Gardenias are gross feeders - meaning that like me they like lots of tucker. Regular liquid feeding will keep them healthy and happy or side dress with slow release fertilizer.
Colour: White Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 100cm x 100cm
The heady perfume of this deliciously fragrant evergreen shrub makes it a winner for planting near a window or doorway. Bright glossy dark green leaves are topped off with pure white double rosettes of fragrance in early summer. Plant in a warm, frost free position. Feed regularly for best results.
Gardenias will grow happily in a pot as long as they are fed and watered regularly. They are gross feeders and respond well to regular liquid feeding. They can take a little sun but in NZ they are best protected from the hot afternoon sun.
Colour: White Habit: Compact Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 90cm x 75cm
Native. A selected form of the ever popular Griselinia. Gorgeous, broad, glossy green foliage with attractive wavy margins. Ideal background shrub but at its best when used as a hedge. Tolerant of just about any planting conditions including coastal. Very tidy and well groomed. Evergreen.
Rosemary. A classic culinary herb suitable for use in all manner of dishes but especially with lamb. Attractive aromatic foliage and pretty blue flowers that appear mostly in summer. Use as a herb, ornamental shrub or for hedging. Prefers the sun and good drainage. Bees love it. Evergreen.
Colour: Blue Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.3m x 1m
The main feature of this lovely shrub is the tight clusters of white flowers which open from pink buds from winter through to spring. The fragrance is delicious and reminiscent of soft baby powder. Mmm! The foliage is dark green above and slightly felted underneath. Semi-evergreen.
Colour: White / Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 1m