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.
An interesting foliage plant that forms a small compact rounded bush. The leaves which are often crinkled are lime green changing to shades of purple, crimson and orange through winter. Grows with very little fuss and is very tolerant. Looks best group planted in a sunny spot. Evergreen.
Colour: Assorted Habit: Compact Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 60cm x 60cm
This form of Chinese Sacred Bamboo is from the town of Richmond in the South Island. Valued for the beauty of the foliage, stem structure and bright red berries that brighten up dull winter days. Plant in a sunny spot with protection from harsh frost. Evergreen.
Colour: White Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 1m
Fragrant by name and fragrant by nature. This large shrub or small tree has broad glossy green leaves offset by small cream flowers that sweetly perfume the air from spring to autumn. Plant in sun or part shade in nice rich soil. Do any pruning after flowering. Evergreen.
Colour: Cream Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 3m x 2.5m
A top performing little evergreen shrub with dainty glossy green foliage and a profusion of highly fragrant little white flowers that appear in winter. Easy to grow in morning sun or dappled light, prefers acid soil is possible. Responds well to clipping which should be done after flowering. PVR.
Colour: White Habit: Compact Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.2m x 1m
This dramatic and cold hardy evergreen shrub has green holly-like leaves that first emerge deep purple on new growth. An incredibly tough plant that produces deliciously fragrant small white flowers in autumn. Easy to grow in morning sun or dappled light, prefers acid soil if possible. Responds well to clipping which should be done after flowering. Evergreen
Colour: Cream Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.8m x 1m
Native. A pretty free flowering little shrub with dainty evergreen foliage and myriads of little white blooms with a hint of lavender in the centre that will delight from spring to summer. Plant in a sunny spot with humus rich soil that doesn't completely dry out. Protect from harsh frost. Evergreen.
Colour: White / Mauve Habit: Spreading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 25cm x 50cm
Philadelphus Birchlands (sweet mock-orange, English dogwood) is a deciduous flowering plant in the family Hydrangaceae, native to Southern Europe. Toothed leaves and bowl-shaped, white, fragrant flowers arrive en masse in spring and cover the arching branches. Deciduous
Very free flowering, deciduous plant clothed with a profusion of extremely fragrant, creamy-white, cup-shaped single flowers in spring. Thrives in dry soil, and is suitable for sun or shade. Forms a large informal hedge which will fill the air with fragrance when in flower, or, as a single specimen, will make an attractive shrub.
Colour: White Habit: Bushy Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2.7m x 2.4m
Mock Orange Blossom. Beautiful simple, single, white flowers (this one will have pink splashes originating from the centre) with a heady fragrance will delight when they flower in spring. Fresh green summer foliage. Easy to grow in the sun or just a little shade. Cut back after flowering to encourage new growth. Deciduous.
Colour: White / Pink Habit: Bushy shrub Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 100cm x 100cm
This 19th century French hybrid is still rated a top shrub today. Fresh green foliage and virginal white double blossoms with a delicious heady fragrance. Easy to grow in a sunny spot. Prune after flowering within a few centimetres of the old wood. Deciduous.
Philadelphus appreciate a side dressing of lime once a year - probably best applied just before spring.
Colour: White Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2m x 1.5m