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 special species Rhododendron from the mountains of Burma. The blooms are beautifully fragrant and toned palest pink to white with a speckled blotch of yellow in the centre. Flowers in spring. Plant in dappled light with acid soil and mulch annually to keep the roots cool. Evergreen.
This Rhododendron also has attractive mahogany coloured peeling bark.
Colour: Pink / White Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 3m x 2m
With an Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society you know that 'Dora' is going to perform well in the garden. The white blooms are speckled green and open from pink buds. The blooms appear in spring and have a spicy fragrance. Likes dappled light but is tolerant of sun. Evergreen.
Colour: White / Green Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 100cm x 100cm
Big, bold, rounded trusses of frilly cerise pink blooms will delight in spring. Dark green glossy foliage and a vigorous growth habit. Plant in dappled light though this cultivar is tolerant of some sun. Prefers acid soil and a nice layer of mulch to keep the roots cool. Evergreen. RHS AGM.
Colour: Pink / Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 1.5m
The double flowers of this dome shaped Rhododendron are the prettiest shade of soft mauve highlighted with a blotch of lemon-brown in the centre. The flowers appear in spring in loose trusses. Happiest in semi-shade with acid soil. Avoid Lime. Evergreen.
Colour: Mauve / Yellow Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2.5m x 2m
Bred in NZ by Felix Jury this handsome shrub has dark green leathery foliage. In spring fragrant trumpets of bloom in tones of pastel apricot with a pink flush and just a hint of orange in the throat will make you realize it is an excellent choice for a semi-shaded part of the garden. Evergreen.
Colour: Apricot Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2.5m x 2m
Show bright pink blooms with a bright cherry pink flare appear in large trusses in mid spring. A vigorous upright grower with large green leaves. Happiest in semi-shade and acid soil. Mulch regularly to keep the roots cool. Evergreen.
Colour: Pink / Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.8m x 1.5m
Named for the American Nurseryman who bred this lovely Rhododendron in 1906. The purple buds open to off white blooms flushed with pink and speckled attractively at the throat. A slow compact grower that is very tolerant, even of some sun. Prefers an acid soil and some nice mulch around the roots. Evergreen.
Colour: White / Pink Habit: Compact Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2m x 2m
What a superb Rhododendron this is. A sturdy compact habit with large, deep green, handsome foliage. The wow happens in early spring when large rounded trusses of vivid red blooms will light up the garden. Plant in semi-shade with acid soil and mulch annually for best results. Evergreen.
Colour: Red Habit: Compact Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 1.5m
A vigorous hybrid which flowers mid to late spring. The blooms are a deep purple-pink tone, the colour is more intense in the centre of the bloom. Puts on a lovely display in a semi-shaded spot. Prefers acid soil and a nice layer of mulch to keep the roots cool. Evergreen.
Colour: Purple / Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5 x 1.5m
A stunning Rhododendron with huge bright red flowers that are spotted with darker tones of red. The flowers look their best in semi-shade where they will not fade. Handsome thick dark green leaves complete the picture. Happiest in well drained acid soil. Evergreen.
Colour: Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 1m