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 dwarf Rhododendron with bright green foliage and glowing red blooms that appear in spring. Excellent choice for the front of the border or perhaps a container in a shady corner. Prefers dappled light and acid soil, mulch annually and avoid Lime. Evergreen.
Colour: Red Habit: Compact Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 60cm x 60cm
Beautiful evergreen shrub bears clusters of camellia-like flowers. Flowers are rose pink with darker central blotch. Neat compact habit with dark green foliage. Best in a sheltered situation. One of Waterer's Seven Dwarves. Happiest planted in dappled light with acid soil. Avoid Lime. Fertilise in spring prior to new growth. Evergreen.
Colour: Pink / Red Habit: Compact Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 100cm x 100cm
Drop dead gorgeous flowers of deep waxy red decorate the glossy deep green foliage from late winter-early spring. Vigorous and easy to grow in dappled light. Prefers acid soil and a nice layer of mulch applied annually. Avoid Lime. A must have for anyone who likes Rhododendrons. Evergreen.
Colour: Red / Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2m x 2m
Highly prized for the deliciously decadent deep black red blooms that appear in late spring. Dense compact habit with dark green foliage. Happiest planted in dappled light with acid soil. Avoid Lime. Evergreen.
Colour: Red Habit: Compact Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 1m
Large full trusses of deep wine purple with a dark blotch appear in spring. Handsome dark foliage and a vigorous upright habit make this a Rhododendron to add to your collection. Plant in semi-shade and mulch the roots regularly to keep cool. Avoid Lime. Evergreen.
Colour: Purple Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.8m x 1m
Beautiful rounded trusses of pink with a cream throat appear in early spring. A nice small and compact Rhododendron. Happiest in a semi-shaded position with acid soil. Mulch regularly to keep the surface roots cool. Evergreen.
Colour: Pink / Cream Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2m x 1.5m
You'll get a real buzz when you see 'Bumble Bee' blooming its head off in your garden in spring. Large rounded trusses made up of 25 flowers that are vivid purple with a deep maroon blotch. Handsome dark glossy green foliage. Plant in dappled light and mulch roots annually to keep cool. Evergreen.
Colour: Purple / Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2m
Delightful mauve buds open into frilly pink flowers. Rhododendron’s prefer dappled shade, but can be grown in full sun if protected from afternoon sun or kept well watered. Prune after flowering to maintain shape and to promote new growth. Mulch root area annually to keep cool. Avoid Lime. Evergreen.
A very desirable Rhododendron that has glossy green foliage and a nice dense, rounded form. The buds are a deep rose-red and open to shell pink blooms with just a hint of the red at the throat. Lovely. As with all Rhododendrons prefers a semi-shaded spot and acid soil. Evergreen.
Colour: Pink / Red Habit: Compact Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 1m
An American hybrid with large funnel shaped blooms that are said to resemble Cherry Custard Ice-Cream in tone. Don't think that's a flavour we have in NZ. Anyway the blooms are custard yellow blended with cherry red and appear in spring. Prefers dappled light and acid soil. Evergreen.
Colour: Yellow / Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.2m x 1m