Recommended Shrubs for the Garden

Recommended Shrubs


The great barberry family, which includes both deciduous and evergreen kinds. The former are very dense and spiny with yellow flowers followed by red berries. Berberis aggregata and Berberis thunbergii are typical, the latter with several fine-coloured leaf varieties including ‘Atropurpurea’, purple, and ‘Rose Glow’, purple and pink. The evergreen kinds also have yellow or orange flowers usually followed by blue-black berries. Two of the best are Berberis darwinii, with small holly-like leaves and orange flowers in spring, and Berberis stenophylla, thicket-forming and narrow-leaved with yellow sweetly scented flowers in spring.



recommended shrubs - buddleia davidiiThe most popular kind is Buddleia davidii, the butterfly bush, with long, conical spikes of small, sweetly scented purple flowers in late summer. There are numerous varieties differing in depth of colour; some are white. All can be pruned hard each March if desired.



There are both evergreen and deciduous kinds, the former flowering mainly in spring, the latter in summer. Most are a little tender and are often trained against sunny walls, the evergreens summer-pruned, the deciduous kinds thinned or cut back in March. Good evergreen kinds with thimble-like clusters of small blue flowers are Ceanothus impresses and Ceanothus burkwoodii, the latter with an extended flowering season. Recommended deciduous kinds are ‘Gloire de Versailles’, light blue, and ‘Topaz’, dark blue.



These are the spring-flowering shrubs most people call japonica or Japanese quince. They are deciduous and thicket-forming, but are frequently trained against walls where they need to be summer-pruned. The species has scarlet flowers but there are varieties and hybrids in many shades from white to crimson.



The dogwoods, some of which are classified as trees. The varieties of Cornus alba are all thicket-forming shrubs with coloured stems and good foliage. Recommended varieties are ‘Elegantissima’, which has red stems and light green and white leaves, and ‘Spaethii’, similar but with light yellow leaves.



A big genus of evergreen and deciduous shrubs ranging from completely prostrate kinds such as Cotoneaster dammeri to almost tree-like plants such as Cotoneaster frigidus and the ‘Cornubia’ variety. All have white flowers followed by red or yellow berries.



The brooms, many of which have slender green sterns and very small leaves. An exception is Cytisus battandieri with trifoliate leaves covered in grey down and clusters of yellow, scented flowers in summer. The hybrids of Cytisus scoparius flower earlier, in May and June, and are cream, yellow, yellow and red, crimson or pink according to variety. Cytisus kewensis is pale yellow, early-flowering and short but wide-spreading. Cytisus multiflorus is taller than most, slender-stemmed and white-flowered. All like sun and good drainage and can be lightly pruned after flowering.



Useful free-flowering deciduous shrub of medium to large size. Many are hybrids sold under garden names such as ‘Magician’, white and purple, and ‘Mount Rose’, purplish-pink. All flower in late spring or early summer and can be thinned after flowering.



Evergreens grown for their foliage. The best is E. pungens ‘Maculata’ with a large yellow blotch in the centre of each green leaf.



The heathers, a big genus with numerous species and a much larger number of garden varieties. Many are ground-hugging plants but some are much taller bushes. Most prefer acid soils but some, including Erica carnea. Erica darleyensis, Erica medditerranea and Erica terminalis, are tolerant of lime. There are also great differences in when they flower. Erica darleyensis flowers in winter and early spring; Erica carnea mainly in spring though some varieties are earlier; Erica arborea (a tall heather) in early spring; Erica cinerea mainly in summer; Erica terminalis (another bushy kind) in late summer, and Erica ciliaris and Erica vagans in late summer and autumn.



Mainly evergreen shrubs of medium to large size with clusters of small flowers in summer. Good garden varieties are ‘Edinensis’, pink; ‘Apple Blossom’, pink and white; ‘Iveyi’, white, and ‘Crimson Spire’, which is a light crimson colour.



Among the first shrubs to make a big display in spring with their yellow flowers. ‘Lynwood’ is one of the best varieties. All are deciduous and large but can be thinned drastically after flowering.



The shrubby veronicas, all evergreen and mostly carrying their small flowers in short well-packed spikes. Among the many good varieties are ‘Autumn Glory’, compact, violet blue; ‘Carl Teschner’, smaller with dark leaves and violet and white flowers; Hebe franciscana, compact, blue; ‘Great Orme’, compact, pink; Hebe pinguifolia ‘Page’, low-growing with grey leaves and white flowers, and Hebe salicifolia, a large bush with white flowers.


hydrangea Hydrangea

The shrubs that make the most solid flower display after midsummer. The hardiest is Hydrangea paniculata, with large conical clusters of creamy white flowers becoming tinged with pink as they grow older; it can be pruned hard each March. For colour the best are the numerous varieties of Hydrangea macrophylla, some with large globular heads of flower (the Hortensias or Mopheads), some with flat heads (the Lacecaps). Good varieties of the former type are ‘Generale Vicomtesse de Vibraye’, ‘Hamburg’ and ‘Madame Emile Mouilliere’, all white. Good Lacecap varieties are ‘Blue Wave’, ‘Mariesii’ and ‘White Wave’. In acid soils the coloured varieties will be blue or violet-purple, in alkaline pink, rose, crimson.



A big genus of shrubs all with yellow flowers. Two of the best are ‘Hidcote’, medium-sized and with nearly evergreen leaves, and H. inodorum ‘Elstead’, a smaller shrub with small flowers followed by shining chestnut-red fruits.


Kolkwitzia amabilis

A fairly big deciduous shrub with pink flowers in May-June.



The lavenders, with grey aromatic leaves and spikes of light blue to violet purple flowers in summer. All like sunny places and lime in the soil.


Magnolia stellata

A large but slow-growing bush with starry white or pink flowers.



Evergreens with rather holly-like leaves.

All have yellow flowers. Mahonia aquifolium is medium- sized, flowers in spring and usually bears good crops of grape-purple fruits. Mahonia japonica makes a large spreading bush and has scented flowers in winter. ‘Charity’ is also winter-flowering, taller, and deeper yellow.



Evergreens with small daisy-type flowers. Most are a little tender. The hardiest is 0learia haastii, flowering in July-August. One of the most spectacular is 0learia scilloniensis with grey leaves and abundant white flowers in May-June.



The mock-oranges, nearly all sweetly scented and all deciduous. They differ considerably in size. ‘Sybille’ and ‘Erectus’ are small, the first white and purple, the second all white. Philadelphus intectus is very tall and white. Intermediate in size are ‘Beauclerk’, ‘Belle Etoile’ and ‘Virginal’, the last with double flowers.



Small deciduous shrubs with divided leaves and round flowers produced all summer. Good kinds are ‘Abbotswood’, white; ‘Elizabeth’, primrose; `Goldfinger’, yellow, and ‘Red Ace’, orange-red.



Fairly large evergreens with clusters of white flowers in summer followed by red, orange or yellow berries in autumn Good kinds are Pyracantha rogersiana, with red berries; ‘Mohave’, orange berries, and ‘Golden Charmer’, yellow berries.


Senecio ‘Sunshine’

A medium-sized shrub with grey leaves and clusters of yellow daisy-type flowers in summer.


Skimmia japonica

A small to medium-sized evergreen with short spikes of white, or pink-tinged, scented flowers in spring followed by red berries on female bushes — provided a male is nearby for pollination.



A big and varied genus of deciduous shrubs. Good kinds are Spirea arguta, fairly small with slender sprays of small white flowers in spring; Spirea bumalda ‘Anthony Waterer’, small with flat heads of carmine flowers in summer; Spirea bumalda ‘Goldflame’, like the last but with golden young leaves; Spirea prunifolia, fairly large with arching stems and double white flowers in May, and Spirea vanhouttei, with single white flowers.



The lilacs are mostly very large shrubs though there are some quite small kinds, such as Syringa velutina, a compact bush with small leaves and little spikes of sweetly scented lilac flowers in May-June. There are numerous varieties of the common lilac, some with single flowers such as ‘Souvenir de Louis Spiith’, reddish purple; ‘Maud Notcutt, white, and ‘Primrose’, pale yellow. Doubles include ‘Charles Joly’, purplish-red; ‘Katherine Havemeyer’, lavender-purple; ‘Michael Buchner’, pale pink, and ‘Madame Lemoine’, white.



A big and very varied genus. Viburnum fragrans, pale pink, and Viburnum bodnantense, rose-pink, are large, deciduous, sweetly scented and winter-flowering. Viburnum carlesii is medium-sized, white, scented, deciduous and spring-flowering, and Viburnum burkwoodii is much like it but evergreen. Viburnum davidii is short but wide-spreading, with handsome evergreen leaves. Viburnum opulus sterile is the Snowball Tree, so-called because of its globular clusters of white flowers in June. It is deciduous. Viburnum tinus is the Laurustinus, a large evergreen with clusters of white flowers from autumn until spring.



Medium-sized deciduous shrubs with pink or red funnel flowers in May-June. ‘Bristol Ruby’ is a good deep red variety, ‘Foliis Purpureus’ has pink flowers and purple leaves, and ‘Variegate’ pink flowers and white-edged leaves.

23. April 2011 by admin
Categories: Shrubs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Recommended Shrubs for the Garden


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