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.
'Graham Blandy' is an upright sort of chap who will always stand up tall and erect in the garden. With a natural columnar habit this Box is perfect for adding an exclamation point to planting schemes. Easy to grow in sun or part shade. Evergreen.
Ideal for narrow spaces or group together to form a natural screen of green. Perhaps march along the side of a path or drive. A very useful plant for directional planting.
A delightful little American cultivar of the Korean Box plant. Valued for its dwarf, compact habit it is ideal for low hedging or edging. The leaves are very dainty and a deep glossy green turning to a deep copper shade in winter. Easy to grow. clips well, evergreen.
Colour: Yellow Habit: Compact Est. Hgt. 7/10 yrs: 30cm x 50cm
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.
Standard. 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. 7/10 yrs: Std
NZ Native. This form was discovered on cliffs near Hawera. It is a ground hugging native that forms a tight mat of small narrow olive green leaves. Excellent landscape plant for covering large areas of ground. Hardy, tolerant of cold and wind. Evergreen.
Colour: Assorted Habit: Spreading Est. Hgt. 7/10 yrs: 40cm x 200cm
Native. An interesting little shrub with stems that twist and tangle themselves into what is known as a divaricating mound. The foliage is tiny and the whole plant has tones of bronze-red. Hardy and robust - ideal for coastal sites. Plant in the sun. Evergreen.
Native. A tough little native plant that is a useful ground-cover for large areas or difficult sites. Dainty dark green foliage, inconspicuous flowers that are sometimes followed by little blue berries. Hardy and easy to grow. Evergreen.
Habit: Ground-cover Est. Hgt. 7/10 yrs: 30cm x 150cm
Native. A stunning new hybrid form of NZ's Cabbage Tree. Long, wide cascading strap like leaves of high gloss shine in deep maroon on an attractive silhouette form. Looks fabulous in the garden. Sprays of small fragrant flowers in late spring-summer. Evergreen.
This is a great little shrub that will grow just about anywhere, even dry, windy difficult sites. Narrow green leaves and a 'zig zag' branch pattern certainly add interest as do the bright yellow flowers that appear in spring. Red berries follow the flowers that will attract birds to your garden. Evergreen
Colour: Yellow Habit: Upright Est. Hgt. 7/10 yrs: 2.5m x 1m
This lovely dwarf Corokia has unusual almost black foliage with a hint of silver. Fabulous combined with other grey or silver foliage plants. Perhaps plant a group around a stunning black container. Ideal for hedging as it clips well. Tough and easy to grow. Evergreen.
Colour: Assorted Habit: Upright Est. Hgt. 7/10 yrs: 1.2m x 75cm
Native. A selected form of the ever popular and versatile Griselinia. Small glossy green foliage with undulating edges looks good all year round and 'Alpine' has a nice compact habit and high tolerance to just about any conditions including coastal. Fast growing - evergreen.
Native. An easy to grow shrub which is invaluable for difficult sites as it is tolerant of almost any conditions including coastal. Fresh bright green foliage highlighted by red stems. Particularly useful for hedging. Always looks neat and tidy, trims exceptionally well. Evergreen.
Delightful little native Hebe that is a good "doer". Small close-set leaves that are dark green above and paler beneath. The pale lavender flowers smother the bush from mid to late spring and gradually fade to white as they mature. Prefers a sunny well drained position. Evergreen.
Colour: Mauve / White Habit: Compact Est. Hgt. 7/10 yrs: 1m x 75cm
Attractive heart shaped leaves of rich green with broad margins of creamy white. Stems of bell shaped mauve blooms in late spring. Hostas perform their best when grown in moist soil with protection from afternoon sun. The longer you leave them the better they get. Perennial.
Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt. 7/10 yrs: 60cm x 90cm
Striptease has a very unusual “lightening strike” of white running around and through the lime green centre. The dark green leaves are centred with a bright chartreuse that fades during summer to a light green. This central area is irregularly thinly brushed with a strip of pure white (that sometimes doesn't appear until plants are mature). This hosta forms a good sizeable clump. Perennial
Mop Head. Lush fresh green foliage and large rounded heads of either pink or blue depending on your soil acidity and will delight in summer-autumn. Plant in morning sun or semi-shade in rich acid soil for best results. Side dress with Aluminium sulphate to maintain the blue colour. Deciduous.
Colour: Pink / Blue Habit: Upright Est. Hgt. 7/10 yrs: 1.2m x 1.2m
Lace-Cap. Gorgeous, large, white flowers that have a halo of showy florets surrounding the densely packed centre of smaller florets. Dark green tapered leaves complement the flowers nicely. Plant in semi-shade in soil that does not completely dry out in summer. Deciduous.
Colour: Cream Habit: Upright Est. Hgt. 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 1m
Hypocalymma cordifolia ‘Golden Veil’ is a small shrubby member of the myrtle (eucalypt) family growing to 1m x 1m with white and green foliage tipped with new pink growth. The brightly coloured foliage is excellent in a medium sized container as well as in well drained spots in the garden.
A standard form of the lovely evergreen Holly with deep green foliage that has a purple-blue overtone highlighted by dark purple stems. The small white flowers are followed by red berries if pollination has occurred therefore best planted with Ilex Blue Prince the larger male form.
Habit: Compact Est. Hgt. 7/10 yrs: Standardcm x cm
Fast growing evergreen shrub or small erect tree. Bright green leaves which release volatile oils when crushed.
Similar to manuka but leaves are soft and flowers and seeds are smaller than manuka. Attractive branching pattern and profuse flowering in summer.
Colour: White Habit: Upright Est. Hgt. 7/10 yrs: 10m x 5m
Lavandula. This is a compact variety of English Lavender producing striking, deep violet-blue flowers in the summer. Delightfully fragrant with that true 'Lavender' fragrance we all love. Good for attracting bees to the garden. Trim after flowering. Plant in a well drained sunny spot. Evergreen.
The trimmed flower heads can be dried in the sun or in a warm dry spot and used for making lavender sachets, pot pourri etc. Make sure you do this trimming before autumn so your Lavender has a chance to re-grow before it gets too cold.
Colour: Mauve / Purple Habit: Compact Est. Hgt. 7/10 yrs: 50cm x 30cm
Lavandula. English Lavender. A dwarf, compact form with foliage and flowers that carry the true sweet lavender fragrance we all love. The fine, grey foliage is topped off with stalks of little lavender flower heads in the peak of summer. Trim after flowering. Loves the sun and good drainage. Evergreen.
'Munstead' is named after Munstead woods in Surrey - the home of renowned garden designer - the late Gertrude Jeckyl.
Colour: Mauve Habit: Compact Est. Hgt. 7/10 yrs: 0.3m x 0.3m
Well you will be 'plum delighted' with this fabulous foliage shrub that looks good all year round. The neat oval leaves are a rich bronze maroon shade, in spring shaggy bright pink flowers start to appear and decorate the somewhat pendulous branches. Grow in the sun or part shade. Evergreen.
AKA 'The Fringe Flower' Loropetalum is in the same family as 'Witch Hazel'. It has quite a broad habit but responds well to trimming if you wish the shrub to have a more rounded shape.
Colour: Pink Habit: Arching Est. Hgt. 7/10 yrs: 2m x 2.5m
Often referred to as Firespike this beautiful shrub is native to Mexico and Central America. This herbaceous perennials flowering time is long lasting and should provide glorious red colour until almost Christmas. Dense waxy green leaves with spikes of vibrant-red tubular flowers that can be up to 30cm in length. Perennial
Colour: Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt. 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 0m
A vigorous and reliable Rhododendron with large trusses of snowy white flowers with a hint of brown speckling in the throat. Flowers in spring. Plant in a semi-shaded spot with acid soil and mulch annually to keep the roots cool. Evergreen.
Colour: White Habit: Upright Est. Hgt. 7/10 yrs: 2.5m x 2m
You'll be delighted with the spring display of this Spiraea. Gorgeous deep pink clusters of flowers cover the arching branches just as the leaves appear. Lovely red autumn colour. Flowers on previous years wood, trim back after flowering to enourage fresh bloom. Deciduous
Colour: Pink Habit: Arching Est. Hgt. 7/10 yrs: 1.2m x 1.2m
The main feature of this deciduous shrub is the large globular, white, 'snowball' flower-heads that appear in spring. Forms an open, graceful shrub with green leaves that have good autumn colour. Easy to grow and a firm favourite for good reason.
Colour: White / Green Habit: Upright Est. Hgt. 7/10 yrs: 3m x 2m
It all starts in spring with creamy white flower heads. These are followed by bright red berries that hold well into winter after leaf fall. The fresh green leaves are attractively lobed and colour exceptionally well in autumn. All together an excellent, highly ornamental shrub. Deciduous.
Colour: Cream / White Habit: Upright Est. Hgt. 7/10 yrs: 3m x 2.5m