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.
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.
Habit: Twisting Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 60cm x 120cm
NZ Native. Coprosma Prostrata has little shiny green leaves and makes an attractive groundcover. Great for those tough spots in the garden. Hardy and tolerant of dry conditions. Plant in full sun. Evergreen.
Colour: Assorted Habit: Spreading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 50cm x 100cm
An easy to grow Native shrub with very glossy burgandy foliage with lime green tips on new growth Tolerates coastal, windy conditions and sun but doesn't like harsh frost. Good for group planting and re-vegetation of difficult areas. 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/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 30cm x 150cm
An unusual Dogwood that features a thicket of red stemmed branches that look their best when bare in winter. Pretty flowers in late spring and attractive variegated grey-green
foliage with just a little white on the leaf margins. Thrives in moist conditions and looks 'elegant' beside water. Deciduous.
Colour: Cream / Yellow Habit: Spreading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.8m x 3m
Beautiful green foliage for back-ground planting. The leaves turn to stunning shades of red and fall to reveal deep red stems, adding naked colour to the winter garden. To encourage colourful bark, remove a third of the stems back to ground level each spring.
Easy to grow.
A distinctive form of Dogwood that is valued for the thicket of yellow stems that look their best when bare in winter. The summer foliage is dark green and colours well in autumn. The late spring flowers are white. Hardy and easy to grow. Great for decorative floral work. Deciduous.
Colour: White Habit: Spreading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.8m x 3m
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/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.2m x 75cm
Smoke Bush. An easy to grow, large, spreading shrub with oval green leaves that have vibrant autumn tones prior to leaf fall. The common name comes from the misty-mauve panicles of bloom that form a smoky halo over the whole bush in summer. Plant in the sun in well drained soil. Deciduous.
It is common practice to prune Cotinus quite hard in winter which will encourage a tidy growth habit and renewed growth that produces a better foliage display. Not absolutely necessary though.
Colour: Mauve Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 3m x 3m
Current Stock Height: 70/90cm ?
Container: 4.5l ?
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Smoke Bush. A beautiful foliage shrub with new spring leaves emerging with crimson purple tones aging to green with a purple tinge as summer progresses and once again deepening in tone prior to leaf fall. The frothy cloud of pink flowers appears in summer. Easy to grow, healthy and hardy.
Colour: Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2.5m x 2.5m