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.
Large trusses of bright red bell shaped blooms appear from late winter. Dark green foliage and an erect open habit. Plant in semi-shade with acid soil for best results however 'Cornubia' is known to cope with more sun that many other cultivars. Evergreen.
Colour: Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 3m x 2m
Large full trusses of striking ruby red flowers appear in spring. Handsome dark foliage and an 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: Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 1m
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
A beautiful Rhododendron with fat pink buds that open to large trusses of soft yellow flowers with a pink blotch in the centre. Flowers appear in early spring. Dark green foliage and a compact habit. Plant in dappled light with acid soil and mulch annually to keep the roots cool. Evergreen.
Colour: Yellow / Red Habit: Compact Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 1.5m
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
A vigorous, hardy and tolerant Rhododendron that has deep rose pink, trumpet blooms that form dense large trusses. Very free flowering, puts on a spectacular display mid spring. Plant in dappled light with acid soil and mulch annually to keep the roots cool. Est 10 yr. growth. Evergreen.
Colour: Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 4m x 2.5m
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