Shrubs are the backbone of any garden and if chosen carefully, can provide all year round interest. They are much less trouble to look after than many other plants.
Once established they usually only require a little maintenance pruning now and then and a good feed once a year. There is a huge variety of shrubs available, with a wide range of characteristics that can be used to suit virtually any aspect in the garden.
Shrubs can be used to add interest throughout the year with different flowering seasons. Shrubs also provide attractive leaves as well as flowers (which can be highly scented). Deciduous shrubs provide contrasting backgrounds in summer and colour variations in autumn. Evergreen shrubs can be used to give much needed structure in the winter. Shrubs are also very good at providing shelter and privacy and many shrubs make good hedges.
The following selection of shrubs are suitable for domestic gardens in Great Britain (England/Scotland/Ireland).
Chinese witch hazel
False Caster Oil Plant
Silk tassel bush
Evergreen shrubs are of great value in the garden because they create form in the garden and all year round interest. However, if you plants too many evergreen varieties they can overpower the planting scheme. The ideal is to select a mixture of deciduous and evergreen shrubs to create all year round interest and provide subtle changes each month. Most flowering shrubs bloom for a short time (around 2 to 4 weeks), after which the leaves will still form a useful backdrop. If you have a very small garden you can train some shrubs to take the place of trees and provide interesting focal points.