Category Archives: Shrubs

Planning Your Small Scale Garden

Part 2 – Planting Your Small Scale Garden


In a small garden every plant counts and plants with ‘multi-season’ interest are particularly valuable. Look for plants that offer flowers and fruit, foliage and flowers, or plants that have autumn colour or interesting stems or foliage during winter.

Plants that have both flowers and fruit
These include plants that have the added bonus of foliage interest as well. Berberis forms can really come into their own here, for example the tiny Berberis thunbergii ‘Tiny Gold’ which has yellow leaves, young red shoots, yellow spring flowers and red fruit in autumn. Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea ‘Admiration’ has red-orange leaves but is otherwise similar. There is now a range of disease-resistant Hypericum which have yellow flowers and coloured fruits, try Hypericum Magical Beauty = ‘Kolmbeau’ for its berries that start peachy-pink. If you want a good-sized, handsome shrub the fan-shaped, golden-leaved Leycesteria formosa Golden Lanterns = ‘Notbruce’ has red flowers and purple fruits that provide interest all summer through.Small Garden Flowers and Fruit
Plants that have winter interest
Consider flowering plants with foliage that changes colour in winter. Some Hebes have this quality, coming in a range of sizes and needing a spot that has sunshine in winter. Try the compact Hebe ‘Caledonia’ with violet flowers and rose-purple winter foliage whilst Hebe ‘Pascal’ has copper-red winter foliage. Amongst herbaceous plants Bergenia often have burnished winter foliage, for example Bergenia ‘Overture’ has bright pink spring flowers and leaves that are burgundy in winter. The stems of dogwoods can positively glow in winter sunlight – for beautiful variegated foliage and red stems try Cornus alba ‘Spaethi’ or Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ for good autumn colour followed by orange winter stems. These are cut back to near ground-level in spring, once established.Small Garden Winter Interest Plants
Plants with exceptional foliage
Evergreens in particular can provide interest throughout the year. Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Gold Star’ has dainty shimmering foliage and can be pruned for containment if space is limited. In warm gardens the exotic Coprosma and Lophomyrtus forms, some of which change colour at different seasons, can be fascinating. Try Coprosma repens ‘Tequila Sunrise’ or Lophomyrtus x ralphii ‘Red Dragon’ with red to black foliage. Slow but beautiful Nandina domestica ‘Wood’s Dwarf’ glows red in winter and is gold, green and red in summer. For foliage drama where a feature plant can be accommodated Fatsia japonica ‘Spiser’s Web’ is exotic, with huge variegated leaves.
Plants with Exceptional Foliage
Plants for a hot and dry place
Where your garden has a hot and dry area, herbaceous plants can be invaluable. Slugs permitting, try Alstroemeria, coming in a huge range of sizes and happy in a container, such as Alstroemeria ‘Orange Gem’. Striking Abutilon with big bell-flowers can be grown as annuals, try apricot-flowered Abutilon ‘Linda Vista Peach’. Colourful Zinnias have a long season, if deadheaded, an example being Zinnia marylandica ‘Zahara Yellow’ (Zahara Series). Sedums also have a place in a hot spot. In winter they provide architectural interest with their flat brown seed heads, try grey purple Sedum ‘Matrona’. Frothy purple fennel is lovely placed at the rear, especially Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’. Requiring little attention Salvias, such as the small shrub Salvia microphylla ‘Pink Blush’ has rich pink flowers for months whilst silvered Convolvulus cneorum is decorative all summer.Plants for a Hot and Dry Place

This has just dipped a toe into the possibilities. We haven’t even started on walls and fences that can be clad in repeat-flowering climbing Roses paired with Clematis…

Enjoy!

This blog post was kindly contributed by Susan A. Tindall

Shrubs for flowers from Winter to Autumn

Winter RoseOne of the most difficult things to do in a garden is to provide for a long season of interest, so that when you look out of the window, or walk in the garden, there is always something that is “strutting its’ stuff”, capturing your attention so you enjoy the plants in your private kingdom. The first thing that most people look for from a plant is flowers. The following collection of shrubs are all suited to what is termed ‘background’ planting. They have their period in the limelight when in flower, and provide a pleasing backdrop to other plants the rest of the year.

These shrubs are generally quite tall and could be placed near the boundaries of your garden so smaller plants can be placed in front of them. They might be positioned round a seating area which you decorate with pots of annuals for the summer, or they might edge a lawn. All these plants can grow in any reasonable soil that is well drained or moisture retentive, and all but one takes both sunny or partly shaded positions.

The shrubs

Winter FlowerChoisya x dewitteana ‘Aztec Pearl’ is the cornerstone of the selection. This is a rounded shrub with slender leaves and white flowers that come from pink buds. It flowers in April and May and will eventually reach a height of 2 metres.

Deutzia crenata ‘Pride of Rochester’ follows on with masses of double white flowers, also coming from pink buds. It flowers in June and July and stands around 3 metres in height (it can be pruned to a shorter height). It has chestnut brown stems and the bark peels attractively – a feature in winter. This is the shrub that needs a sunny position.

Rosa Avon = ‘Poulmulti’ is a semi-double white rose, the flowers again coming from pink buds. It should flower from the end of May all through summer providing you deadhead (remove the dead flowers). This stands around 1.5 metres in height.

Abelia x grandiflora ‘Hopleys’ is an attractive variegated plant with an arching growth habit and delicate pink flowers from July, and is still flowering in September. This stands around 1.5 metres in height when mature.

Euonymus grandiflora is grown for its foliage. It makes a large shrub or a small tree, reaching 4 metres in height. It is glorious in the autumn when its leaves turn rich shades of red and purple; they are accompanied by interesting green fruits.

Viburnum farreri reaches around 3 metres in height. It comes into flower as early as November and may still be in flower in March. The flowers are white, from pink buds again, and enticingly scented – so place near a pathway.

And that pretty much wraps round the year.

Enjoy making the most of your garden.

This Longacres Blog post was contributed by Susan A. Tindall