Daylight shrubbery - add some beautiful foliage to your outdoor space

Posted 22 February 2016 by Richenda Oldham

Shrubs are a garden essential, providing both structure and decorative impact.

If you are looking to create a garden bursting with colour and interest all year round, then without doubt your planting list should have the heading "shrubs" right at the top. They are an important foundation ingredient in beds and borders, creating shape and context for other plants.

When it comes to choosing shrubs, there's a huge variety out there and you are sure to find plants that will suit your garden situation and soil type. 

There are both deciduous and evergreen varieties, which will produce flowers throughout the summer, and others that will remain in flower or produce colourful berries throughout the autumn and winter months. Or you could choose aromatic, scented shrubs to help make your garden more sensory.

Varieties such as Lemon Verbena, Buddleja, Daphne, Hebe, Lavandula, and Mahonia, can be planted next to paths and entrances, so their wonderful smells can be appreciated on a daily basis. 

Popular shrubs


This handsome and versatile shrub is easy to grow and there are between 150-175 species to choose from. There are plenty of excellent summer examples as well as winter flowering species to suit your taste - whether you want standalone plants or ones to integrate into a border. Viburnum farreri has stunning, sweetly scented winter flowers, while the handsome summer flowering Viburnum x hillieri 'Winton' was given the Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society. 


Hardy and disease resistant, it is not surprising that Camelias are rated as one of the world's best flowering plants. Glossy green foliage provides an attractive backdrop for a wide range of flowers in all hues of red, pink, white and a combination of all three. The size of the flower ranges from small (just a few centimetres) to over 15 cm.  


Cotoneaster shrubThis popular garden shrub, which hails originally from Asia, comes in both evergreen and deciduous species. It produces white/creamy white/light pink/dark pink/red flowers in late spring through to early summer and in winter it has bright red/orange or pink berries that are attractive to birds. 


Rich in nectar and honey scented, buddlejas are sometimes known as 'butterfly bushes' as they are attractive to butterflies, as well as bees and moths, with flowers ranging in colour from pastel pinks to vibrant yellows and reds. The best known species is Buddleja davidii, but watch out, it can be invasive and will colonise open dry ground.  


This unappreciated shrub is actually a spectacular and useful plant of over 500 species. It's tough, grows well in most soils and produces long lasting berries in shades of red, blues, blacks, coral and amber. Berberis will tolerate extremes of weather and temperature and is a must for wildlife gardens, providing food for both birds and small mammals. 


This popular garden shrub thrives in a well-drained yet moist soil and likes semi-shade. It is well known for its mophead and lace-cap species, which have the ability to change colour in different soils. Its delicate flower heads come in shades of pink, white and blue.   


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