Flowering shrubs

Flowering shrubs

A flowering shrub can be as much a part of the planting scheme as a tree or herbaceous border. Many have long flowering times, and with so many available, there is bound to be something to fit into your design. A shrub can add structure to the garden; it can be the main feature, such as a specimen of a Magnolia, or it can provide a framework for your herbaceous planting. Well-chosen shrubs should not dominate the garden but should become an integral part that pulls everything together. Flowering shrubs can add all year-round interest, offer shelter and food for wildlife and be form an attractive screen where needed.

There is so much to choose from, too. There are evergreens that flower in winter, such as Viburnum tinus and Skimmia rubella. There are Viburnums and Cercis, which flower early in Spring before the leaf starts to appear, and such an abundance of summer flowering shrubs; they can’t possibly all be listed here. If you want a shrub which flowers for a long duration, then the Hydrangea will undoubtedly offer you colour. The hypericum is also a great shrub that provides flowers for a number of weeks. They have varieties which are prostrate, dwarf and as small shrubs, they can be evergreen, deciduous and variegated. Often, they are grown for their berries. The only thing they are not varied in in their flower colour, they are all yellow.

The flowers of the shrubs are in all shapes and colours as varied as any herbaceous border. Small shrubs like Cistus provide bright pink and white simple flowers. However some displays of flowers are much more complex such as Calycanthus and Euonymus Red Cascade. Some shrubs have delicate individual flowers and others like the Viburnums have great clusters of flowers.

After the flowers have finished blooming, a lot of these shrubs bear berries. Many are ornamental, such as Viburnum davidii, which has bright blue dupes. Other shrubs which have attractive berries are Skimmia nymens, Pyracanthas and Mahonias.

Not all berries are edible; however, the ones on Amelanchier are, which leads to how it got one of its common names, June Berry. The Amelanchier is a fantastic early flowering shrub, which can also be grown as a small tree. In the spring, it is covered with pale pink and white blossoms, which gives it the common name of Snowy Mespilus. If you want to try the berries of the Amelanchier, the best variety to grow for eating is the Saskatoon, which is originally from Canada but grows well in the UK.

Many flowering shrubs are cultivated for their scent. The syringa, which bears blooms in hues of purple and white, has a very strong scent that can be enjoyed from early May to late June. Hamamelis have a distinct scent that fills the garden when there is not much else in the flower.

These flowers attract pollinators to the garden, so it is important to have a selection of flowering shrubs to provide all-year-round attraction. Early flowering shrubs such as Mahonia provide a chance for bees that emerge early to have feed when not much else is available. Providing something for all-year interest will lead to wildlife, making your garden a haven for life and enhancing the garden for anyone to enjoy.

Posted 29th Apr 10:51am