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Evergreen shrubs for year-round interest

Himalayan laurel

In order to create a nice background in our garden we need shrubs that will offer something to see even over the winter months, when everything else is sleeping. To do this effectively you should know that half to two-thirds of your shrubs should be evergreen. Include in your garden shrubs with a variety of different leaf colors and textures as well as good flowering shrubs and the effect will be guaranteed. This way your garden will never loose its interest.

Himalayan laurel or Spotted laurel (Aucuba japonica) is grown for its bold, variegated foliage and adaptability to shade, so use it to brighten up a gloomy corner. Though it has a tendency to revert, it does not take much effort cut away green shoots as they appear. This is a dioecious plant, having separate male and female plants.

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Shrubs for Winter Color

abeliophyllum-distichum image

A good garden planning means that you are able to enjoy colors in your garden even in the depths of winter. Even if winter blooms are smaller and paler than their summer rivals, they can be often sweetly scented and still bring joy on a winter day.

There are some shrubs that still look amazing even if the weather outside is cold and unwelcoming. Some of them even flower over this period while others bring interest in your garden with their unusual bark.

White forsythia (Abeliophyllum distichum) is a shrub that worth cosseting for its precious display of delicate, flagrant, slightly off-white flowers that appear against the leafless stems during late winter to early spring. Plant them in a sheltered position, against a warm wall or fence, to protect their bloom from frost.

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Shrubs for Autumn Color

calluna-vulgaris image

Autumn is a precious season with all the glorious colors and fruits, beautifully illuminated by the lowering rays of sun. Many shrubs are looking gorgeous during autumn, showing great foliage colors and bearing colorful fruits, after they have already impress un with spring or summer flowers.

We will present some of the most interesting shrubs that you could use in your garden for autumn interest, some of them having beautiful foliage colors while others will offer colorful berries.

Ling or Scots heather (Calluna vulgaris Spook) is a beautiful shrub with downy grey foliage and tall spikes of mauve flowers that appear from late summer to early winter. The faded flowers can be left on the plant over the winter, as they look good especially when shimmering with hoar frost. Shear off the dead flowers stems in spring. Plant them in acid soil, in a place with full sun.

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Shrubs for Summer Color

buddleja-weyeriana image

If you plan your garden well, you will benefit from a succession of colorful and interesting flowering shrubs, performing from early summer to autumn. Most of the shrubs are able to look after themselves once they are established, but they will benefit from an annual pruning, which will improve their flower quality and helps control their shape and size.

We will present you some shrubs for summer interest that you can chose to plant in your garden. Some of them might be already in your garden because they are commonly used, while other might be new to you. Chose the one that fit your garden design.

Butterfly bush (Buddleja x weyeriana) is a reliable summer flowerers that will bloom the whole summer. The honey-scented flowers are held in clusters towards the ends of shoots. 'Sungold' variety bears bright golden-yellow flowers. Prune them hard every spring to control their height. Plant in a place with full sun.

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Shrubs for Spring Color

stachyurus-praecox image

We all wait spring, the season that start to bring color in our gardens, so it makes sense to plant for an early show of color and perfume. Place shrubs for spring interest at intervals around your garden, underplanted with groups of bulbs and spring-flowering herbaceous perennials.

In the next lines you will find some examples of shrubs that you could plant in your garden for spring color and interest. Many of them are well known and used for a long time in our garden scheme.

Stachyurus (Stachyurus praecox) is a deciduous shrub native from Japan. Its reddish-brown branches are strung with hanging racemes of small, greenish-yellow, bell-shaped flowers, like exotic catkins, in late winter to early spring. It prefers an acid, humus-rich soil, enriched with leafmould or well-rotted compost before planting.

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Winter Flowers Garden

snowdrops image

Most of the plants that bloom in winter are bulbous plants that start to flower in late winter, shrubs that are capable of flowering in the depths of winter and some perennials. They are all precious for their capability of giving us the illusion of an early spring.

Common snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) are the most used snowdrops in our gardens, even there are many more exotic varieties, bringing charm with their single, nodding flowers that appear form mid to late winter. Plant the bulbs 10 cm deep, in groups for a mass effect, ideally when in growth or when they are dormant during early autumn. Choose a place with light shade, under deciduous shrubs or trees, in a border or naturalized in grass, but you can also grow them in containers. Plant them in rich soil that will stay moist during their growing period.

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Autumn Flowers Garden

Dahlia-Alltami-Corsair

Autumn brings cooler temperatures and moist soil in our gardens, so the garden often takes on a new lease of life after the heat and dryness of summer days. If we choose right, our garden can be full of beautiful flowers even in the autumn. There are a range of flowers that open during late summer and continue into the autumn. They are beautiful companions to autumn fruits and seedheads.

Dahlia Alltami Corsair is an outstanding addition to the flower border or container garden that blooms mid summer to fall. This is a semi-cactus dahlia with rich, unfading crimson flowers. Plant dahlia tubers once soil has warmed and there is little chance of frost. Wait until the leaves are frosted before lifting and drying tubers. Store them in a frost-free place, covered with dryish compost. Propagate them by division or from cuttings taken in early spring from tubers that you first made them to sprout under glass.

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Summer Flowers Garden

Paeonia lactiflora image

Summer is the most colorful of all seasons, with all the plants that bloom now: perennials, annuals and bulbs. So to have a beautiful garden over the summer is the most easiest thing of all. But you still can work on planing your summer garden to make sure the display is perfect the entire season from early to late summer. Make sure you reserve a few pots of annuals to fill the gaps in your borders after the midsummer overhaul.

Peony (Paeonia lactiflora) is a herbaceous perennial that start the early summer flowering season with their voluptuous display. They are used as specimens in borders or herbaceous hedges and are excellent cut flowers too. They like a good soil enriched with organic matter from autumn to spring. Propagate them by division in autumn.

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Spring Flowers Garden

Erythronium dens canis

We all wait eagerly for the first spring flowers, the ones that tell us that the winter is gone and our garden will become once again full of blooms and fragrances. Many of those plants that show their flowers soon after the snow is gone are plants that flourish naturally in woodland shade, where they have to be first to flower, before the trees will get their leaves back and will shade the whole ground underneath.

Some of those beauties, like dog's-tooth violet (Erythronium dens-canis) and trilliums, might need special beds enriched with leafmould, to recreate their natural conditions, while others can just be sprinkled through beds and borders. We will give you some examples of plants that you can have in your spring garden so you can enjoy your garden before the flowers of summer will appear.

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