Shrubs can offer interest in spring either by their new emerging leaves or by bearing spring flowers. They bring color and vitality early in the season, from the first days of spring until late spring. Combine shrubs that offer spring interest so that they will provide a continuous display throughout the season. Start for example with Salix hastata for its early bud-like, silver-grey catkins that appear in early spring, continuing with flowering shrubs with colorful and flagrant flowers until late spring.
The amount of summer-flowering shrubs is immense. Use them in combinations so that you will obtain a continuous display of flowers that will start early in the summer and continue until late in the season. If you space is limited you can grow shrubs that have a flowering period that extends from late spring until early autumn, like Potentilla or Syringa microphylla.
Autumn is the season when most of deciduous shrubs color their foliage offering an eye-catching spectacle. They can have intense red leaves or yellow, red or purple. Some of they are even offering colorful berries. Yellow, orange or red clusters of fruits are an interesting addition to the autumn display. Euonymus alatus, Cotinus coggygria or Cotoneaster are only few examples of shrubs that will really add splendor to your autumn garden.
When only few plants will survive winter frosts, shrubs are vital elements in the winter garden. The greatest contribution will be made by evergreen shrubs that will provide bold masses of color and texture. But even in the coldest times you will find some flowering shrubs that will offer you interest in the winter garden. Some of them are even fragrant. Choose from Mahonia japonica, Hamamelis x intermedia or Viburnum x bodnantense. Less common additions to the winter garden are the shrubs with ornamental stems like Cornus sericea, which have vivid, lime-green shoots.