A Few Lovely Shrubs

I recently went to a talk and first up was a discussion about planting. We edged on to the use of shrubs vs. other planting groups. I have to speak for myself and say that I love them and could not imagine a garden planned without them. They bring so much atmosphere with so much range to offer from evergreen to coloured winter stems. Of course any plant has to be considered for where and why it is to be planted but for when you are considering some buys this year, let me add a couple of my favourites:-

Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’

This is proper class! A lovely friend introduced me to this lovely plant with its glossy leaves edged in gold and studded with waxy pink flowers that are gloriously scented. Plant it near a door way or window so you can make the most of its perfume in these dreary winter months and bring a sprig or two inside. Always reassuringly expensive to buy and no wonder; my attempts to propagate it always fail. Beautiful, Beautiful!

Senecio greyii

Top fave for all round generosity of spirit. Beautiful grey green leaves with a whiter edge. In winter is looks frosted even when its not. Often used in municipal plantings precisely because it is such a do gooder but don’t be put off. Tolerant of drought, likes poor soil, no problem with city pollution and salty air and yet looks lovely in a country setting. You can keep it in trim. One problem is that it does have ghastly tatty yellow flowers. No problem. Snip them off when they come into bud so that you concentrate purely on its silvery leaf. Fabulous addition to any flower arrangement and the grey leaves looks lovely throughout the year.

Continus ‘Grace’

Fast growing and for me more a much subtler colour that its other relations. Planted with the right light through it, it almost glows with pinks and greens together and in autumn when it turns a fiery red. For wonderful summer effect consider planting it from a place where you can view it from a window either with the sun coming up or going down behind it.

Garryia elliptica

Who could resist those chenille tassels. It’s leaves are a lovely mid green with a touch of silver and provides a good structural element to the summer garden. Then it starts to bud in early winter letting down the most gorgeous tassels , getting longer as the seasons progresses. Lovely against a wall but it has an upright stance doesn’t have to be so.

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