Shrubs is the generic term for woody, multi-stemmed plants, usually broad-leaved, although some are conifers. They variously deliver several important functions to the garden designer. They are perennials, so they make up a great deal of the persistent, evolving structure of the garden.  Depending upon the species and how they are managed, they can provide dense screening, or strong complementary shapes, or extensive ground cover. They can be loved for the shapes, colours and scents of their flowers, foliage and stems. They can provide structural support to other plant species.  And they can be selected to do any of or all of these things at once.

Each photograph was taken by us in a garden designed by Lovely, Lovely, Lovely. To see a larger version of any photograph together with brief notes about it, and to start the slide-show please click on the thumbnail image in question -

Soft, gentle colours in profusion to delight the eye. Cascades of roses through the shrubs. The long, hanging racemes of Itea ilicifolia. Camellia and Akebia in the summer sunshine. The lovely Amphora fruticosa. Purple Elder and Cercis canadensis “Forest Pansy”. Swags of beautiful roses through a conifer and Viburnum. An elegant structure from Cotinus, Cherry and Pine. Cordyline and Convolvulus. Distinctive and gorgeous Euphorbia. Pittosporum – bright and full of life in the dead of winter. Fabulous colour contrasts raise the spirits. Dramatic contrast: Gleditsia triacanthos “Ruby Lace” and Eucalyptus against a darkening sky. Euphorbia characias “Black Pearl”. Characteristic contrasting leaf colours of Cercidiphyllum japonicum. Rich Ceanothus and creamy Clematis. The delightful mauve flowers of fast-growing Abutilon “Jermyns”. Acers in many varieties have endless appeal. Rose “Narrow Water” is a beautiful old rambler with excellent fragrance. The unusual and delicately beautiful Acer negundo “Violaceum” lit up by the sun. This standard Willow makes a bright, fabulous focal point. A standard Photinia anchors the formal geometry of these beds. Spirea balances the lighter-leafed Pittosporum with the colour of Penstemon in between. A well balanced, rich bed that requires little maintenance. A well balanced, rich bed that requires little maintenance. Eriobotrya japonica- a lovely shrub that can hold its own in this mixed, colourful planting. Inspiring colour and structure in autumn. A particularly rare lilac. Viburnum with its splays of spring flowers. The beautiful and somewhat rare Azara serrata. Ceanothus grows and flowers quickly. Rheum palmaticum. A peaceful setting and vibrant colours.

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