What is a shrub?

A shrub is a woody plant with several branches coming from the base, unlike a tree which usually has just one stem.
They can be deciduous (lose their leaves in winter) or evergreen.

Why are shrubs so useful in the garden?

Shrubs come in many shapes and sizes and provide form and structure in the garden. They can also add colour through their flowers, stems, berries, foliage and scent.
They can be used on their own as a feature plant or in a mixed group of other shrubs, trees, perennials, bulbs etc.
Evergreen shrubs add some interest in the winter whilst deciduous shrubs offer a wider variety of ornamental qualities. Therefore, it is best to include a combination of the two in a garden.
There are shrubs available that provide interest at all times of year, some in spring, some in summer etc so by carefully selecting the plants, you can have interest in your garden all year round.

Pruning of shrubs

There are several reasons for pruning:

  • To increase the amount of flowers or fruits
  • To reduce the size
  • To produce dramatic foliage or stems
  • To create an interesting or formal shape

The timing and pruning technique depends on the species of shrub and it is important to do this correctly (and regularly where applicable) to bring out the best in the plant.

Pruning can also be done to renovate shrubs that are mature and which need a new lease of life. This often involves pruning in stages but can give very good results and saves you removing the plant and starting again.

Examples of shrubs:

Click on any of the images below to enlarge and read more information.

“We were really impressed with the design service offered by Jayne. Jayne was able to take our initial brief and translate this into a stunning contemporary design that really made the most of the small space we had and provided a great backdrop to our new kitchen extension. The combination of hard landscaping and planting have completely transformed the garden. Over several meetings she was able to communicate the concepts and hone the design and even sample materials. She then recommended and then liaised with the landscaper to ensure the implementation went to plan before completing the final planting.”

Mrs Fenner
Marston Moretaine

"I found Jayne to be very friendly and pleasant to work with. The design is lovely - very attractive. I was impressed with Jayne's willingness to adapt to and take account of our cost constraints and likes and dislikes regarding plants. All work was carried out efficiently and pleasantly. Jayne was always ready to discuss and advise about design and plants and has transformed a boring and rather difficult small garden into an interesting area which will only improve as the plants grow and mature."

Mr & Mrs Barwell
Welwyn Garden City

We love our garden now. Our two dogs had pretty much destroyed it and it had become an embarrassment. We never used it, not even just for ourselves. It now has structure and a proper patio area and is always good to look at even in this bleak weather!

This will be our second spring with it and I'm really looking forward to seeing everything grows again and how it will change this year.

Mr & Mrs Crooke

Jayne was always totally reliable, whether coming out to look at the garden or providing plans and ideas, and is a very knowledgeable plantswoman.

She had a good understanding of what I wanted to do with the garden, and always listened to my ideas and then made suggestions that were appropriate to the location and aspect.

Mr & Mrs Townsend
Houghton Conquest

Jayne's ideas of how to transform a long straight garden into something more interesting were quite inspirational. By introducing shape and perspective the garden now has structure.

The planting plan she suggested has added interest and constant colour which changes with the season.

Needless to say we are delighted.

Mr & Mrs Collier

We were delighted with Jayne's approach to our garden and her understanding of what we were trying to achieve.

Her knowledge of plants and what will actually work is fantastic.

Three years on we are still delighted with our garden.

Mr & Mrs Bryant

Jayne has a real passion for gardening and her knowledge of plants is highly impressive. She seems to know exactly which plant will thrive in a particular part of the garden - sunny, shady, soil type and so on. She also thinks about the proportions and overall effect.

To work with, she is extremely flexible and happy to give you just the bits of advice or help you need.

Mel Henson
Welwyn Garden City