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.