For reduced maintenance in your garden, why not turn to shrubs? They're like the main character in a border, with perennials and bulbs acting as the supporting cast. With structure, impact and reliable year after year colour, it won't take you long to see a return on your investment! Find more inspiration and top growing guides for your chosen shrubs at our dedicated shrub hub page.
One of gardening's best-kept secrets, tree peonies are extra special border plants, which - many years ago - exchanged hands for hundreds of pounds a piece! Plants are statuesque and littered with silky, flamboyant blooms each spring, which have a distinct fragrance, even better than a rose. Long-lasting, plant one now and enjoy it for 30 years or more.
Pictured: Tree Peony Hong Xia
The buddleja for everyone. Forget unruly, 12 feet high specimens, which grow on wasteland, this is a compact, dwarf, patio buddleja. Reaching only 3-4 feet tall, âBuzz' is ideal for patio pots or the middle of borders, where it will stay compact and smothered in butterfly-magnet blooms. Our newest colour is 'Sky Blue', the clearest blue of any buddleja.Click here to watch our 'How to prune Buddleja 'Buzz®' video.
Indoors, Outdoors... This new gardenia is a bit of a revolution, your neighbours certainly won't have one already! From recent breeding, this is the first, fully double flowered outdoor gardenia. Requires a slightly acid soil, but it's easy to dig in some ericaceous soil when planting. The fragrance is unbelievable too, like a super strong jasmine!
Don't forget that some smaller shrubs can be grown in patio containers too. Daphne 'Eternal Fragrance' is a unique variety, with 6 months of flowers, each one them heavily perfumed. Often said to be the most powerfully-fragranced shrub out there, try it for yourself. Daphne dislike disturbance, so choose your spot carefully!
No longer a dull border plant, 'Lucie' is a heather with a difference. It not only has bright, fluorescent blooms, but it can also be grown on ANY soil, it doesn't need acid conditions like many heathers in the past. It'll be one of the first things to flower in the winter too, and with its bright pink colour it wont be hiding under a bushel!
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