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Shrubbery: Transform your garden with stunning shrubs


By Sunita Vijay

Addiction to gardening is not at all bad when you consider all the other choices in life. Gardening is about enjoying the smell of flowers and soil, gazing and wondering on God’s creation, getting dirty without feeling guilty and soaking oneself in amazing serenity.

Shrubbery is a style of gardening where shrubs are grown in large numbers. Shrubs have woody stems and multiple branches. They are not as tall as trees and can be trained as per choice. Shrubs are mostly evergreen and produce flowers that are colourful and some have fragrance too. When combined with trees, hedges, bordering plants, seasonal flowers, boulders, grasses and stones, they provide a picturesque look to the landscape. They attract small birds and insects and make the garden bustle with life.

Planning to plant shrubs with differences in leaf size, leaf colour, flower colour, flower size and flowering season will provide beautiful contrasting foliage and flowers in the garden all year round. Shrubs are an indispensable part of a visually appealing garden.

Shrubs can be planted in layers or in scattered way on a rockery. They can be confined to one corner or can be planted in linear pattern.  Today we will cover five shrubs that will beautify the garden with foliage, provide flowers and are low maintenance too:

  1. Nerium (Kaner) – Also known as Rose Laurel, this shrub produces profuse flowering. The flowers are usually offered in puja. It is hardy, evergreen, highly weather tolerant, and blooms almost in all seasons. The choice of flowers is yours and it requires a bright sun-lit spot with moderate watering. It can be trained and pruned but it looks beautiful in its natural shape too. It looks robust all the year round. Can be planted alone in a corner or in a row to create a green wall. The variegated foliage of Nerium looks stunning. It’s a highly adaptable shrub that can be put to multiple uses.

  2. Hibiscus – An all-time favorite, Hibiscus is a popular flowering shrub. The flowers look beautiful and if taken good care of by providing a sunny spot and moderate watering with organic rich manure, this shrub will give more than the care it seeks. The flowers are offered in puja. The bright and big flowers attract birds, bees, and butterflies. If grown in semi-shade or watered excessively it will attract fungus and pests. In that case water less and constantly spray with detergent water or neem oil. It requires regular pruning and eliminating of weak twigs, and it will flush with flowers!

  3. Coleus – Every garden needs a few foliage shrubs to add vibrancy. Coleus with its red, purple, green, yellow patterns do the needful with full vigour and joy. It requires semi shade to flourish. It produces very small flowers. If plucked frequently, new shoots emerge in no time. It grows pale in peak winters but if planted under a tree it survives well. If coleus is provided more water, it loses its colour but with moderate watering and timely plucking, it lights up the landscape. The best spot for Coleus is semi shade. It tends to change colour. It is fast growing and can be propagated through cutting during monsoon season and in February.

  4. Acalypha or Copper leaf Shrub – A wonderful shrub that looks beautiful all year round. The leaves are broad and red with beautiful, variegated texture. It also occurs in green and pale variegations although copper leaf one looks best. It requires plenty of sunshine, well drained soil and regular pruning to show its true marvelous variegation. A highly low maintenance shrub that remains healthy throughout the year.

  5. Photinia – This is a must have shrub in a garden. It looks gorgeous because its young shoots are bright red. The contrast of red and green has always looked good. It’s an excellent shrub that can be used to create a green wall. It requires sunny spots and adequate water, and regular pruning brings young red leaves that enhances its beauty. The leaves are shiny and look fresh. A superb choice for a garden.

With shrubs you can create a shrubland, a type of natural landscape. Shrubs enhance landscapes, offering aesthetic, versatility and variety.