Flowering shrubs are often ignored or neglected, even though they can be used to create beautiful ornamental gardens. Very useful to form beautiful hedges or pretty flower beds, they come in many varieties and infinite colours. So why not start growing flowering shrubs? Here are some tips for selecting, planting and maintaining them in order to have a beautiful garden full of flowers. 

In order to have an appealing aspect, a garden must be well structured and include numerous varieties of plants. Flowering shrubs are needed to complete this arrangement because they allow the garden to be delineated when they are placed along flower beds, walkways or are used as hedges altogether. Moreover, they are easy to grow because they are already sold in containers in most garden centres. All they need is to be transplanted – at any time – to make up a harmonious garden. After this brief introduction to flowering shrubs, it is now time to list the existing species and benefit from some tips regarding their specific growing needs.

The different species of flowering shrubs 

Most flowering shrubs bloom in spring in an outburst of shimmering colours. Choosing a variety of shrub to plant will depend on the buyer’s taste, but also on his or her garden’s general theme. For example a composition in pink, white and pastel will call for a silk tree, a common hawthorn, a magnolia, a flowering apple tree – different from classical apple tree, or an Althea, a Pieris, a Canadian serviceberry, a Japanese quince or a hydrangea shrub with white flowers. To have a flowering garden throughout the year, the ideal would be to combine perennials with flowering shrubs and evergreens, such as lavender and photinia. For those who prefer traditional flowering shrubs – very present in English gardens, they will turn to the forsythia, camellia, lilac, mimosa, the autumn-flowering paulownia, the tulip tree and its beautiful orange flowers, fuchsia and hybrid weigela. There are hundreds of other species of flowering shrubs of which the list is too long to enumerate. The best is to take a little time to look around different garden centres before buying plants.

Planting and maintaining flowering shrubs 

Another thing to do before buying a flowering shrub is to determine its location to define the weather conditions under which it will grow. For example, the Canadian serviceberry enjoys shaded areas while the tropical hibiscus thrives in full sun. We must then learn about the type of land suitable for every shrub variety, to amend the soil if the need arises. For example, the hydrangea shrub tolerates limestone while the majority of shrubs like a rather rich soil. We must also consider the height – between 2.5 feet and 13 feet – and the width of the adult shrubs to design the garden’s architecture and calculate the number of shrubs to be planted in regard to these dimensions. By doing so, the plants can freely thrive and produce their most beautiful flowers. Regarding the planting of flowering shrubs, it is carried out during time periods specific to each species (between September and May for viburnums floors, etc..) but the land must be prepared at least one month in advance. Then, dig a hole of which the depth and width should be equal to twice the size of the container – because the seedling is always delivered boxed. Add a little fertilizer or a few shovels of compost to the soil that will be used to reseal the hole before filling it. The roots – which will have been soaked in water for two to three hours before planting – will thus attach with greater ease. Water thoroughly and regularly – once a week, and voilà! To ensure the shrub a long lifespan and beautiful blooms, just trim it once or twice a year and dispose of its wilted flowers and leaves at every opportunity. In short, growing a flowering shrub will give you great satisfaction. Early flowering shrubs announce the end of the winter greyness and provide a magnificent sight in spring and summer.

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Published in Trees and shrubs by Alexander on 04 Jul 2011