Garden Plants for Colour in Your Garden
Here is a selection of the most reliable, effective and easily sourced garden plants that will give you colour in your garden over the course of the year. There are a few points you note here.
This list is a list of shrubs and does not include herbaceous perennials. Herbaceous perennials are wonderful plants for colour in your garden but as a result they tend to be very high maintenance and so this list below is of flowering shrubs that offer a lot of joy with minimum work.
While we want colour in our garden all year round, it really is not possible as the options on flowering shrubs in Winter is quite limited and those that do flower in Winter tend to offer only a fleeting glimpse of colour. A more achievable aim is to have year round interest in your garden and this can be found in the various leaf colours, shapes, textures & forms that shrubs can have. For colour from Spring to late Summer, our list below should cover about 90% of what will grow and grow well in your garden.
Abelia ‘Edward Goucher’ – This is Winter flowering and has subtle pink flowers
Azaleas – Spring flowering, low growing shrub that requires acidic soils
Bottlebrush - Callistemon has tall arching stems with deep red flowers
Buddleia Davidii – The Butterfly Bush is easy to grow. So easy that if you look up at a derelict building you might see Buddleia growing from the roof tops
Forsythia – For a show of Spring colour, choose Forsythia x Intermedia. These tall, open plants are covered with golden yellow blooms from March and look great when planted alongside Buddleia
Hebe Autumn Glory – For colour at the end of Summer, Hebe Autumn Glory is a winning choice. Like Ceanothus, this is a rare blue flowering shrub. Hebe Autumn Glory is a large hebe
Cistus Purpureus – The rock rose is a great plant for Summer & Autumn colour. These delicate sub-shrubs flower continuously from June to September as new flowers replace old. A carpet of pink petals forms beneath each plant during the Summer months as well. This cistus is also an evergreen plant with silvery grey foliage all year round
Ceanothus Blue Mound – These reliable flowers will give a burst of lilac blue in late Spring. Blue flowering plants are rare enough so ceanothus makes a good plant for this reason. These are low spreading plants, can reach a height of approx. 1.5m. Provide shelter from frost as many ceanothus were wiped out in our very cold Winter of 2010.
Rhododendrons – If you have acidic soil you should take advantage of it and plant some rhododendrons. In fact, acidic soils are generally great for plants with flowers as Camellia, Azaleas and Magnolias are all big fans of acidic soils
Spiraea Japonica – There are many different cultivars of Spiraea Japonica that we could spend several days talking about them. In short, they put on a great show of colour in the Summer but they all vary in colour, foliage, flowers & they all vary in shape & size. Spiraea Japonica Magic Carpet is a low growing spiraea with pink flowers & golden yellow leaves. Spiraea japonica Bullata is a green leaved, pink flowering spiraea
Hydrangea Paniculata – Also a fan of acidic soils, Hydrangea will flower blue in acidic soils and pink on lime or alkaline soils. Hydrangeas also vary in shape & size and some are evergreen whilst most are deciduous. Paniculata are hardy, fast growing shrubs flowering in Summer months
Philadelphus – Known as the mock orange, Why I don’t know as the flowers are a creamy colour. Philadephus is known for it's spectacular fragrance which truly smells of Summer! Flowers in June & July
Viburnum Plicatum Mariesii – Known as the wedding cake bush. This is a true specimen plant. Best to give this plant room to grow and show off it's tiered growth habit from which it gets it's name. Plant can spread 4m wide & flowers in late Spring