The shrubs in Middle Garden are a mixture of the distinguished and the ho-hum. Filling a garden with rhododendrons and artistic spiky shrubs is all very well - but what about something a little more quirky and interesting? Like a Spiraea?
My Spiraea japonica was rescued from the bargain bin for two dollars, and planted a little too close to one of Middle Garden's little stone-edged paths. So it has to get a trim each year, and is probably a lot better off for it! The foliage when new in early spring is a fresh light green.
Be Careful Now...
Oh dear - it's on the Global Invasive Plant database, though the variety available in New Zealand is far too shy and well-behaved to produce any seeds. And it's awfully common - oh well, never mind.
Being flowery and deciduous makes a smallish shrub interesting in my garden, where there are so many evergreen New Zealand natives. And it contrasts beautifully with all those serious rhododendrons and their gloomy dark green foliage.