Shrubs

 With a neighbourly flax and some delphiniums.
Choisya Sundance and Friends

Some shrubs in my garden get taken for granted. They work hard for little reward, are rarely photographed and spoken of. They form backbones of borders, or they fill in difficult gaps, without complaining. Proper recognition is long overdue...

My Camellias and Rhododendrons have their own special pages, as do my New Zealand natives. A pretentious shrub will try and sneak onto the Foliage Plants page. So the shrubs on this page are the talented left-overs.

Contributions that all my shrubs make, with flowers and leaves, allow the Moosey garden to be a success. Cheapness of purchase also gives the Head Gardener many exciting design options.

Naturally there will be good and bad shrubs for different countries and different locations. Some shrubs on my list may be undesirable, invasive, or even banned in your garden. Be alert! No respectable gardener should give shelter to anything dodgy.

Variegated PierisVariegated Pieris...
Until last year Pieris have been treated rather rudely in my garden. To improve their standard of living I released one from dry, substandard soil in a confining pot, and shifted another out of a sun-baked border. Grows best in partial shade? Yes, definitely. And not in a pot. Sorry about that.
GrevilleasGrevilleas...
I've got some gorgeous photographs of my Grevillea shrubs to show you. Grevilleas are tough and quirky Australians, with the cutest whorls of flower colour. The shrub's leaves are needle-like, and a tiny bit prickly-tickly.
PhiladelphusPhiladelphus...
Books about shrubs for the sensible gardener always mention a Philadelphus, or Mock Orange. Thoughtful gardeners include at least one in their shrubberies. I've found a Philadelphus in the original plantings on one side of the Moosey house.
Evergreen ShrubberyEvergreen Shrubbery...
I've fallen in love with my evergreen Shrubbery - it's such a sweet, subtle, green garden space. All those tough shrubs with interesting leaf forms I planted some years ago (and promptly forgot to water) have matured into shapely beauties...
Malus - Crab-ApplesMalus - Crab-Apples...
The Crab-Apple (or Malus) trees in my garden are doing it again - blossoming beautifully in spring. And it wasn't so long ago that their fruits were brightening up the mid-winter months. These are hard working little specimen trees...
Exochorda - The Spring BrideExochorda - The Spring Bride...
Some shrubs get into my garden as grateful refugees, others as happy accidents. My two standard Exochordas were sitting around in a local nursery going nowhere, and when I saw their common name was 'The Bride' I was hooked.
EscalloniasEscallonias...
Escallonias are the sort of quiet, unassuming evergreen shrubs that I usually rescue from the bargain bin or on the sale table at the nursery. They are dependable and extremely useful shrubs - and when in flower, extremely beautiful.
Favourite Australian ShrubsFavourite Australian Shrubs...
I live and garden in New Zealand - a quiet, insular neighbour of Australia. There's been rivalry between the countries for years. But we share many good things - particularly people (like the Moosey Son-in-Law), trees, and shrubs.
ForsythiaForsythia...
Often in my garden, as in life, I think I know it all. Then I'll discover something new - like a flowering Forsythia, a shrub purchased in an Easter plant sale, planted, and totally forgotten about. Until this spring...
NandinaNandina...
Shrubs which colour beautifully in the autumn and winter months are worth their weight in gold - or should that be 'red'? The ornamental shrub called Nandina is one such.
BuddleiaBuddleia...
In my garden the middle summer weeks are filled with harsh sunlight, and flower colours tend to get lost in the glare. It's a scruffy, down-time time of year for flowering things. Yippee for my naughty Buddleias!
Oak-Leaved HydrangeaOak-Leaved Hydrangea...
Hydrangea quercifolia is a super-stylish shrub I grow. It's an oak-leaved hydrangea, with beautifully shaped summer flowers and beautifully coloured oak-like autumn leaves.
Pink Kolkwitzia Shrub Pink Kolkwitzia Shrub ...
As I get older I find myself liking the colour pink in my garden more and more. Those hot orange borders with startling blue-black contrasts are just a little too bold. Forget hot colours. I am obviously entering a pale pink gardening phase...
GorseGorse...
How did this dreadful plant ever get its own page? This prickly pest with such beautiful yellow flowers, here in the shrubs section? Hmm... Gorse a shrub? It's a complete and utter pest in New Zealand...
Choisya SundanceChoisya Sundance...
A foliage shrub with sunny leaves in the middle of winter - a shrub which doesn't sulk in too much shade, or scorch if there's not enough - welcome, Choisya Sundance! You are indeed well-named.
RosemaryRosemary...
Would it be rude to describe the flowering shrub Rosemary as a 'work-horse' in the garden? My Rosemary bushes are just that - they work hard filling their space, gift their beautiful blue flowers freely in spring, and never complain.
DaphneDaphne...
There were already three Daphne bushes in the garden when I first came to Mooseys Country Garden - in a small area by the washing line, with lavenders and some herbs. These early plantings make hanging the clothes on the line more enjoyable!
White Cistus - Rock RoseWhite Cistus - Rock Rose...
Cistus are great shrubs. They are easy to find (often on the sale table at the nursery), and also easy to propagate. I've been less than kind to Cistus shrubs in my gardening past, though...
Pink Cistus - Rock RosePink Cistus - Rock Rose...
Flowering shrubs are the backbone of a big garden full of mixed plantings. Easily overlooked when the real roses are blooming is the so called 'Rock Rose' or Cistus shrub.
WeigelaWeigela...
Shrubs which flower in late spring are easy to take for granted - the rhododendrons are busy showing off, and the roses are starting to bloom. This beautiful red-flowering Weigela deserves to be noticed more.
Choisya TernataChoisya Ternata...
Chiosya Ternata, or Mexican Orange Blossom, is one of those shrubs which never fails its situation in the garden. It's evergreen with mid to dark green shiny leaves - easy to keep trimmed and tidy. It flowers generously throughout spring.
EricaErica...
Winter flowering shrubs are worth a very special mention - in the Moosey winter garden I have a particularly well-loved Erica. It's low to the ground and extremely beautiful.
Leucadendron Safari SunsetLeucadendron Safari Sunset...
Garden colour in the middle of winter should be cherished! The Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset' is a truly beautiful winter shrub with its warm red bracts.
Euphorbia FireglowEuphorbia Fireglow...
This euphorbia is usually considered half perennial half shrub. The flower colour is a rich deep orange with red, and the flowers appear in summer.
Viburnum TinusViburnum Tinus...
There were many Viburnum Tinus shrubs here in the garden when I arrived - or rather they were dotted around in some of the lawn areas. I moved them into the garden proper as quickly as possible, then stood back and watched them grow.
HypericumHypericum...
Hypericum is a great summer shrub - it flowers right in mid-summer and brings yet more sunshine to the garden with its bright yellow flowers. Sometimes my Hypericums will flower spasmodically in Autumn, too.
Purple Smoke BushPurple Smoke Bush...
There are two main types of Smoke Bush, or Cotinus, and I only grow the purple-red leaved variety. Their small flowers look like puffs of smoke over the purple leaves, and the autumn colour changes are quite stunning.
Purple-Leaf BerberisPurple-Leaf Berberis...
Berberis is a very useful deciduous shrub which adds good red colours to my mixed borders. It is quite thorny, and difficult to prune without thick gloves.
HydrangeasHydrangeas...
Some gardeners think of hydrangeas as boring shrubs for old ladies, used to fill up the dark side of the house. I was less than committed when I first took some cuttings from the one existing plant here. But they're not boring - and, speaking as a semi-old lady, I now love them!
LavenderLavender...
I have many different varieties of lavender, and am only starting to learn the properties of each type, and the most sensible ways to use them. The bees love them, and I love their smell. It's even enjoyable clipping lavender, as their lovely smell pervades clothing...