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Shrubs: beautiful all year long

Thanks to the huge variety of species now available, you have choice in terms of shape, foliage and successive flowering. In other words, shrubs help you create a garden that looks good all year round. Shrubs rule!

Spring: the first flowering

In spring, many shrubs, including lilacs, flower abundantly, generously perfume the surrounding air. Alone, in clusters, or planted in front of other conifers, they awake the garden from its winter torpor.

The choice of colours is vast, allowing you to create resonance between shrubs that flower at the same time, or to stagger them for continuous blooming from the time the snow melts. Create successive flowering by mixing early and later flowering varieties.

  • Early bloomers: magnolia, lilac, forsythia, azalea, rhododendron and serviceberry.
  • Midsummer bloomers: cinquefoil, spirea and weigela.

Colour your summer with a full palette

Summer shrubs not only bring a diversity of foliage to your garden, but also flowers. They provide the first sources of pollen for honeybees and attract butterflies and other insects to their pollen. As for the birds, they've already camouflaged their nests in your hedges.

Shrubs that bloom from the end of June to September: hybrid roses (many cultivars), cinquefoil, hydrangea and all flowering shrubs for patios such as hibiscus, bougainvilleas, mandevillas, fuchsias and laurels.

Prolong the flowering period of many shrubs by simply pruning the twigs that have flowered, after which... they might flower again! Among the shrubs you can do this with: spirea 'Anthony Waterer', 'Flaming Mound', 'Gold Flame' and 'Gold Mound', as well as 'Magic Carpet' and 'Shirobana'.

Autumn: a full range of possibilities

Shrubs provide a rich palette of autumn colours, with their green leaves and shiny fruits. Evergreen shrubs and conifers are interesting ways to main­tain a touch of sobriety and green among all the crazy colours.

  • Red foliage: 'Royal Purple' smoke tree, Amur maple, dwarf winged euonymus and viburnum.
  • Orange foliage: 'Golden Spirit' smoke bush, Canadian serviceberry, Peking cotoneaster.
  • Golden foliage: maidenhair tree, magnolia.

Winter: simplicity and evergreen shrubs

One of the most exciting aspects of shrubs is their contribution to a winter garden. Some foliage, flowers and fruit refuse to be daunted by a bit of snow and subzero weather. The flowers of hydrangeas, which often spend the entire winter dried on the branch or dogwood delights frozen fruit that attract over-wintering birds are perfect examples.

Evergreen shrubs, most conifers, rhododendrons and yuccas, are particularly interesting in this season. They contribute a touch of shiny, dark green or an appealing copper-tinged green.

This is the season you'll most appreciate shrubs with attractive bark, shapes and branching.

  • Interesting shapes and branching: barberry, boxwood, European hazel, 'Twisty Baby' false acacia, weeping Scotch elm.
  • Attractive bark: Japanese kerria, dogwood and ninebark.