A Shrub or bush is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and shorter height, usually under 5–6 m tall. A large number of plants can be either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience. Small, low shrubs such as lavender and periwinkle are often termed subshrubs.

Shrubs are a key foundation planting for many gardens. They offer structure and organizing points. Many also supply year-round colour, as well as food and shelter for wildlife. Choose shrubs that are sized to fit your landscape — dwarf, mid-size, or full-height varieties, for example. You may also look for shrubs that work best for your particular garden, such as hardiness, the amount of sunlight, as well as their growth habit and design potential.

Shrubs form the backbone of many a garden and planting scheme, providing structure as well as decorative appeal. They vary enormously in shape, habit, bark texture, flower type and foliage and many are highly fragrant too. Their ‘glory seasons’ are similarly varied and many shrubs are decorative at more than one time of year, bearing spring or summer flowers, berries, striking autumn foliage and in some cases, colourful stems to cheer winter gardens. Shrubs in common garden practice are generally broad-leaved plants.

Shrubs can be either Evergreen or Deciduous :

Evergreen shrubs are a must for any garden, providing year round colour and structure. They can be added to mixed borders or used as hedging to create privacy. Many stay green throughout the winter followed by wonderful flower displays in the summer months.


Deciduous shrubs are essential for completing a border and forming the backbone to the garden and bringing interest all through the year. Many deciduous shrubs fill the garden with flower and scent throughout the summer months, while others bring brilliant autumn colour and bright berries. But all deciduous shrubs, when their deciduous leaves finally fall and the bones of the shrub are revealed, bring a vital structural dimension to the garden.

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