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5 Low-maintenance Shrubs You Need to Have in Your Garden

Author: Marion Abel
by Marion Abel
Posted: Oct 16, 2018
partial shade

Shrubs are the true unsung heroes of any won gardening contest. Whether you aim for an elaborate exterior planting London design that features lilies, dahlias, and tulips, or simply wish to grow a perennial garden, shrubs will always add more fullness to your green space, create a flowing transition between the various plant species, and provide safe haven for many animals and birds. And the best part is that they expect almost nothing in return! Let's explore some of the least demanding shrub species that will nonetheless add that extra "wow" factor to your garden.

1. The Double-blossomed Oakleaf Hydrangea

Hydrangeas are the perfect way to add a bit of drama to your garden. With large, oakleaf-shaped leaves and panicles of pristine white colour, they can complement almost all types of plants and flowers and can look stunning even on their own. However, there is one variety that, in our modest opinion, deserves your attention the most – the "Snowflake" oakleaf hydrangea. What makes this one so special, you ask? Well, unlike "regular" hydrangeas, this one comes with double-coloured (pink and white) blooms. In autumn, its green leaves also attain a crimson hue, making it look as though it was replanted from a nearby enchanted forest. This species of hydrangea prefers full sun to partial shade, but be weary of planting those in moist soil as their roots tend to rot quickly.

2. The King of All Smoke Bushes

If "Fifty Shades of Purple" is just the type of garden you've been dreaming about, then you simply must stock on a few purple smoke bushes. When illuminated by the setting sun, their leaves trap the passing sunrays and create the illusion of being set on fire. And the "Royal Purple" shrub is the most elegant of them all. Its leaves are of deep purple colour which, just like the "Snowflake", turn red with the arrival of autumn. This plant can potentially grow to be 8 metres tall and wide, so a bit of pruning each spring is advised to keep it from occupying too much space. The shrub thrives best in either full sun or partial shade, but also suffers from the "wet feet" syndrome.

3. The Treacherous Oleander

Meet the oleander – the easiest shrub to maintain on our list. You can find this plant in many colourful variations, ranging from pink and red to yellow and white. Extremely drought tolerant and suitable for both in-ground planting and garden planter boxes, their sweet-scented presence is known to instantly lift even the cloudiest of moods. Add to that its average height of about 3 metres and you can be sure that the sun-loving oleander will become the focal point of your garden come summertime. However, keep your pets or small children as far away from these as possible – every single part of this plant is highly poisonous if eaten.

4. The Flamboyant Mahonia (Evergreen)

Just because it's snowing doesn't mean that your garden has to remain completely lifeless. Let's have a look at Mahonia – the evergreen shrub whose fragrant, yellow racemes will bring you joy even in the cold, winter months. A great advantage of this flamboyant member of the shrub family is that it can live under almost any conditions. Do you live by the sea? No problem. Have a woodland garden? Plant away! Just make sure to place these in well-drained soil and in at least partial shade. They are also an excellent source for pollen and nectar and will rally any beneficial insects in the area under your banner, providing you with more than enough protection against future pests. Highly adaptable, low-maintenance, charming bee magnets – what is there not to like?

5. The Jolly Holly (Evergreen)

Speaking of resilient bee magnets, let's look at our final contender for your evergreen heart – the classic Holly. Though this shrub is mostly popular during the Christmas season, it can still add class to your garden throughout the rest of the year. Commonly, they come with spiny, glossy leaves and thin branches that either showcase white flowers in spring or bright red berries in winter, depending on their gender. And just like their evergreen colleague, the Mahonia, Hollies are perfect for attracting bees, birds, and other garden-friendly animals, can be used to create a lush green border, and are no strangers to harsh conditions. Not to mention that, with enough care, these tiny planting seeds can become colossal in size – over 12 metres tall and 8 metres wide!

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Author: Marion Abel

Marion Abel

Flag of Australia

Member since: May 12, 2016
Total live articles: 3

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