Shrubs for Confined Spaces.

Despite having limited space startling results can be achieved using dwarf shrubs that retain a compact habit. They will provide flowers and foliage throughout spring, summer and longer. They are identical in effect to their larger counterparts.

Syringa ‘Boomerang’ – a dwarf Lilac providing two shows, one in early and one in late summer. These specimens are deciduous but are hardy so can stay in situ. They need full sun though. A highly scented choice. It requires little pruning just a trim to retain it shape.

Azalea ‘Dwarf Orange’ – an evergreen variety needing full sun and flowers in late spring. A hardy variety too and can be grown alternatively in containers. It is a slow growing shrub and although it’s flowers aren’t scented the shrub is very happy in most aspects. There are scented varieties but dwarf varieties not commonly used for aroma but for their flora. The larger varieties tend to be scented and be closer related to the Rhododendron. And whilst an Azalea is a Rhododendron, it is not true of the other way.

Gardenia jasminoides – These need to be in partial shade ideally but can cope with full sun. An evergreen known for it deep leaves and highly scented flowers. It is slow in growth but if space is an issue this is probably better. It will flower in late summer to early autumn. It is hardy but dependant on location may need to put in sheltered spot, so in a container may be more sensible unless your climate is mild.

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Munchkin’ or ‘Sike’s dwarf’ – An attractive leaf and offers a show from summer to late. Has a compact habit and generally robust. The foliage will turn a rosy shade in autumn. Its needs are not specific and will work in most places, exposed too.

Acer palmatum ‘Shaina’ – A dwarf Acer that offers deep foliage through the seasons. Although more medium sized than small, a comparatively dwarf variety judging by how large they can be. It is quite slow growing so will take time to get to maximum size. Avoid full sun, it will burn the leaves or at the least provide some shade for it throughout the day. It is fully hardy but has no flowers so for foliage effect.

Hebe’s can be rather under – represented but these plants offer both foliage and flowers throughout all seasons. They are generally hardy, mostly evergreen and nearly all are disease free. Some varieties flower in summer but in winter too. Attractive leaves in a compact mound with often spikes/tubular racemes from the centre. Hebe ‘Wiri mist’ a late spring to summer offering whites spikes. A tough variety and fairly resilient to pests/diseases. Hebe ‘Midnight sky’ an evergreen variety which can flower early summer but offers deep foliage through autumn into winter. Hebe ‘Mrs Winder’ that will bear mauve flowers and takes the colour from summer right into winter.

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I'm Craft Gardener with several years experience. Due to the massive impact the internet has had on advice, forums and consultancy services - it seems knowledge and experience is everchanging and we should therefore share techniques and offer others alternative routes in pests, diseases and weed treatments. The very smallest alterations in aspect, soil conditioning and pruning can determine a plants vigour, health and lifespan hugely. My blogs and online assistance should motivate and interest even the most amateur of green fingered people. As my ex partner used to say "it's green isn't it"?