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Best Garden Shrubs and Trees. How to Choose Garden Plants?

Planning to plant some new trees and shrubs? Remember that a good garden design is not everything - it also requires a lot of work and commitment. Healthy garden plants can grow only in good conditions. If well-tended, both shrubs and small trees can become beautiful, natural decorations. Learn what garden plants you should add to your green collection!

Best Garden Shrubs and Trees. How to Choose Garden Plants?

Garden shrubs can make every plot of land more beautiful. Many homeowners wonder what garden plants to choose. The most popular ornamental garden shrubs have amazing colors - for example forsythias, hydrangeas and rhododendrons.

The most popular garden shrubs and bushes

You might also decide to plant leafy ornamental shrubs in your garden. The most common type is boxwood, shiny cotoneaster and Atlantic ninebark.

Remember that garden shrubs require different care and conditions. It’s important to pay attention to the type of soil, fertilizing and the amount of light that gets to the spot in which your garden shrub grows.

The most popular garden shrubs and bushes

Garden shrubs and trees - how to take care of them?

Good conditions and proper care are crucial for garden plants to grow well and healthy. Each species is a different case. Every plant requires individual treatment, adequate to its needs. To make sure that you take a good care of your garden shrubs and trees, first you should learn their features and needs, e.g. by reading websites maintained by plant nurseries.

Garden shrubs and trees - how to take care of them?

Are there any general tips on how to take care of garden shrubs and trees? What factors influence their proper growth?

Most species of shrubs and trees require unlimited access to light. No plant can survive without a proper dose of sunlight. For this reason you should make sure that you have selected the right spot for your garden trees and shrubs, so that they get as much light as they need.

Do not overdo the light exposure - too much sun is as harmful for garden plants as the lack of it.

What soil is best for garden plants?

Soil is a highly important factor that influences the growth of any garden plant. Most leafy shrubs and trees have similar soil needs. Regardless, there are certain species that require specific type of soil. For this reason, before you choose particular garden plants, make sure the soil in your garden aids their growth and blooming.

How to take care of garden shrubs?

If you have already chosen and planted garden plants in the right spot, you should take a proper care of them. It is crucial - without the right amount of attention garden shrubs and trees cannot survive.

Crucial steps of taking care of garden plants:

  • regular watering,
  • fertilizing,
  • shrubs and trees trimming,
  • protection against pests and diseases,
  • protection against frost.

How to take care of garden shrubs?

Seasonal garden plants

There are many ways to classify garden plants, trees and shrubs. One of them is seasonality - division with regards to the blooming season. It is a very important information, as it allows to arrange garden to one’s liking. This way you can choose plants that bloom whole year or plan the garden by the season.

Spring and summer garden shrubs

Most decorative trees and shrubs, or rather nearly all of them, bloom in spring and early summer. Hence, it’s the best time to plant new garden plants. Spring is a unique season for gardens, when flowers and garden shrubs wake up, gain beautiful colours and grow first buds. No matter what plants you are going to choose, you can be sure that your garden is going to look great in spring.

Spring and summer garden shrubs

There are also some garden plants that bloom in the middle of summer. They are, for instance, hydrangea, rose of Sharon or summer lilac. Plants that bloom in summer are precious for a garden, as they are an accent of freshness, standing in opposition to spring plants that do not look that well anymore. Regarding seasonal garden plants, spring shrubs might become a nice background for flowers that bloom in summer.

Garden plants for Indian summer

While selecting garden shrubs and trees for your garden, do not rely solely on the species that look great in spring and summer. It is good to pick several garden plants, shrubs and trees that bloom in autumn. This way your garden is going to look lovely all year long.

There are many species that bloom in autumn. You can choose, for instance, azalea, maple, viburnum, birch or maidenhair tree. Those and other autumn plants might form unique arrangements, especially combined with autumn plants such as chrysantemum, aster, autumn crocus or japanese anemones. Among seasonal garden plants you might also find some shrubs. Their fruits might be a colourful garden decoration when the trees lose all of their leaves. You might choose, for instance, quince, sea bukthorn, spindle tree, barberry or even a simple apple tree.

Garden shrubs - azalea

Garden shrubs - mooseberry

Garden trees - birch

It is important to pay attention to the leaves and habit when choosing a garden plant. Too many shrubs with colourful, yellow, red or orange leaves might overwhelm your garden and give it a chaotic look.

Garden plants for Indian summer

Interesting garden plants for winter

Some gardeners might wonder: how to make my garden look beautiful and lively during the season in which most of the plants are simply asleep? Winter is a difficult season to maintain an elegant garden. Don’t worry - it is not impossible. Garden shrubs of unique shapes and habits can be an easy substitute for colourful flowers.

An example of such plant is hazel with its charasteristic, twisted branches.

Other interesting plants for a winter garden are: japanese marigold, white dogwood, birch tree.

Garden shrubs - hazel

Perennial garden shrubs - keep your garden beautiful for years

Garden shops offer a wide variety of perennial garden plants. Contrary to seasonal and annual plants, perennial shrubs and small trees can grow in a garden for a long time. Before choosing this type of garden plants you should think what kind of garden design you desire. Perhaps you dream of small flowering trees or maybe you wish to plant some decorative garden shrubs.

Blooming perennial garden shrubs

The most popular garden plants that bloom every year, producing beautiful flowers are: roses, lilacs and forsythias. Choosing those three species is a guarantee of a magnificent, fragrant and colourful garden for a long time.

Blooming perennial garden shrubs

There are also some less popular, but equally impressive perennial garden shrubs with colourful flowers. One of them is summer lilac, which can grow up to 3 metres. It has very interesting flowers of various colours, depending on the type. You might choose from red, violet, pink, white and blue. Summer lilacs release a pleasant scent.

Ornamental garden shrubs

Another shrub of an intense smell that can lure flying insects to your garden is mock orange. It reaches up to 3 metres and has beautiful white flowers. Thanks to its frost resistance it blooms every year between spring and summer, pleasing eyes of the owners.

Due to their resilience to frost, perennial garden shrubs are perfect for creating a hedge. A good species for this purpose is guelder rose which blooms in late spring with large round white flowers. Another great plant is golden chain with its long leaves and yellow flowers.

Perennial short garden shrubs

When choosing the right perennial garden shrubs, you should pay attention to their height. Garden plants of various sizes introduce variety both for leafy and blooming plants arrangements.

If you are interested in short perennial garden plants, you might choose hydrangeas in form of small trees or shrubs, which are very easy to grow. Trimmed regularly, they might reach up to one metre. Because of this they can be a part of short garden arrangements. They are also great for stairs or patio decoration.

Their big round flowers have various colours. Depending on soil acidification they might be white, pink, purple or blue.

Another, quite interesting option for a garden shrub is deutzia. It’s a lush and thick shrub which can grow up to one metre tall. It has gorgeous, white flowers that bloom between spring and summer. Other, equally beautiful shrub is ornamental quince (japonica). Its flowers are white, red or pink-red, it also bears sweet yellow edible fruit. You might also consider choosing other ornamental garden plants, such as rockspray cotoneaster and japanese meadowsweet.

Ornamental shrubs - japonica

Ornamental shrubs - japanese meadowsweet

Perennial ornamental fruit trees for garden

Fruit trees constitute for a large group of ornamental plants. The most common species that are grown in European gardens are elders and dog roses. Other popular garden plants are bird cherry and cornelian cherry - a large, over 5 metres tall tree with shiny leaves and small, yellow flowers. Once per year the tree bears red edible fruit.

Perennial ornamental fruit trees for garden

If you are looking for ornamental garden trees, you might consider species such as: dogwood, spindle, scarlet firethorn, yew or common holly. All of them bear fruit, although it is just a decorative element. You could also choose yucca or pampas grass.

You should refrain from planting ornamental fruit trees in your garden if it’s a place where children and animals spend their time daily. Eating such fruits is harmful for health and might lead to poisoning.

📍 What garden plants should I choose?

You should decide what kind of result you wish to achieve. There are many species of garden plants to choose from - both seasonal and perennial. The most common blooming garden plants are roses and forsythias. Popular garden shrubs with fruit are holly, bird cherry and elder.