If you find yourself with a garden which looks empty, here are some shrubs which will fill it up with colour and scent quickly and easily.
Leycesteria formosa, also known as Himalayan honeysuckle, can be planted anywhere sunny and it will put on several feet of new growth in Spring. It’s fun to look at and good for wildlife. If it gets too big or looks a bit scruffy in Winter, just chop if down to knee height and new growth will get going in the early Spring.
Clematis Montana can become a monster, but if you need space filled it will scramble up and away over anything it can find. It flowers in Spring with hundreds of scented clematis flowers from white to pink depending on variety. You can cut it down/chop it back anytime – it will grow again.
Sarcococca is a must for a front garden. It is called sweet box and is an evergreen shrub that produces tiny white scented flowers through the Winter. You can keep it small or let it get as big as it wants to. The scent is fabulous on a cold day when nothing much is flowering. People coming to your front door will wonder where the lovely smell is coming from.
Pyracantha, called Firethorn, is an evergreen climbing shrub which will also get huge if you let it. It produces white flowers in Spring which turn into red, yellow or orange berries from autumn onwards, depending on the variety. Birds need the berries for moisture. Weirdly this one and also mine is producing berries now. They would usually arrive in November here in London.
Kerria isn’t evergreen but is totally worth having in the garden. It has yellow flowers in Spring, single or double. Let it get big and sprawling or keep it to the size you want.
Mahonia aquifolium is a lovely shrub – spreading around and giving you yellow highly scented flowers through the Winter. It is evergreen and the leaves although mainly green, can turn red or orange. The scent fills a front garden for weeks which is such a treat.
The point I am making is that if you have a lot of space to fill, buying lots of little ditsy plants and dotting them about is not the best way to create a garden and can be very expensive.
These shrubs will take up a lot of space and provide beauty, greenery, colour and scent. They are a good start for a sparse garden and can be the backbone of an established one like mine. If you get fed up with them as your garden matures you can always dig them up and give them to someone else. In a garden you’re never stuck with anything for ever.
I am taking part in the Six on a Saturday theme kindly hosted by The Propagator who you can find here