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Which shrubs will look best together?


I have recently had my front garden done and I've got two sections either side of the block paving, one is a going to be a wild meadow and the other side I am going to plant lots of different shrubs and I am so excited. 

However, I am not sure which shrubs are going to look best together? Are there rules to this? Am I going to be laughed out of my neighbourhood for planting the wrong ones?

So far in my list I have these:

Buddleia tricolour
Daphne (pink/white colour flowers)
Buddleia (yellow)
Hydrangea vanilla (pinky flowers)
Nandina domestica (red/orange colour)
Rhododendron majenta
Viburnum eskimo (white)
Hydrangea (blue)

So I am going for a mix of colours, perennials and I want it to be bushy and not neat, a bit wild.

What does everyone think? 


  • Sorry, I should have said I am a bit of novice when it comes to shrubs so any help would be appreciated x
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,224
    edited May 2022
    That's a lot of different shrubs - it usually looks a bit better if you plant less varieties, with some in groups, rather than ALL as unique individuals. Think about the size and form before colour. Season of interest - do you get autumn colour as well as flowers, for example. And most importantly the site - shady or sunny, what kind of soil, etc. Some of the shrubs are suited to sunny dry conditions, and some are more what I would class as partial shade lovers. A pic of the area would help or at least an idea of scale!
  • B3B3 Posts: 25,164
    We need to know dimensions, direction it faces, soil type, what part of the country you're in.
    Also have a look at what grows well in your neighbours' gardens
    A photo might help too if you can manage it😊
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,869
    There is not a tri colour  Buddlia ,  it’s 3 plants in the same pot, that would probably fill your space on its own, although you haven’t said how big the space is? 
    I have them growing in any aspect, shade or sun, they seem to tolerate most situations.
    hydrangeas are no use to bees,  so you may consider that.
    Rhododendrons do well on my acid soil,  Vibernums less so. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 13,688
    edited May 2022
    A blue Hydrangea will only be blue on acid soil, so it would help if you knew what type of soil you had.
    Rhodes need acid, or some will be ok. in neutral soil.
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 4,210
    Just wondered if you could post a photo please? It makes it easier to see the space you wish to plant up. The last thing you want to do is worry about your neighbours it's your garden and an expression of you and what you like.
    It is important to give plants the best start. Soil conditions and aspect are important.

    A good gardener's eye sees more to be improved. Robin Lane Fox
  • alfharris8alfharris8 Posts: 511
    Using an online scrapbook tool like Pinterest is helpful where you can group pictures of what you like together and it might give you a shortlist of plants to research more thoroughly. 
    Think about a mix of evergreen and deciduous shrubs for some all round interest.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 21,661
    As Lyn says, a lot of shrubs usually manage in shade or sun. But some, like rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias prefer acid soil. So soil type should be considered and whether it's well drained or wet.

    As for choice then choose whatever pleases you. If you like a variety and different colours then go for it. Personally I prefer variety to several the same in a group, especially as shrubs are often quite big and if your garden isn't big and you want a mixture then planting in groups isn't possible. I like a bit wild and not neat too. 
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,027
    There's no point in commenting until we know the size of the area you have for planting, and the aspect of it  :)
    Many of those shrubs become very large. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Hi everyone, thank you so much for all your replies! This is so helpful. 

    So the patch I want to fill is 20.5 feet by 9 feet. 
    It gets the sun most of the afternoon so it is south west facing. 
    I am in Liverpool (and so is the garden).
    I would like to attract the bees - so if hydrangeas aren't going to do that I don't think I will have any of them. 

    Now the soil... I am not sure what the soil is like which isn't helpful at all. I'll see if I can find out. 

    I will also post pictures now x

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