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Four Seasons of Colourful Shrubs

Four Seasons of Colourful Shrubs


  • Forsythia – Early bloomers with vibrant yellow flowers; their flowers precede their leaves. Moreover, they’re quite fast-growing shrubs with an upright and arching form.
  • Magnolia – Elegant pink, purple, white or yellow flowers.
  • Flowering Almond – Five-petal masses of rosette blossoms are pink, about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter and are double.
  • Lilacs – Blooms for only a brief couple weeks in the spring but has a very aromatic scent that carries for a distance. Available in shades of pink, mauve, purple and pure white.
  • Dwarf Lilac – Mauve flowers with delicate, wavy leaves. Ideal for smaller areas (under windows, mixed border, or low hedge) as it maintains a round form without pruning.
  • Deutzia, Mock Orange, Bridalwreath Spirea – Has crisp, white blossoms.
  • Weigela – Produces colourful, trumpet-shaped flowers in June in shades of pink, red or white.
  • False Spirea – Produces creamy, white plumes and refined foliage.
  • Kerria – Produces round yellow blooms and is ideal for heavily shaded areas.


  • Potentilla – Begins flowering in June and continues all through the summer. This small sized shrub will stay compact if pruned.
  • Spirea – Offers a great variety in a dwarf size (no taller than 100 cm (40″)). Produces pink flowers which bloom from June into July.
    pink spirea
  • Shibori – Notable for flowering white and several shades of pink, all on one bush.
  • Sunburst Hypericum – Blooms from July through October with striking golden-yellow flowers against blue-green foliage.
  • Summersweet – Blooms in late July. Also, its fragrant blossoms attract butterflies!
  • Bigleaf Hydrangea – Ideal for sun or shade and blooms all summer long.
  • Butterflybush, Caryopteris, Rose of Sharon – All bloom in August. These outstanding flowering shrubs will carry any garden successfully into fall.


  • Peegee, Unique Peegee Hydrangea – Large, cone-shaped blooms change from white to bronzy pink over a 2-month period that lasts well into October.
  • Burningbush, Amur Maple, Chokeberry – All three have a brilliant red fall foliage.
  • Sumac, Cutleaf Japanese Maple – Turn a vivid orange.
  • Goldflame Spirea – Holds its rusty-red leaves into November.
  • Pagoda Dogwood, Serviceberry – Turns various shades of orangey red to rust. Both shrubs grow well in the sun or shade.

Spring through Fall Interest

There are some beautiful shrubs with brightly coloured foliage that will help to maintain flowering interest in the garden from April to October. These brightly coloured foliage contrast delightfully with basic green from the time they leaf out to autumn leaf-drop.

  • Purpleleaf Sand Cherry, Royal Purple Smoketree, Red Japanese Maples – Immediately draws attention in any arrangement of plants because the eye sees red first.
  • Golden Mock-Orange, Dart’s Gold Ninebark, Elder (golden varieties) – Yellow is the second colour the eye notices.

Russian Olive, Sea-Buckthorn, and Silver Buffaloberry – Trademark of the softer, silvery-grey look.

Silver leaf Dogwood, Variegated Weigela, Mottled Tatarian Dogwood, Dappled Willow, and Carol Mackie Daphne – These shrubs best represent variegated (2 or more colour) foliage and sparkle next to a solid coloured shrub.


Certain shrubs have colourful twigs that show up distinctively in the winter garden.

  • Red Osier, Ivory Halo, Siberian, WinterBeauty, and Silverleaf Dogwood – All have red bark.
  • Yellowtwig Dogwood – Has golden bark.
  • Kerria – Remarkable for its thin, lime-green twigs.
  • Corkscrew Hazel – Has unusual twisting, contorted branches.
  • Female Winterberry and Cotoneaster – These are worthy of inclusion for their striking red berries that last through January.
  • Daphne – Flowers violet-red around late March at the same time Arnold Promise and Diane Witch-hazel are blooming.
  • Pussy Willow – Their fat, furry catkins are so pretty when brought indoors during the winter. Additionally, pussywillows are available in shrub form as well as the standard weeping tree.