Do I sense a feeling that shrubs are coming back into fashion? Or at least that perhaps the New Perennial revolution has just gone a little too far? Over the last few years I have seen the odd article, one by Roy Lancaster and one by Dan Pearson on the basic theme of ‘let’s not forget shrubs’ and Gardens Illustrated have even commissioned Dan to write a series about them.
Back in the day, well, let’s say the late 1980s, shrubs dominated garden centres and nurseries, with perennials relegated to horrid little plastic bags in cardboard boxes for a few spring months. We had to fight to get perennials their place in the sun of the sales area. Now it is the other way round. Most GCs and nurseries carry only the most basic range of rather predictable shrubs clearly designed to appeal to bored suburban gardeners: bright flowers, variegation and compact habit compulsory. The number of specialist nurseries doing a decent range has greatly diminished and there has been a massive cull of woody plants from The Plant Finder. Continue Reading →