Garden design and maintenance

Shrubs for the garden in summer – 9 effective varieties

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Ornamental shrubs and small trees provide shade, privacy and wind protection, and serve as structuring elements that you cannot do without. When choosing, however, it is not just personal taste that is decisive. Shrubs for the garden, which bloom in summer, exude a gentle scent and delight with the particularly striking color of the growing foliage, combine for a change with local plants in the small and spacious outdoor area.

Cleverly arranging shrubs for the garden in summer

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With a skilful selection, the typical hedges can be replaced with free-growing ones or with attractive, red-leaved varieties, such as barberry, and with conspicuously flowering species, such as the firethorn, put together like a dream. In the article we provide an overview of easy-care shrubs for the garden, which present their splendor in summer and decorate the private green area.

Shrubs for the garden in summer – dwarf shrubs and groups of plants

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The dwarf shrubs are often planted in groups or as ground cover because of their low growth. It should be emphasized that around three plants per meter should be planted for hedge and five per square meter for greening areas. The small shrubs in the vicinity of weigelias, deutzias and summer lilacs on slopes or in the front garden look very nice.

Shrubs for the garden in summer – Yellow dwarf spar

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The name “dwarf spar” (bot. Spiraea japonica Golden princes) indicates that it is dwarf shrubs. It is round and compact, reaches a height of about 50 cm, maximum 60 cm. Dwarf spars are hardy, densely bushy and after years grow more in width than in height. They bloom from May to August in different colors, depending on the species – white, yellow, pink or purple. Their blooms can last up to a month and after. The dwarf spar is characterized by many, quite small, striking golden yellow leaves and is an eye-catcher in small gardens with its bright foliage. During the flowering period, a veritable sea of ​​flowers emerges from many small, umbellate-like grapes.

Shrubs for the garden in summer – Dwarf spar ‘Crispa’

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The abundant, dark pink flower umbels and the red leaf shoots are typical features of the sparaceous shrub Crispa (Spiraea japonica ‘Crispa’). The elliptical leaves are wavy to curled and deeply cut. These dwarf shrubs like sunny locations, but can also tolerate partial shade well and get along for a relatively long time without water. Basically, they can be cut to size at any time, but so that they become dense and bushy, it is advisable to cut back to 40 centimeters high.

Shrubs for the garden in summer – ordinary barberry, buckthorn


The sea buckthorn (Berberis vulgaris) is a plant from the barberry family (Berberidacae) that is widespread in Europe, South America and Asia. The deciduous shrub can reach heights of up to 3 meters, grows on stony, hard soils and can often be found in the mountains. It is known as a medicinal herb. The fresh roots of the young plants are used to make a homeopathic remedy that is used to relieve discomfort and pain in the joints, digestive organs and urogenital tract. Its parts of the plant, with the exception of the berries, are poisonous. The berries have an antibacterial effect and strengthen the immune system. Its leaves are covered with thorns, and the common barberry blooms yellow in May.

Shrubs for the garden in summer – Red hedge barberry

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The red tease barberry (Berberis thunbergii Atropurpurea) is characterized by striking purple to red-brown leaves and creates effective contrasts in garden design alongside the other green-leaved plants. This shrub also looks impressive on its own, especially in autumn when its leaves turn bright, fireplace-red. Above all, several plants of this type can be grown as a hedge because they are impenetrable and weatherproof.

Shrubs for the garden in summer – the dark red dwarf ball barberry

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The dark red is a dwarf shrub (Berberis ‘Bagatelle’) from the barberry family, which forms dark red balls of foliage. The leaves turn dark red in summer, and in autumn – scarlet, then they fall off. It is often planted on sidewalks because of its thorny branches. It finds other uses because of its unpretentiousness in terms of garden soil and ease of care in rock gardens, graves and borders.

Shrubs for the garden in summer – variegated barberry Harlequin


The variegated barberry (Berberis thunbergii ‘Harlequin’) grows upright with overhanging tips. The leaves are their special feature – fresh green in summer, then dark red with a red and white variegated color.

Shrubs for the garden in summer  Loquat


The loquat (Photinia fraseri Little Red Robin ’) is a relatively small shrub – a maximum of 1 meter high, which is why it is equally suitable as a container plant or as an ornamental shrub in the garden. Because of the striking red shoots, it is one of the most attractive evergreen plants.

Loquat as a stand-alone ornamental wood


Grown as a dwarf shrub, it rarely exceeds 150 centimeters. Its leaves change their colors – the shoot is light red to purple and becomes shiny dark green. It tolerates sunny to semi-sunny locations and thrives in all normal garden soils. Depending on the intended use, it is usually cut in spring and is widely used – in front of and in small gardens, as a stand-alone ornamental wood, grave plant and as a hedge plant.

 Shrubs for the garden in summer – Finger bush


The finger bush (Potentilla) prefers rather nutrient-poor soils that are calcareous, in full sun without waterlogging. It is not so sensitive to pruning and it is usually enough for 2-3 years to rejuvenate the plant.

White finger shrub as an attractive ground cover


Several species from this family are known and widespread. They delight with the different colors of the flowers in summer: “Snowbird” and “Ice Princess” in white, “Goldfinger” – yellow, “Lovely Pink” – pink, “Red Ace” – orange.

 Shrubs for the garden in summer – Firethorn

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The firethorn (Pyracantha) is also sometimes called the Mediterranean firethorn and is often noticeable for its shiny, evergreen leaves and gorgeous red berries. It is hardy, but in very harsh winters its leaves turn brown and later fall off. The shrub presents the magnificent, red fruits from September to winter. It is best served in a sunny or partially shaded location, on normal, well-drained soils and can reach a height of two to three meters. It grows at a rate of around 20-50 centimeters a year. It blooms in May and June. During this period, its delicate, white flowers give off a delicate fragrance and are a spectacle for the eyes and nose.

Firethorn as a decorative climbing plant with bright red berries

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The firethorn belongs to the rose family and is therefore sensitive to dehydration. The young plants should be protected against frost in winter, and after 2 years they can be exposed to severe winters without problems. It is often used as a hedge plant because of its sharp, strong thorns. This makes the hedge impenetrable and the ideal privacy screen. Wild animals, pets and small children can injure themselves, so be careful.

 Shrubs for the garden in summer – Dwarf pipe bush


The dwarf whistle bush (Philadelphus microphyllus) comes from the southwestern USA and is an approximately 100 centimeter high, hardy shrub that was widely used for crossbreeding.

Shrubs for the garden – dwarf pipe shrub as an ornamental wood


The dwarf pipe bush is characterized by small leaves 1-2 centimeters long and only 1 cm wide, which are elongated and have a short stalk. Its foliage is a little lighter on the lower side, fresh green and slightly hairy on top. The dwarf shrub blooms in May and June with creamy white, fragrant flowers.

  Shrubs for the garden in summer  Weigela


The Weigela give the garden a structure and can be used equally well as a hedge to delimit garden areas and as a container plant. The upright shrub of the weigela genus can reach a height of 2-3 meters. Of these, a huge number of crosses, hybrids, are known. Weigela is a relatively robust and easy-care plant, most of which are absolutely frost-hardy. The abundant flowers of the variety “Bristol Ruby” are characterized by a ruby ​​red color, bell-like shape and are therefore very popular.

Shrubs for the garden – dark-leaved weigela as flowering ground cover


The plant is native to East Asia, where it grows on the edges of forests. Basically, the weigela is an upright, arching shrub. Depending on the variety, it becomes 1 to 3 meters high and in May to June it has magnificent, bell-shaped flowers in white, pink, red or yellow. Some bloom again in late summer, but a little weaker. Some varieties with yellow, red or variegated yellow-green and green-white leaves are even more splendid.