Colourful bushes, shrubs and plants for small gardens

Updated November 21, 2016

Small garden spaces can present challenges to gardeners. Fitting in colourful shrubs and plants is not as difficult as you may think. There are many plants and shrubs that remain small when mature. Sometimes the most difficult choice is deciding the time of year you want to enjoy that splash of colour. By mixing different plants in your garden, you can have colour year round.

Autumn colours

The "Iroquois Beauty" variety of the black chokeberry bush reaches 90 cm (3 feet) in height at maturity with white flowers in the spring, blue-black berries in the summer and reddish-purple leaves in the autumn. Red chokeberries such as 'Brilliantissima' are only 90 cm (3 feet) high and put on a showy display of bright red berries and dark red leaves in the autumn. Service berry bushes come in oranges and reds in the autumn and grow well in the shade of taller trees. The burning bush can reach 3 m (10 feet) in height but can be controlled with pruning. It turns a fiery red in the autumn. Mums are low-growing plants that make an excellent border in white, orange red or purple.

Spring colour

The forsythia bush comes in a number of varieties from wild and leggy to more well-shaped shrubs. They are among the first shrubs to bloom in the spring, a bright yellow blossom announcing their arrival. Carpet phlox is a low-growing ground cover with dark green leaves and blossoms in red, white, pink or lavender. These plants make lovely borders. Azaleas, lilacs and rhododendrons all produce colourful blooms in a wide variety of colours. Each species comes in low-growing varieties or can be pruned to maintain a small footprint.

Summer colours

Crepe myrtles resemble lilac bushes but the flowers come in white, rose, red, purple and orange. Rose bushes come in the widest variety of sizes, colours and types and add splashes of elegant colour to a small garden. Ornamental grasses also present many options for colour, size and texture, all adding interest to a small garden.

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