Skip to main content

When is a Shrub not a Shrub

I have an area in the garden that I refer to as a shrubbery. In my mind, shrubs are the backbone of the garden.  They give height to the borders - something to plant against and inbetween.  An all year round display of foliage, flowers and branches.  But I got to thinking - what is the difference between a shrub and a bush?  The definition of a bush is a group of small trees, small enough to touch the soil - while a shrub is a bit taller than a bush!!!

Another definition is a little woody plant, similar to a tree, but smaller. 


Berberis Shrub
 Bushes are almost always seen in the wild, whilst a shrub is pruned and taken care of.

Mahonia shrub
 Most often shrubs have denser undergrowth and may have many stems coming out from its base.  A bush is a thicket of small trees.

Generally bush is the technical name for a shrub.  All these definitions of the difference between shrub and bush are conflicting in my eyes - isn't it the case that they are exactly the same but for domestic gardens we call them shrubs.  But then again, we wouldn't call a Lilac a shrub - we say, Lilac bush, Rose bush  and Butterfly Bush. Confused !- so am I.

Lilac Bush
The Berberis and Mahonia are in full flower in the garden at the moment, the Lilac is not far off.
What shrubs/bushes are flowering in your garden ?

Comments

  1. not many unless you include all the fruit trees, many of which I grow as bushes. Most noticeable is a miniature Rhododendron, and also a white Camellia.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I never know what to call them either. LOL! I guess my Rhododendrons are bushes since they hit the ground but I call them shrubs. I have lilac bushes which are shrubs. I am so confused. LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  3. No matter the label, they're all beautiful.

    We have Hydrangea quercifolia in bloom, some tall enough to be trees, and tiny suckering bushes underneath.

    ReplyDelete
  4. We have several shrubs about to flower but not quite there yet! Pineapple broom is almost ready, so too my ceanothus and a couple of roses have buds on.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm really confused now. And just to confuse things even more, what's the difference between a rose bush and a shrub rose ?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nothing like being confused is there, which I certainly am!
    I've got a couple of rose bushes on the plot, but nothing that I'd call a shrub. Flighty xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. That always confounded me too. We usually say shrub, I guess like you said, they are those cared for. But it gets confusing when garden plants are referred to as shrubs or bushes, like you mentioned.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

the rise of the apple and the fall of the oak ...

Sunday
Early morning.  We drove down to the lake for a stroll in the autumn sunshine; the air was chilled in the shadows but the sun was bright.  The water level was still very low; we have had hardly any rain for weeks.  On the spit of land a gaggle of Canada geese preening and resting.  The water still and calm.

 We walked further along the lane, and there just around the bend, my favourite oak tree; a lopsided old thing with winky-wonky branches.  But all was not well.  The trunk had split and there was a gut-wrenching open wound.
 
I loved that old tree and always take a photograph of it when we are down there; a kind of tradition.




Now, half the tree lying on the ground - only fit for firewood - such a shame - I felt really sad.


Monday
Spent the morning pruning the Amelanchier which had outgrown its space.  My neighbour came round with foxglove self-seeders which I planted beneath it now that there is some room.  I have finally come to the end of the garden restoration project -…

Down to Earth ...

A nothing much happened kind of week.  Mostly it rained and rained and rained.  The sun burst through for short periods then hid behind the clouds and it rained again.  The garden is flattened and battered and a soggy mess.  We have had the heating on it has been so chilly - even my pet sheep had their hats and scarves on.


On Monday electricians came and fitted an earthing device.  On Tuesday a different electrician came and earthed us (our earthing spike had deteriorated - whatever that is) - apparently new regs said it had to be done before the house could be signed off as completed.  The electrician also fitted the new ceiling lights to replace the water damaged ones.


And a new desk has been installed to replace the water damaged one.


Next week all the carpets are going to be fitted and voila - we're done.  Hurrah!

Meanwhile back at the ranch - every time the sun came out I rushed into the garden to take some pics of the least damaged flowers.


The view from the kitchen window

the sweet calm sunshine of September ...

" It was a morning of ground mist, yellow sunshine, and high rifts of blue, white-cloud-dappled sky.  The leaves were still thick on the trees, but de-spangled gossamer threads hung on the bushes and the shrill little cries of unrest of the swallows skimming the green open spaces of the park told of  autumn and change." ~ Flora Thompson


September has been a very productive month for me. I have worked hard in the garden with a feeling of racing against time; although, in truth, there is plenty of time to do everything - I just wanted to get it done while the weather was good, so much more pleasant working outside when it is a little warmer, rather than having to wrap up in coats and boots to get it all done.  I have planted every last bulb that I possess; those I saved from last year; those I bought this year; every piece of ground and every container has been put to use - if I don't get a good display in spring then something has gone seriously wrong.


Gardening fo…