Growing Shrubs: Size And Habit – Shrubs differ enormously in size. There are mat-forming plants such as the creeping rhymes, which will grow in a rock garden or between paving stones; there are small upright shrubs such as the lavenders, which can be used as part of a flower border or as low hedges, perhaps as a framework for a herb garden.
There are also many silver shrubs, which contrast well in both habit and color with pink, purple and red flowers. The curry plant (Helichrysum italicum) is good in this respect and easy to grow, as is Artemesia such as A. ‘Powys Castle’, with feathery leaves.
Medium-sized shrubs can be used either as punctuation marks in a border or as features.The larger salvias make interesting medium-sized shrubs in milder areas. Salvia microphylla is an evergreen, which needs a sheltered spot and has deep crimson flowers at the tips of its branches right through summer into fall. Senecio laxifolius is an easy-to-grow silver-leaved shrub with yellow daisy flowers. In sunny places it forms an upright hush 1 X m (3 X 3 ft) and in shade it will scramble along the ground.
The giants of the shrub world include smoke hush or burning hush (Cotinus coggygria), which can he used as a feature shrub or to divide up the garden. The cotoneasters are a versatile family, ranging from horizontal varieties, which look good stretching out in a sunny courtyard, to Cotoneaster ‘Cornubia’, which grows to 5 m (16 ft) tall and has the brightest of red berries in fall.