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Fast-growing shrubs provide a hit of ‘instant’ impact in the garden, perfect for filling space while slower-growing varieties get established.

If you’re looking to plug some gaps in your existing garden, or you’re starting your garden from scratch, the following shrubs will put on plenty of vigorous growth to fill bare corners quickly with their lush leaves and beautiful flowers.

These options are fast growing and full of colour so there will be minimal waiting time between planting and enjoying their beautiful displays. Plus, many of them are really easy to grow and suit many soil types and positions, so are perfect for beginners.

Spirea japonica (Japanese spirea)

Spirea japonica is a bushy deciduous shrub whose stems produce clusters of delicate pink flowers in summer. Fairly fuss-free, it will bring some colour to your city, courtyard, cottage or coastal garden where it can grow to 1m tall.

• Sun – Full sun or partial shade
• Position – South, North, West or East facing
• Exposure – Exposed or sheltered
• Moisture – Well-drained or moist but well-drained
• Soil – Sand, chalk or loam

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Hydrangea macrophylla (hydrangea)

Hydrangeas can be deciduous shrubs, evergreen shrubs, or self-clinging climbers. Their displays are full of showy flowers and bring wonderful autumn interest to a garden, many have lovely leaf shapes.

• Sun – Full sun or partial shade
• Position – North, South, East or West facing
• Exposure – Sheltered
• Moisture – Moist but well-drained
• Soil – Clay, chalk, loam or sand

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Ribes sanguineum (flowering currant)

Either evergreen or deciduous shrubs, Ribes are fast-growing with vibrant flowers in spring or summer, either tubular or bell-shaped that are sometimes followed by colourful berries.

• Sun – Full sun
• Position – North, South, West or East facing
• Exposure – Exposed or sheltered
• Moisture – Moist but well-drained
• Soil – Sand, clay, chalk or loam

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Forsythia (forsythia)

This striking fast-growing shrub has woody branches and profuse sunshine-yellow blossom in spring, borne before leaves appear in summer. They make for great hedging or feature plants and give your garden real colour punch when in bloom.

• Sun – Full sun or partial shade
• Position – South, West, North or East facing
• Exposure – Exposed or sheltered
• Moisture – Moist but well-drained
• Soil – Sand, clay, chalk or loam

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Mahonia x media (Oregon grape hybrid)

An evergreen shrub with deep green glossy leaves and wonderfully contrasting sprays of fragrant yellow flowers in spring, occasionally followed by clusters of black or purple berries.

• Sun – Partial shade, full sun or full shade
• Position – South, North, West or East facing
• Exposure – Exposed or sheltered
• Moisture – Well-drained or moist but well-drained
• Soil – Sand, chalk, clay or loam

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Buddleja davidii (butterfly bush)

This fantastically fast-growing deciduous shrub, which is brilliant for adding masses of colour, scent and wildlife to your garden. The classic Buddleja bears long cones of purple flowers in summer that bees and butterflies love.

• Sun – Full sun or partial shade
• Position – South, West or East facing
• Exposure – Exposed or sheltered
• Moisture – Well-drained or moist but well-drained
• Soil – Sand, chalk, clay or loam

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Photinia (Christmas berry)

A quick-growing evergreen shrub that’s great for creating privacy as a hedge or serving as a standout border feature. The young leaves sprout rich red in spring, providing an amazing contrast against more mature deep green foliage. Its sparse white flowers in spring are usually followed by red berries.

• Sun – Full sun or partial shade
• Position – South, North, West or East facing
• Exposure – Sheltered or exposed
• Moisture – Well-drained or moist but well-drained
• Soil – Sand, clay or loam

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Cornus alba (dogwood)

They are fantastic fast-growing deciduous shrubs that are very versatile in the garden. Usually grown for their vibrant displays of bare stems in vibrant yellow, orange or red during winter. They have pale green leaves throughout the summer and flat white flower heads in spring.

• Sun – Full sun or partial shade
• Position – South, North, West or East facing
• Exposure – Sheltered or exposed
• Moisture – Well-drained or moist but well-drained
• Soil – Sand, clay or loam

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Philadelphus (mock orange)

These scented shrubs offer a spectacle of foaming, white, cup-shaped flowers from early summer. They are usually tall, making them a beautiful choice in a border for a low-maintenance garden.

• Sun – Full sun or partial shade
• Position – South, North, West or East facing
• Exposure – Sheltered or exposed
• Moisture – Well-drained or moist but well-drained
• Soil – Sand, clay, chalk or loam

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Pyracantha (firethorn)

This evergreen shrub has unassuming cabbage-green leaves and corymbs of white flowers in the warmer months. It is often chosen for its magnificent displays of red, yellow or orange berries in autumn or winter, giving your garden real colour ‘pop’ when other plants may be dying down.

• Sun – Full sun or partial shade
• Position – South, North, West or East facing
• Exposure – Sheltered or exposed
• Moisture – Well-drained or moist but well-drained
• Soil – Sand, clay, chalk or loam

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With these plants you’re sure to have a garden bursting with flowers, foliage and fragrance in no time. These fast-growing shrubs will brighten up your beds and borders, add some interest as hedging or screens or add some charm to your containers.

Spring is here, see my post on spring pollinators:

Or check out my Pinterest board for more ideas:

spring pollinators
Spring pollinators
Pinterest
Pinterest Board


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