This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Comparatively few of this class are grown for their foliage alone. Aralia spinosa, Rhus typhina, Elaeagnus spp., Comptonia asplenifolia, Negundo fraxinifolia variegata, and some of the smaller forms of Maple, Elm, Beech, etc., are amongst the most familiar deciduous shrubs having ornamental foliage. In return, we have an almost bewildering richness in variety of deciduous flowering shrubs. It should be observed that many shrubs placed in this division are naturally evergreen in their native habitats, but our climate being more rigorous they usually shed their foliage in the course of the winter. Occasionally, when we have a mild winter, they retain their foliage till fresh is developed. This is the case with such tender plants as some of the species of Cistus, Coto-neaster Simmonsii, Hydrangea Hortensia, Ligustrum Japoni-cum, Spiraea Lindleyana, etc. The larger-growing deciduous flowering shrubs include the Lilacs, various shades of red, purple, and lilac and white; Hibiscus Syriacus, white or purple or striped double and single-flowered varieties; Thorns, white, pink, or scarlet double and single-flowered varieties (usually grafted on tall stems); Guelder Rose, white; shrubby forms of AEsculus, pink, yellow, or white; Rose Acacia, pink; Viburnum Lantana, white; Colutea arborescens, yellow; Caly-canthus spp., purplish brown or red; Caragana spp., yellow (the dwarf species are commonly grown as standards grafted on stems of C. arborescens); Snowberry-tree, white; and Sam-bucus nigra varieties, white. Next in order come the Seringas (Philadelphus), white fragrant flowers; Ribes, red, yellow, and white; Cistus, white or roge spotted with purple or yellow; Leycesteria, dark purple and white; Genista, Spartium, Cyti-sus, yellow, white, and pink; Rhodotypus kerrioides, white; Spiraea, white, pink, or rose; Diervilla (Weigela), white, pink, rose, and crimson; Deutzia, white or pink; and Rubus, white or rose single and double-flowered. Azalea Pontica, A. Sinensis, A. calendulacea, A. nudiflora, etc., and their hybrid varieties, various shades and combinations of yellow, purple, pink, rose, and white; Rhodora Canadensis, purple; Rhododendron Dahuricum, purplish violet. A few species produce their flowers in winter or spring before the leaves are developed : Chimonanthus fragrans, yellowish green and red; Daphne Mezereum, purple, pink, or white; Forsythia viridis-sima and suspensa, yellow; Cornus mas, yellow; Prunus spp., rose and white. Many of the Fuchsias, Hydrangea Hortensia, Melianthus major, and Paeonia Moutan, although of shrubby habit, will succeed when treated as herbaceous plants and cut down annually.
In the foregoing enumeration we have purposely omitted the Roses, because they deserve a short paragraph to themselves. It is not of the numerous garden hybrids that we wish to speak, for they are so universally known that it is unnecessary. We would rather call attention to some of the original wild forms and very hardy varieties that merit more favour than is commonly bestowed upon them, especially for planting in shrubberies and wild spots in the park. The history and detailed descriptions of the various wild forms will be found at pp. 148 to 171. Many of the old single and semi-double Roses, from the brilliancy of their flowers, are very ornamental and effective, and should be extensively planted amongst shrubs; and when grown as bushes on their own roots they require very little attention. Varieties of Rosa centifolia (Moss and Provence Roses), R. bracteata (Macartney Rose), R. spinosissima (Burnet or Scotch Rose); R. lutea (Eglantine or Persian Briar), R. ferox (Hedgehog Rose), R. rapa (Turnip Rose), and R. rubi-ginosa (Sweet Briar), are most suitable for the purposes indicated. Of course it will be understood that these are only recommended for large gardens, where there is abundance of space. For gardens of small size a selection of the best of the hybrid varieties would naturally be preferred.