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.
As a guide in choosing plants for a small garden we here append short lists l of perfectly hardy subjects. It will be understood that these lists do not include a quarter of the available species, but only a few of the best and those most extensively grown. We have already warned planters against the use of large or fast-growing trees in small gardens, for however pretty they may be for a few years, they will eventually outgrow the place, obstruct the view, and spoil all undershrubs and plants. A few small trees may be sparingly planted, especially some of the coniferous shrubby trees that will bear pruning with impunity, for example, Cupressus Lawsoniana and C. Nutkaensis, Cedrus Deodara, Pinus Cembra and P. muricata, Libocedrus decurrens, Thuja gigantea (Lobbii), and English Yew, amongst evergreens; and Laburnum, Almond, Judas Tree, Scarlet and Pink Thorns, AEsculus Pavia, Elaeagnus angustifolius, Liquid-ambar styraciflua, and Catalpa syringaefolia - small trees with deciduous foliage and, for the greater part, with handsome flowers. The most desirable shrubs for a small garden are those which are permanently ornamental, that is to say, evergreens either with or without conspicuous flowers. Deciduous flowering shrubs should be used for filling up, and where neither screen nor shelter is needed in the winter. For hedges and screens, Portugal Laurel, Arbor Vitae (Thuja occidentalis), and English Yew are as good as anything. Holly is very handsome, but of much too slow growth for general purposes. The following are some of the best evergreen shrubs: 1. With conspicuous Flowers. - Berberis Darwinii, orange; B. aquifolia, yellow; Laurustinus, white; varieties of Rhodo-dendron Ponticum, maximum, and Catawbiense, various; Magnolia glauca, creamy white, etc.
1 A few pages forward some remarks will be found on shrubs, etc., suitable for sea-side planting.2. Destitute of conspicuous Flowers, but having ornamental Foliage, and often showy Fruits. - Hollies, variegated and green; Aucubas, variegated and green; Tree Box, several varieties; Phillyrea spp., Irish Yew, Juniperns Chinensis, Biota orientals aurea (Golden Cypress), and other varieties, dwarf varieties of Thuja occidentals (American Arbor Vita), Retino-spora spp., Cupressus Lawsoniana minima, and many other coniferous shrubs. Kalmia latifolia, Rhododendron hirsutum, Erica carnea, and Daphne Cneorum are dwarf flowering evergreen shrubs; the two latter are less than a foot high, and produce their flowers in winter and spring respectively.
In deciduous shrubs we confine ourselves to those with showy or fragrant flowers: - Lilacs various, including the Persian; Philadelphus coronarius and grandiflorus (Mock Orange, Serin-gat), white; Pyrus Japonica, scarlet, rose, or white; Guelder Rose, white; Buddlea globosa, orange; Genista alba, white or pink; Spartium junceum,yellow; Ribes aureum, yellow; Ribes sanguineum, deep red; Azalea Pontica, great variety of colours; Diervilla rosea and amabilis, rosy-purple; Magnolia purpurea, rosy-purple and white; Deutzia crenata, white; and several species of Spiraea with pink or deep rose-coloured flowers. We have not referred to the Roses in the list, but they are so universally known that nobody would forget to plant them as dwarf bushes on their own roots, as standards on the common Briar, and the climbing varieties for festoons and covering walls.
We conclude our lists of shrubby plants with a few climbers, or such species as are suited for walls, trellises, archways, etc. Foremost amongst the deciduous class are various species and varieties of the genus Clematis. C. Flam inula and C. montana are two of the hardiest of the small white-flowered species. The coloured varieties are very numerous, and every year adds to them. The White Jasmine, Passion-flower, Common Honeysuckle, Jasminum nudiflorum, Virginia Creeper, Pyrus Japonica, Wistaria Sinensis,and Climbing Roses makeup a list sufficient for all purposes. The best of the evergreen class of shrubs for walls are Cotoneaster microphylla, Crataegus Pyracantha, and various Ivies.
It is an easy transition from these to the herbaceous climbers. We give a list of a few of the annual species, or those treated as such, all of which like a warm aspect (a more extensive list will be found a few pages forward) : Tropaeolum aduncum (Canary Creeper), Pharbitis hispida (Larger Convolvulus), Lathyrus odoratus (Sweet Pea; in variety, Cobaea scandens, and Tropaeolum majus (Nasturtium).