Gardeners looking to bring a splash of colour to their land that will last longer than a few years have been pointed in the direction of a shrub.
Writing for the Irish Times, Jane Powers remarks that shrubs have been forgotten about in recent years as a greater emphasis is placed on more "naturalistic planting", such as a focus towards grass.
However, she explains that a shrub planted in the correct way can bring presence to a garden and is a cheaper and less time-consuming investment than maintaining a tree.
Ms Powers said: "They are the great, under-appreciated heroes of the garden. A well-shrubbed garden is one that always has a structure.
"Herbaceous perennials come and go with the seasons, and after a few years disappear altogether or need rejuvenating. But a carefully placed and properly planted shrub will last decades."
Shrubs are available in a number of colours, including purple, pink, red, white and orange, and even grow under trees despite the shade problems that exist.