Few shrubs or trees have received such acciaim as Lilac. Syringa vulgaris, an East European native, commonly known as Lilac and formerly as the Pipe Tree, has received the attentions of botanists and nurserymen for hundreds ot years. A native of North Persia, it was introduced into Great Britain and North America via Vienna, around 1600. There are superb varieties to choose from, including double and single forms, some with French names, and some such as Maud Notcutt' suggesting the plant breeding endeavours of an important English nursery, Notcutt and Sons Among these varieties are many blue and mauve forms, including 'Blue Hyacinth' [fragrant, mauve and opening to lavender-blue), IVtassena1 (fragrant, with deep purple flowers). Firmament (fragrant, single and lilac-blue) and Katherme Havemeyer' (fragrant, double lavender-blue, fading to soft lilac-pink).

Other shrubs that are strong contenders for summer and autumn colour include Hebe "Midsummer Beauty', with long tassle-like heads of lavender-purple flowers throughout summer, and Hebe Autumn Glory', a low growing shrub with violet-blue flowers from mid-summer to autumn.

Blue-flowered shrubs are particularly in evidence in autumn, and include Caryopteris x clandonense, hydrangeas, hibiscus, Cera-tostigma willmottianum and vincas. For autumn berries, try Callicarpa bodinieri giraldii (violet-blue berries], Clerodendron trichotomum [beautiful China blue berries with cnmson calyces) and Viburnum davidii (bright turquoise berries on female plants).

Blue-follaged conifers are useful for Introducing year-through colour, and in addition to those described in this chapter there are Chamaecypans lawsoniana Pembury Blue' (si I very-blue). Juniperus horizontal Blue Chip (bright blue) and Juniperussquamata Blue Star' (silvery-blue).

The heights and spreads given for plants in this chapter are those to be expected after twenty years tn good soil

Left The rich purple-leaved Berberís x ottawensis 'Purpurea'

creafes a contrast to the late spring white-flowered Spiraea x cinerea Grefsheim' m this attractive shrub border

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