Do you love fresh, seasonal bouquets straight from the garden but don’t have the time to plan, plant and tend to an annual cutting plot each year?  A fabulous alternative to the annual flower garden is the planting of woody shrubs. Woodies are a great investment that will reward you year after year with little maintenance. We’ve compiled a list of easy care shrubs whose flowers, foliage, berries and stems may be cut, without damaging the plant. Clippings from these plants may be used alone, in bouquets and arrangements, or mixed with the annual and perennial flowers that you do have time to nurture and grow.


Common Lilac (Syringa vulgaris): white, pink and lavender fragrant blooms depending on the cultivar.

Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles speciosa): white, apricot, salmon, pink and red flowers depending on the cultivar. Branches may be forced.

Forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia): yellow to gold flowers depending on the cultivar. Branches may be forced. Foliage may be used, after flowering, in the summer, winter and fall.

Pussy Willow (Salix spp.): soft, fuzzy catkins (flowers). There are also numerous Salix grown for their colorful and twisted stems.


Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla): white, green, pink, blue and purple flowers depending on the cultivar and soil pH.

Hardy Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata): white or pink flowers depending on the cultivar. If cut correctly, you may even get a second crop of blooms from this plant.

Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius): deep burgundy, lime green, bronze or coppery-orange foliage depending on the cultivar. Foliage may be used in the late spring through the fall.

Smooth Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens): large, white snowball-like flowers

Blue Mist Spirea (Caryopteris x clandonensis): light, bright and deep blue flowers depending on the cultivar.

Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina domestica): full, drooping panicles of yellow or red berries depending on the cultivar. Foliage may be used any time of the year, even in winter as this plant is semi-evergreen, and takes on a purple or bronze cast in the cold weather.


Twig Dogwoods (Cornus spp.): yellow, gold, orange and red stems depending on the cultivar.

Winterberry Holly (Ilex verticillata): yellow, orange and red berries depending on the cultivar. Must plant a male pollinator in order for this plant to fruit.