There are some lovely shrubs with autumn and winter interest, some have amazing colour, others flowers, berries and sometimes scent.
Illustrated above is Mahonia, an easy to grow shrub flowering early in the year during the winter. Some varieties of Mahonia are scented and there are tips and ideas on growing Mahonia.
Also shown above is Hamamelis, common name Witch Hazel is more of a small tree with interesting flowers which form ahead of the leaves (like forsythia). The flowers are either yellow or red/orange and scented it is often grown for its lovely winter scent.
Cotinus known as the smoke bush looks lovely in the autumn. The red leaved varieties such as cotinus coggygria royal purple has leaves which intensify in colour becoming a richer red. Possibly better in terms of autumn colour is C. Flame, a green leaved variety which comes into its own in the autumn with strong red colouring.
Many of the popular shrubs have attractive berries which are colourful and good for garden wildlife. Below left is Pyracanthus, common name firethorn, which is apt given i's blazing red berries.
Many Acers have superb autumn colour and there are now so many varieties its is best to select one in the garden centre in autumn when you can check out its autumn display. Generally, the green leaved Acers produce the best autumn colours.
A shrub grown mainly for its winter colour when it displays lovely brightly coloured stems is Cornus, common name dogwood. It is a deciduous shrub and when the leaves fall off they leave behind the stems, red, orange or yellow depending on the variety. It is a pretty shrub with variegated leaves which has the added bonus of great winter colour.