Shrubs Come in All Sizes and Colors

By Marge Bitetti

Do you want to have a spot of color in your garden? What areas do you need to fill with color? How large is the area where you want to plant your shrubs, and does it get sun or shade? If your gardens gets a lot of sun you might want to add a Bird of Paradise Shrub or the brightly colored Peacock Flower Caesalpinia pulcherrima. This shrub is colorful and striking in appearance. It is native to the tropics and prefers growing in moist environments with evenly warm conditions. It is drought-tolerant and in its preferred tropical habitat it can grow to fifteen feet tall at maturity, with a spread of ten feet. If you decide to plant a Bird of Paradise shrub, make sure that you have enough space in the area where you select for planting. Peacock Flower is an open multi-stemmed tropical plant with an upright habit of growth. It adds a graceful and delicate accent to your landscape design.  

The Peacock Flower is an excellent choice for the outdoor landscape, but it also does well when planted outside in outdoor pots. Because of its large size and upright habit of growth looks good planted alone or surrounded by smaller colorful plants. 

A shorter plant that will also add color to your garden is the Barbican™ Red Blanket Flower Gaillardia aristata ‘Barbican Red’  Barbican™ Red Blanket Flower has clusters of beautiful scarlet daisy flowers that have dark red eyes at the ends of the stems. The flowers bloom from late spring to late summer, they look especially nice when planted in clusters groups. The Red Blanket Flowers look good as cut flowers in a vase. The plant’s narrow leaves remain grayish green in color throughout the season. Barbican™ Red Blanket Flower reach fourteen inches in height when the shrub matures. It will cover a spread of eighteen inches. In garden beds the shrubs need to be planted approximately fourteen inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions will live for approximately 5 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter and will regrow from the base each spring. This plant should be planted in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with well-drained soil. It will die when it is left too long in standing water. It is drought-tolerant and is an ideal choice for a low-water garden application. 

The Hydrangea is a common garden shrub. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes. There are over seventy-five species of flowering hydrangeas. Green Thumb Nursery has a wide variety of hydrangeas. The Seaside Serenade® Cape Cod Hydrangea Hydrangea macrophylla . Seaside Serenade® Cape Cod Hydrangea features bold balls of blue flowers with pink overtones and creamy white centers at the ends of the branches. It blooms from late spring to late summer. The flowers look beautiful when cut and brought inside and placed in a vase. It has a hardy compact form that is perfect for smaller areas in your yard. This shrub does best in a location that gets morning sunlight and needs protection from the hot afternoon sun, although it will also grow in partial shade. Keep it away from hot, dry locations that receive direct afternoon sun, or areas that get reflected sunlight, such as against the south side of a white wall. The Cape Cod Hydrangea requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth. It may require supplemental watering during periods of drought or extended heat. It is not particular as to soil type but has a definite preference for acidic soils. Seaside Serenade® Cape Cod Hydrangea will grow to be about four feet tall at maturity, with a spread of four feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of one foot from the ground. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions will live for approximately 20 years.

If you prefer adding more green color to your landscape, you might consider adding a Juniper. Junipers shrubs come in a variety of sizes some examples include the Mint Julep Juniper Juniperus chinensis or Blue Point Spiral Juniper. The Mint Julep Juniper is a dwarf conifer valued by gardeners for its cascading habit of growth. It has lime green evergreen foliage. The scale-like sprays of foliage remain lime green throughout the winter. It produces powder blue berries from late spring to late winter. It goes to a height of five feet with a spread of up to seven feet. Mint Julep Juniper is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a shapely form and gracefully arching branches. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition which can make it a great accent feature on this basis alone. This is a minimal maintenance shrub, and you will need to do the pruning in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. A beautiful evergreen landscape shrub that looks great in the garden. It features an upright arching branch with attractive; deep green needle-like foliage. It does best when planted where it will receive full sunlight. Blue Point Spiral Juniper is often planted in gardens that are designed for its distinctively vertical pyramid growth. It has attractive bluish-green evergreen foliage. It will to a height of 12-feet at maturity, with a spread of 4-feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore does not require smaller plants in front of it. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can live for approximately 30 years. This shrub should be planted in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions but will not tolerate being in standing water. It may require supplemental watering during periods of drought or extended heat.

Another shrub that will add a unique feature to your garden is the Lucky Lantern® Red Abutilon. This shrub is known by several different names. The shrub produces beautiful bell-shaped red flowers that look like tiny lanterns. The plant has green maple leaves which look attractive in any garden setting. Besides its beauty it also attracts hummingbirds. This shrub grows rapidly and can reach a height of 12-feet with a width of 12-feet. When properly cared for these shrubs can live for 20 years. This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions and should not dry out. It may require supplemental watering during periods of drought or extended heat.

Other shrubs that you might consider include Lantana, Pigeon Point Coyote Brush, Raspberry Delight® Sage, Arborvitae, Rosemary and Japanese Boxwood. When you select the right shrubs for your garden there are specific things to consider such as the shrub’s location in the garden. You want to make sure that the shrubs that you select will complement the other plants, flowers, and trees that you have already growing in your garden so that you add beauty and harmony to your landscape design.


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