Flowers, bark, berries and more

Fabulous shrubs define a landscape


Photo courtesy

Anthony Tesselaar International

Flower Carpet Roses are a top choice where landscape color is desired. Their exceptionally long blooming season extends from late spring through late fall. They are available in pink, white, red, apple blossom and coral.



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called the bones of the garden or its perennial soul, shrubs can literally define a green space, only to then
redefine it as they grow and mature. In bloom and foliage, bark and berry, their diversity is amazing. They
can provide a wall of privacy when planted and sheared as a hedge. The natural symmetry — or intriguing
asymmetry — of their branches can add up to living sculpture. Indeed, the right shrubs can become the
focal points in a landscape that grows more interesting from season to season and from year to year.

   The following shrubs can grow in most parts of the country. They are easy to grow and offer seasonal interest yearlong through a variety of appealing attributes.

   • Viburnum — A genus of some 150 species,
viburnums can be evergreen or deciduous, with blooms fragrant or merely beautiful, but always morphing into
colorful berries favored by birds. They need well-drained soil and a location that is sunny to part shade.
The cultivar ‘Mohawk’ (Viburnum x burkwoodii) grows up to a height of 7 feet. Its leaves turn shades of orange,
red and reddish-purple in the fall but drop in severe winters. ‘Mohawk’s’ finest moment is in late April or
May when its reddish buds open to five-pointed white stars forming an abundance of domes. Its fragrance, a
blend of clove and lily-of-the-valley, is intense and carries as far as 30 feet. (U.S.D.A. Zones 4-8, semi-evergreen
in the south.)


Photo courtesy

Anthony Tesselaar International

The right shrubs can become the focal points in a landscape that grows more interesting from season to season and year to year.

   • Flowering Quince — Among the first shrubs
to flower in the spring, flowering quince has cup-shaped flowers in a color that, depending on the cultivar,
can fall anywhere from pale peach to screaming coral. Its twigs may be cut as they bud out and forced into
bloom indoors in a vase. A few of its large number of flowers turn into aromatic fruits that must be cooked
before they can be eaten as preserves. The hybrid ‘Cameo’ (Chaenomeles x superba) has the largest blooms of
the species — two inches across and double — suggesting tea-roses, and they last longer than those
of other varieties. The delicate color of its petals ranges from peachy-pink at the edges to rosy-pink in the
center. About five-feet tall and virtually indestructible, ‘Cameo’ is almost completely thornless. (Zones 5-9.)

   • Butterfly Bush — From a distance, the
butterfly bush looks like a fountain with butterflies hovering over its cascades. Close up, the cultivar ‘Argentea’
(Buddleia alternifolia) offers masses of foot-long, trumpet-like flowers that suggest lilacs, hence the shrub’s
other name, summer lilac. The slender, willow-like, gray-green leaves have a silver sheen. A butterfly bush,
in bloom for much of the summer, is a great choice for a sunny spot and fertile, well-drained soil. (Zones

   • Flower Carpet Roses — First introduced
in North America in 1995, more than 10 million Flower Carpet groundcover roses have been sold coast-to-coast
— and with good reason. These easy-to-grow landscape shrubs offer an abundance of colorful blossoms from
late spring through frost. Suitable for mass plantings, garden beds or containers, Flower Carpet roses have
shiny leaves and are evergreen in warmer climate zones. They’re available in pink, white, apple blossom, red
and, new this spring, coral. Not fussy show roses, these top-performing, 3-foot high garden shrubs are known
for their long bloom season and high levels of natural disease resistance. All the Flower Carpet roses thrive
on five hours of sun per day, asking only water, rose food and a cut back with the hedge clippers once a year.
(Zones 5-10.)


Photo courtesy

Anthony Tesselaar International

   • Mock Orange — A favorite of our great-grand
parents, mock orange (Philadelphus virginalis) is a fast grower that shoots up to 10 feet in a few years, but
at half of that height starts yielding immaculate white flowers with the replica of the unforgettable scent
of orange blossoms. A rambunctious producer of extra stems, this shrub needs pruning. The selection called
‘Minnesota Snowflakes’ is an overachiever when it comes to the number of its blooms, and ‘Virginal’ has perhaps
the most intense fragrance. (Zones 5-8.)

   • Spirea — Dense and dainty, spirea is
a champion bloomer in the spring or summer and makes a billowing hedge. Of its numerous cultivars, ‘Shibori’
(Spiraea japonica) has two flowering periods, and it excels by producing both pink and white flowers in the
same cluster. The cultivar ‘Anthony Waterer’ (Spiraea x bumalda) starts out with reddish foliage that turns
blue-green in the summer, then purple in the fall. (Zones 4-9.)

   • Siberian Dogwood — The leafless bright
red twigs of Siberian (or Tartarian) dogwood (Cornus alba) ‘Sibirica’ light up the winter landscape and are
at their most dramatic when snow covers the ground. Also known as red-twigged dogwood, its vigorous, sturdy
upright shoots can reach the height of 10 feet. Thanks to its habit of suckering, its horizontal spread will
eventually catch up. As a thicket or as a fence, it is a show-stopper. In the spring, shirt-button size white
flowers appear, and the berries that follow, white flushed with blue, attract birds of all kinds. (Zones 5-10.)

   • Lilac — The romance of lilac lives on.
Fancy new hybrids have improved on old-fashioned favorites, yielding even more flowers, and, lately, they recaptured
the heady scent that was often lost in the otherwise beautiful hybrids. After the blooms are gone, the foliage
appears as a wall of deep dark green, and the heart-shaped leaves are unsurpassingly lovely. ‘Miss Kim’ (Syringa
patula) offers smaller flowers, in lavender, but in huge numbers, and their fragrance is intense. Among the
whites, ‘Miss Ellen Willmott’ not only retains the traditional scent of the species, but, unlike other lilacs,
it is reliably non-suckering. (Zones 3-7.)

   Source: Anthony Tesselaar International