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The Cottage Garden

English in origin, the primary function of the cottage garden was for growing vegetables, fruit and herbs for the home. Most herbs were used for medicinal purposes while the vegetables and fruit were a food source. During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, however, the use of the cottage garden went from utilitarian to romantic and decorative. Today the cottage garden is full of color and variety with a cheerful disorder that is surprisingly contemporary and appealing to many gardeners.

Planning Your Cottage Garden

For the most authentic look, locate your garden in a sunny area on either side of the path leading to the front or kitchen door so everything growing in the garden is easily accessible. Cottage gardens are typically enclosed in a hedged, fenced or walled area and may extend right up to and even surround the house.

The classic charming English cottage garden will contain a tightly packed, random assortment of perennials, annuals and edible plants with a natural-looking path winding through the middle. Use mulch, stones or pavers for the walkway where a permanent one does not exist, but keep the path narrow to maximize growing space.

Another important addition to the cottage garden is a vertical element that enhances and expands growing space. Try a climbing rose on an arbor or fence, a honeysuckle, clematis or annual vine on a trellis or obelisk or a climbing hydrangea on a wall. A vertical element is a very important dimension in the cottage garden that will provide structure. Additional welcomed features to the cottage garden include vibrant hanging baskets hung from shepherds’ crooks and window boxes overflowing with color attached to your windowsills, garage or sat atop of a stone or brick wall. Cocoa-lined hayracks and hanging baskets will give a real Victorian look to your garden.

Enjoying Your Cottage Garden

The delightful informality of the cottage garden makes it a perfect place for garden accessories. If you have the space, include a bench or small seating area, ideally under an arbor or alongside a trellis. A small fountain, statue, gazing ball or bird bath can also add enjoyable elements to the garden. Opt for a bit of movement with hanging features such as wind chimes or decorative flags, or add a touch of whimsy with a fairy garden aspect, gnomes or toadstools. Around every corner, your cottage garden will have surprises to delight any visitor!

Growing Zucchini

Zucchini is one of the most popular vegetables choices for growing in the home garden. Not only is zucchini easy to grow, it is also tasty and nutritious, as well as versatile in a number of recipes. All summer squash, including zucchini, are rich in beta-carotene, folic acid, vitamins C and E and numerous healthful minerals. Zucchini can be eaten fresh, baked into bread, roasted, grilled, added to salads and so much more. So, grow zucchini, eat up and get healthy – we’ll supply the tips you need for successful growing and a bountiful harvest.

Planting

Sow zucchini seeds or seedlings about 2 weeks after the last frost date in full sun and well-drained, nutritious garden soil. It is best to plant zucchini in hills, three plants in each, to ensure warm soil and good drainage. Hills should be about 8 inches high and 12 inches in diameter. Set hills at least three feet apart, as these plants are dense and require plenty of room for good air circulation.

Care

Zucchini plants will thrive in regular garden soil. If your soil is poor then you may wish to fertilize or amend the soil with compost. Keep zucchini plants evenly watered throughout the season. Mulch the garden bed with salt hay to keep it free of weeds and to retain soil moisture. If growing zucchini horizontally, mulch will keep the fruit clean by preventing it from coming into contact with the soil.

Staking

Zucchini is a vine and may be grown vertically, with assistance, on vegetable netting or a fence, trellis or lattice. Plants and fruit are heavy, so be certain to secure the vine carefully as it grows and watch for any signs of breakage that could damage maturing vegetables.

Harvesting

Zucchini is best and has the best flavor if it is harvested when young and tender, about 6 inches long. Use pruning shears or a garden knife to cut zucchini from the vine. Never pull the fruit off, which can damage the vine as well as the vegetable.

Pests

A number of pests will like zucchini just as much as you do, but there are steps you can take to keep your zucchini patch pest-free.

  • Cucumber Beetle: These insects will skeletonize the zucchini leaves, resulting in lower yields and smaller vegetables. Plant resistant varieties and hand pick the beetles.
  • Squash Bugs: Yellow spotting on zucchini leaves that turn brown identifies squash bug damage. Eventually the leaves then turn black and crispy. Control this pest when plants are young. Look for eggs on the underside of zucchini leaves and crush them.
  • Squash Vine Borer: This pest first presents itself with wilting leaves. Upon inspection you will see orange ‘sawdust’ at the base of the plant. Use floating row covers if planting early or hold off on planting zucchini until after July 4th when the insect egg laying is completed.
  • Blossom End Rot: This disease appears as a dark, leathery patch on the blossom end of the zucchini. It is caused by either uneven soil moisture or a soil calcium deficiency. Do not allow soil to dry out between watering, and add calcium to the soil with dolomitic lime or gypsum to ensure proper nutrition.

Recipes

Try these delicious treats to make the most of your zucchini harvest!

Grilled Zucchini

Ingredients

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1/4 cup Italian-style salad dressing

Directions

  • Slice zucchini into 1/4 inch thick slices (peel first if desired). Toss in a bowl with Italian dressing.
  • Place on a hot grill about 4 to 5 minutes or until nice grill marks appear and the zucchini is slightly limp. Serve and enjoy.

Zucchini Bread

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups peeled, grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch bread pans.
  • Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  • Beat eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar together in a large bowl.
  • Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture and beat well.
  • Stir in zucchini and nuts (if desired) until well combined.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake for 40-60 minutes or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes.

Remove bread from pan, and cool completely.

Naturescaping With Regional Perennial Wildflowers

There’s no need to sacrifice beauty when designing or redesigning your yard or garden to be more nature-friendly. Naturescaping is an approach to garden and landscape design that will help save time, money and energy while providing an attractive and healthy habitat for wildlife and people. Readily available native wildflowers can add remarkable beauty to your environment, and since they are adapted to our climate and soils, they require little, if any, supplemental watering, fertilizing or care and are less susceptible to pests and disease. Native plants also attract a variety of native birds, butterflies, moths and bees essential for pollination. As an added bonus, native wildflowers are often less expensive to purchase, and you may even be able to get some varieties free by sharing with neighbors, botanical gardens, wildlife centers or extension services that are encouraging more native planting.

Choosing Native Flowers

There are many beautiful native flowers to choose from, but they won’t all thrive in every yard. When selecting, be certain to match the plant’s moisture requirements and exposure preferences to your site, taking into consideration growth patterns, available space and mature sizes. Also consider choosing flowers with different bloom times so your yard puts on a native show all season long, and tier different plant heights to create layers of natural color and beauty. Then plant, sit back, relax and enjoy!

Of the Variegated Variety: Variegated Shrubs for the Landscape

Variegated shrubs can brighten up a dull or shady border and add interest in the garden when flowers are scarce but more drama is desired. But which variegated shrubs are best for your landscape, without creating too much patterning or distractions?

How to Plant Variegated Shrubs

While a variegated shrub with its eye-catching foliage can be a lovely addition to the yard, too many of these unusual plants can overwhelm your landscape. Avoid planting variegated shrubs next to each other or too close together where different foliage patterns can clash. Instead, plant them among plain foliage plants where the leaf coloring will be highlighted and therefore better appreciated. At the same time, avoid creating distinct stripes, polka dots or other predictable patterns in the yard, and instead opt for more organic, flowing lines that will add elegance to the natural variegation of the foliage.

Top Variegated Shrubs

There are many beautiful variegated shrubs you can choose from, and it is best to investigate tried-and-true options at your local nursery or note what showy shrubs you like best at a local park or botanical garden. To get you started, consider these amazing and popular variations…

  • Carol Mackie Daphne (Daphne x burkwodii ‘Carol Mackie’) – Semi-evergreen. Yellow leaf margins that mature to creamy-white. Part shade.
  • Dappled Willow (Salix integra ‘Hakuro-nishiki’) – Deciduous. Emerging pink foliage matures to variegated creamy-white and green. Sun to part shade.
  • Emerald-N-Gold Euonymous (Euonymous fortune ‘Emerald n Gold’) – Evergreen. Rounded, olive-green leaves with bright yellow margins turn pinkish-burgundy in the winter. Sun to part shade.
  • Gold Dust Aucuba (Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’) – Evergreen. Large, glossy, green foliage splattered with yellow. Part shade.
  • Variegated Boxwood (Buxus semperivrens ‘Elegantissima’) – Evergreen. Small, medium-green leaves with creamy white to gold margins. Sun to part shade.
  • Variegated English Holly (Ilex aquifolium ‘Argenteo Mariginata’) – Evergreen. Dark, shiny green leaves with creamy-white margins. Sun to part shade.
  • Variegated Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Variegata’) – Deciduous. Large leaves with bright-white, uneven margins. Dappled sun with afternoon shade.
  • Variegated Japanese Kerria (Kerria japonica ‘Variegata’) – Deciduous. White-edged narrow green leaves. Part shade to shade.
  • Variegated Japanese Pieris (Pieris japonica ‘Variegata’) – Evergreen. Deep green leaves with a wide, white margin. Part shade.
  • Variegated Red Twig Dogwood (Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima’) – Deciduous. Leaves mottled and edged with white. Sun to part shade.
  • Variegated Wegelia (Wegelia florida ‘Variegata’) – Deciduous. Medium-green leaves broadly edged in creamy-white maturing to lime-green. Sun to part shade.
  • Variegated Yellow Twig Dogwood (Cornus sericea ‘Silver and Gold’) – Deciduous. Creamy-white wavy margins. Sun to part shade.
  • Variegated Winter Daphne (Daphne odora ‘Aureo-marginata’) – Semi-evergreen. Gold-edged green leaves. Part shade.

Whichever variegated shrub you prefer, be sure you choose a variety that will thrive in your yard. Pay close attention to soil quality, watering and sunlight needs, or else the foliage coloration may be far less brilliant than expected. Take steps to minimize pests or wildlife that may nibble on leaves, and carefully nurture the shrubs until they are well-established. By choosing a variegated shrub thoughtfully and providing it the proper care, you can easily add dramatic, multi-colored foliage to your landscape.

Perennial Flowering Vines

Vines are valuable and versatile plants that provide a remarkable vertical display while using minimal ground space. Offering an extensive mixture of decorative foliage, flowers, fruits and fragrance, vines are generally fast-growing, relatively pest-free and require minimal maintenance.

Why Choose Vines?

There are numerous uses for vines in the landscape. They can visually soften fences, walls and trellises or dress-up a lamp or mailbox post. They will provide summer shade when grown over an arbor, gazebo frame or pergola. Vines may be used to provide privacy by screening a patio or porch and can define any outdoor living space when used to create living outdoor walls or green barriers.

Three things should be considered when selecting a vine for your garden:

  1. Intended Use
    If you want a thick barrier or screening look, opt for vines that will provide dense foliage, but if you prefer a more delicate vine, choose plants with more space in their foliage. Check flowering options, growth speed and how much training the vine will need to reach its full potential. At the same time, consider how the foliage is shed in autumn and how much care the vine may need to stay in good condition.
  2. Planting Location
    Like any plant in your landscaping, vines will have specific needs for sunlight, soil condition and watering. Also consider the size of the space where your vine will live to be sure it won’t crowd out nearby plants or be stunted in a too-small space. Condition the soil appropriately to nourish your vine, and adjust a drip system or sprinklers to provide adequate water as needed.
  3. Vine Support
    Vines need adequate support to stay upright and sturdy. Because vines climb in several different ways, support is critical. Wires, spirals, trellises, fences or arbors should support vines that use tendrils or a twining stem. Other vines attach themselves with aerial rootlets. These vines grow best on brick or stone walls. Some vines have no natural method to attach to a vertical structure and will just sprawl if not manually assisted with garden wire or string to an appropriate support.

You will want your vine to thrive for many years to come, therefore you must select the right vine for your chosen location. Use the chart below to learn about some of the more common, landscape-friendly vines you can welcome into your yard.

Click the image above to view full size.

Summer Blooming Trees

When choosing flowering trees for the landscape, we often tend to make our selections from the long list of ostentatious spring blooming trees that are all so common and familiar in every yard. At the same time, we tend to overlook the more reserved, yet exceptionally elegant, summer blooming trees that can add so much drama and beauty to every space. Check out this selection and consider one or two to round out the seasons when considering your next landscape addition.

  • Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)
    Delicate crepe paper like flowers flourish in mid- to late summer in an assortment of colors like pink, fuchsia, coral, lavender, violet and red.
  • Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus)
    This small, multi-stemmed, native tree features fragrant, showy, fringe-like white flowers in early summer just as many spring bloomers are fading.
  • Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata)
    This medium tree is a showstopper with small, yellow flowers borne in large, upright panicles in July, just in time for summer parties.
  • Japanese Pagoda Tree (Sophora japonica)
    A medium-large tree with creamy-white, slightly fragrant flowers borne in hanging drapes 6-12” long, this beauty offers late summer elegance from August through early September.
  • Japanese Stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia)
    Pure white, camellia-like flowers with orange anthers bloom solitary in succession from June to August, giving plenty of drama and beauty through the season.
  • Japanese Tree Lilac (Syringa reticulate)
    This small tree offers fragrant, off-white, tiny flowers borne in showy, large, terminal panicles in early summer.
  • Korean Dogwood (Cornus kousa)
    Dramatic flowers with four large, showy, white bracts that age to a delicate pink sit atop tree foliage for up to six weeks in early summer.
  • Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboretum)
    Fragrant, lily-of-the-valley-like flowers drip from branch tips in summer with excellent scarlet fall color, making this tree both a summer and autumn favorite.
  • Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
    Flowers, borne singly, have large, 6-8 inches wide, pure white petals. These trees bloom sporadically through the summer months.
  • Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana)
    Fragrant, showy, white flowers appear throughout the summer, similar to but smaller than those of the Southern Magnolia.
  • Yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea)
    A native tree with fragrant, white flowers borne in summer on pendulous, wisteria-like panicles. This tree often flowers on alternate years but is stunning when it does.

Any of these beauties can be a dramatic and welcome addition to summer landscaping, reaching their peak just at the time when spring blooms are fading and autumn flowers and foliage are weeks away from brilliance.

Shade Gardening: A Natural Opportunity

Although developing a garden for a shady area may require a little extra planning, some more thought and a bit more effort than sunny spaces, there are many opportunities to grow remarkable, unusual plants in the shade garden. Shade-loving plants are often noted for their foliage and can be combined to produce appealing contrasts in form, texture and color. From the glossy, dark greens of camellias and rhododendrons to the soft, silvery lamiums and the bold-textured, brownish-purple leaves of bergenia, the diversity of foliage available is positively breathtaking!

Defining Shade

The term “shade” encompasses many light conditions. Shade can range from dense darkness to the light-dappled shade under a birch tree. Most plants require at least a few hours of direct light each day (light shade) to look their best, especially if they feature bright colors in foliage or blooms. Some plants, however, do best in an abundance of filtered light (medium shade), especially if the shade is provided in the afternoon to cut the strongest rays of the sun. In the meantime, a few plants can thrive in the darkness of a forest (dense shade), without ever being exposed to bright, direct sunlight.

Other factors you will need to consider when planting your shade garden are the amount of moisture your shady spot receives and the soil conditions. The soil under large trees is usually dry because of the “umbrella” affect created. Other locations may have soggy soil that will only allow bog-type plants to grow. The soil’s drainage, pH and texture will all have to be taken into account to create the best shade-loving garden.

Not sure where to start for finding plants for a shade garden? Top shade-loving perennials and their requirements include…

Perennials for Dry Shade:

  • Convallaria majalis (Lily of the Valley)**
  • Dicentra ‘Luxuriant’ (Bleeding Heart)*
  • Epimedium perralchicum, pinnatum, pubigerum (Bishop’s Hat)*
  • Geranium maculatum, endressii, nodosum (Cranesbill)*
  • Helleborus foetidus*
  • Lamium maculaturm (Deadnettle)*
  • Polygonatum multiflorum (Soloman’s Seal)*

Perennials for Cool, Moist Soils in Shade:

  • Adiantum pedatum (Maidenhair Fern)**
  • Athyrium nipponicum ‘Pictum’ (Japanese Painted Fern)**
  • Cyrtomium (Japanese Holly Fern)**
  • Dryopteris erythrosora (Autumn Fern)**
  • Dryopteris marginalis (Marginal Shield Fern)**
  • Epimedium grandiflorum, warleyense*
  • Helleborus viridus, orientalis (Lenten Rose)*
  • Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebell)**
  • Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas Fern)**
  • Polystichum setiferum ‘Divisilobum’ (Soft-Shield Fern)**
  • Tiarella cordifolia (Foam Flower)*
  • Tricyrtis formosana (Toad Lily)*
  • Trillium sessile, grandiflorum**
  • Trollius europaeus*

Perennial Groundcovers in Shade:

  • Acanthus mollis (Bear’s Breech)*
  • Aegopodium podagraria ‘Variegatum’ (Goutweed)*
  • Asarum europaeum (European Wild Ginger)*
  • Galium odoratum (Sweet Woodruff)*
  • Lamiastrum galeobdolon ‘Florentinum’ (Variegated Archangel)*
  • Lamium maculatum ‘Beacon Silver’ (Dead Nettle)*
  • Luzula sylvatica ‘Marginata’*
  • Tiarella cordifolia (Foam Flower)*
  • Vinca minor*
  • Waldsteinia ternata (Barren Strawberry)*

Climbers for Shady Walls & Fences:

  • Akebia quinata, trifoliata
  • Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’
  • Euonymus fortunei ‘Coloradus’
  • Hedera helix (English Ivy)
  • Humulus lupulus (Golden Hops)
  • Lonicera japonica ‘Halliana’ (Japanese Honeysuckle)
  • Parthenosis henryana, quinquefolia, tricuspidata

*Does best in light shade
**Does best in medium to dense shade

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The Enabled Gardener

As we age, many activities that have brought us joy are lost as physical limitations set in. Gardening does not have to be one of those lost hobbies. With a little planning, gardening can be made accessible for everyone. No matter what your needs or abilities, there are ways to modify your practices, situations and tools so that you can enjoy the therapeutic benefits of gardening.

  • Beat the Heat
    High temperatures can lead to fatigue, heat stroke and other dangerous conditions, so garden early in the morning or late in the day when temperatures are lower. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Wear lightweight, loose fitting clothes that cover exposed skin. Wear a hat, apply sunscreen, eat light meals and wear gloves.
  • Stay on the Level
    Getting down to the dirt can be difficult if you have joint or mobility problems. Use raised bed systems to reduce the need to bend or kneel. Knee pads are also a good idea, or you can use a lawn chair cushion to make kneeling more comfortable. Garden stools can provide an intermediate step between standard gardening and raised beds.
  • Get a Grip
    Adaptive tools like Radius tools offer better leverage and improved grips help make gardening easier. Look for ergonomic tool designs that can alleviate hand pain and help you leverage your motions more easily for more efficient gardening using less effort or strain.
  • Downsize
    If a large garden is outside your ability or endurance, there are still areas you can indulge your green thumb. Choose container gardening or window box projects for smaller areas that are easier to reach but can be just as productive and fun for creative gardening.
  • Go Vertical
    Don’t overlook the possibility of vertical gardening. Climbing plants reduce the need for bending and stooping and bring the plants into easy reach. Look for fences, walls and other areas you can use for vertical gardening, or create unique vertical container gardens to make the best use of climbing space.
  • Sow the Joy
    If you have trouble managing a garden on your own, sow seeds of gardening joy with others in your life and you’ll have plenty of able helpers. Invite neighbors, friends, children and grandchildren to help out in the garden, or offer to help start a joint garden at a senior center, community center, church or elementary school where many hands can make light work of garden chores.

Even if gardening gets more difficult as you age, you don’t have to give up your passion for playing in the dirt. Adjusting your gardening style is easy and you will continue to enjoy the beauty, bounty and relaxation that gardening brings.

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Gardener Preparing Raised Beds in Vegetable Garden With Rake

Tent Caterpillars

“Ugly” “disgusting” “gross” and “creepy” are just a few things gardeners say when they see tent caterpillars. Not only are they visually unattractive, but the hundreds of caterpillars within a tent can defoliate a shrub or tree in a matter of days. Fortunately, the attack is seldom fatal.

About Tent Caterpillars

The Eastern tent caterpillar, Malacosoma americanum, one of the 26 species of tent caterpillars or tent worms, emerges from its egg in early spring as the leaves of the host plant, generally a member of the Rosaceae family, begin to open. Along with other emerging caterpillars, it climbs up the plant and begins building a silken nest in branch forks to provide group protection from predators, maintain warmth and act as a staging site prior to leaving the tent. The worms quickly consume any leaves within the nest, forcing them to forage outside of the nest during the day. At night, they return to the protective nest to rest and stay warm. In fall, the individual caterpillars spin cocoons and two weeks later emerge as snout moths. As adults, they mate, lay eggs and die. Thus, the cycle starts again.

Eliminating Tent Caterpillars

These are four methods to deal effectively with tent caterpillars…

  1. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) effectively kills this pest when young. Following directions, directly spray onto surrounding leaves and onto the tent. The unsightly nest will remain, but the caterpillars will die. In time, the nest will decay and disappear, or it can be removed manually if desired.
  2. Releasing parasitic wasps and attracting birds to the landscape will also reduce the worm population. This provides a long-term solution and increases the natural biodiversity of the area. Wasps and birds will also help control many other unwanted insects in the region.
  3. Removing the tent removes the eyesore and the worms, if the tent isn’t too large. In the early morning or evening, when the worms have not yet left the tent or have already returned, thrust a stick into the middle of the web and twist until the tent is on the stake and off the tree, and then plunge it into soapy water to kill the worms. Or, remove it by pruning the branches and twigs going into and out of, the tent, but be sure to dispose of it properly so the caterpillars do not move on to another nearby location.
  4. In the fall, after deciduous leaves have fallen, remove any egg masses. Look for them on or near any trees previously infested. They’re usually 6-18″ from the tips of branches.

Our friendly staff is here to answer your questions about these and other pests. We have a wide variety of safe and effective methods to keep your garden beautiful, and are always willing to help you find a solution that meets your needs and preferences.

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Shrubs for Summer Color

Many gardeners assume that the brightest flowers are only seen in spring, but there are many stunning shrubs that have great color all through the summer. Some feature outstanding blooms while others have equally showy foliage and can brighten up any yard. But which will look best in your yard?

Top Summer Color Shrubs

There are a number of tried-and-true summer-flowering shrubs that never fail to be impressive. Consider these favorites to enhance your landscape all summer long.

  • Hydrangea
    This very popular mounding shrub is an old-fashioned favorite, but it doesn’t have to be just your grandmother’s shrub – there are hydrangeas for every situation and taste. Flowers appear in early summer and can last for several weeks. Choose from pink, blue (use an acidic fertilizer to maintain this unusual color) or white blooms. Large flower heads great for drying or make outstanding arrangements and bouquets when cut. These shrubs do best in light shade or sun. One of the easiest hydrangeas to grow is the native American oak-leafed hydrangea has lobed leaves with fragrant, conical-shaped flower heads.
  • Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)
    This dramatic shrub is truly a butterfly magnet, and hummingbirds love it as well. One of the most fragrant flowering shrubs, butterfly bush blooms from early summer to autumn frost, and different varieties can thrive in a wide range of growing zones. The flowers can be pink, purple, blue, yellow or white, and often feature elegant spiked panicles, arching branches and interesting foliage. These shrubs do best in full sun and come in different sizes to suit different landscaping areas.
  • Spirea
    A generally low-maintenance choice, this shrub features golden yellow to lime-colored foliage all summer with pink or lavender blooms in late spring through summer. Goldmound, Gold Flame and Anthony Waterer are all great cultivars and easy care shrubs growing to about 2-4’ by 3-5’. This truly is the perfect shrub to use anywhere in the landscape, and it can tolerate sun to part shade growing conditions.
  • Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus)
    This is one of the showiest plants of the summer, and Rose of Sharon is also one of the easiest to grow. Dense growing and upright when young these shrubs will spread with age, so take care to plant them in appropriate spaces to avoid overcrowding. The dark green foliage contrasts nicely with large, showy flowers that can be up to 4” across. Flowers open in July and will continue blooming through late summer and into fall. Flowers are sterile, eliminating seed problems. This shrub is ideal to plant as a screen, hedge or focal point in full sun.
  • Blue Mist Spirea (Caryopteris)
    This shrub is a great plant for late summer color with bursts of purple-blue flowers just when many other plants are growing dull. Its low-growing, mounding habit reaches 2-3’ wide by 2-3’ tall. Blue Mist Spirea is easy to grow and can tolerate some neglect. It should be planted in full sun, and will bloom from summer to fall.

With any of these shrubs in your yard, your summer landscape can be just as colorful and eye-catching as any spring flowers or autumn foliage.

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