Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Summer Flowering Shrubs, Part 3 of 4

Typically flowering shrubs have one burst of bloom then recede into background the rest of the year. But Crabapple LandscapExperts know it is more desirable when they contribute to the garden giving three or four seasons of interest, and this is the goal of new plant breeding and the new plants on the market. 

For example, there are now twice-blooming Azaleas, Lilacs and Gardenias among other summer-blooming plants. Fragrance adds an indispensable bonus to the garden as it wafts through the air. Interest is sustained by shrubs with broad leaf evergreen foliage, as well as variegated foliage that brings a bright spot of color to an otherwise green pallette. Brilliant fall color and/or long-lasting  berries contribute to the garden design in the third season of the year, while in winter, textured or colored bark and the sculptural qualities of plant form lend a subtle interest. These contributions are all part of selection of the best plants for the landscape. 

Fave Summer-Flowering Shrubs are welcome! 

Among summer flowering shrubs, there are several favorites. The blue Hydrangea is one of these, in either its "mophead" or "lacecap" forms.Blue Hydrangeas are the emblem of metro-Atlanta summers. They do well in the shady neighborhoods and bloom blue on our acidic soils, requiring a moist soil for peak performance 

Oakleaf Hydrangea is a larger, native shrub, and the big white trusses last for weeks before eventually turning pink and then tan. If not cut, they last throughout winter and the leaves turn wine and red in the fall. 

Gardenia - Penetratingly fragrant, the waxy white flowers are beautifully contrasted by the dark, evergreen foliage. New Gardenias bloom throughout the summer, finishing up in fall with a second flush of blooms. Plant in ground or in containers, but in either case, enjoy fragrant Gardenias near the patio, picnic table or outdoor living area.

Lavender is a sub-shrub with aromatic "evergray" foliage. It is best positioned near a walkway so the clean, sweet fragrance is released when it is brushed by ankles or gate. Lavender is a good choice for sunny, well-drained locations, and thrives with a little lime added to Georgia soils. 

We can't overlook Landscape Roses that bloom non-stop for months, from April until frost in metro-Atlanta. There are the full-sized Knock-Outs and the low spreading Carpet or Drift roses, and a host of intermediate-sized shrub roses. These are bred for resistance to disease and long bloom season, and are really tough and easy to grow. Many colors are available; plant in full sun and water during establishment, then jump back as they shower you with a profusion of bright flowers .

So ask your Crabapple Rep about adding some summer-blooming shrubs to the landscape. 

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