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Shrubs that Provide Color, Interest & Dependability
Arricca Elin SanSone | June 13, 2014

Hydrangea-LADreamin-1-BallOrnamentalsShrubs are enjoying a resurgence in the world of landscape design. With a myriad of new colors, shapes and sizes, there’s a shrub for every garden setting. “Shrubs are versatile,” says John McDonough, supply manager with Ball Ornamentals. “They’re the bones of good design because they provide structure and fill in the mid-range between annuals and perennials. Plus, they’re relatively inexpensive over the long run.”

With the introduction of numerous compact varieties, these plants require less space to fit into today’s smaller home sites. Many are also fuss-free, requiring minimal, if any, shearing to maintain their shapes. In many settings, shrubs are being planted to replace turf and reduce chemical and irrigation costs. Best of all, new hybrids of old favorites have been introduced with improved hardiness.

If you’re installing the same shrubs on every site, check out these new varieties to add beauty and reliability to both commercial and residential landscapes.

Flowering Shrubs

L.A. Dreamin’ Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Lindsey Anne’), Photo: Ball Ornamentals

L.A. Dreamin’ Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Lindsey Anne’), Photo: Ball Ornamentals

L.A. Dreamin’ Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Lindsey Anne’)

Reblooming variety boasts blue, pink and variations of every shade in between on one plant without special soil amendments or fertilizers. Grows 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide.

*Hardy to USDA Zone 5

*Part sun

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Magical Robin Weigela (Weigela hybrid, Magical series) <em>Photo: Ball Ornamentals</em>

Magical Robin Weigela (Weigela hybrid, Magical series) Photo: Ball Ornamentals

Magical Robin Weigela (Weigela hybrid, Magical series)

Intense red blooms pop against bright green foliage. Best bloom in spring, followed by some flowering throughout the season. Dense, tidy plant needs no pruning. Other colors in the series include bright pink or white. Grows 2 1/2 feet tall and wide.

*Hardy to USDA Zone 5

*Sun

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Oso Happy Smoothie Landscape Rose (Rosa ‘ZLECharlie’) <em>Photo: Proven Winners<em>

Oso Happy Smoothie Landscape Rose (Rosa ‘ZLECharlie’) Photo: Proven Winners

Oso Happy Smoothie Landscape Rose (Rosa ‘ZLECharlie’)

Thornless, super cold hardy and long blooming from June to frost. Resists black spot well; doesn’t need spraying. Works well in mixed borders. Grows 3 to 4 feet tall and wide.

*Hardy to USDA Zone 4

*Full sun

 

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Tiny Wine Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘SMPOTW’) <em>Photo: Proven Winners<em>

Tiny Wine Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘SMPOTW’) Photo: Proven Winners

Tiny Wine Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘SMPOTW’)

Small but mighty, this dwarf variety has dark bronze foliage all season long. White flowers in spring. Native planting that adapts to most soils. Use in mixed borders, hedges or containers. Grows 3 to 4 feet tall and wide.

*Hardy to USDA Zone 3

*Full sun

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Crème Fraiche Deutzia (Deutzia gracilis ‘Mincream’)<em>Photo: Proven Winners<em>

Crème Fraiche Deutzia (Deutzia gracilis ‘Mincream’) Photo: Proven Winners

Crème Fraiche Deutzia (Deutzia gracilis ‘Mincream’)

Pretty variegated foliage looks attractive when planted en masse or with yellow annuals. Deer resistant. Grows 1 to 2 feet tall and wide.

*Hardy to USDA Zone 5

*Full sun

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Blueberry Glaze Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium x myrsinites x corymbosum hybrid, Blueberry Glaze)<em>Photo: Fall Creek Farm and Nursery<em>

Blueberry Glaze Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium x myrsinites x corymbosum hybrid, Blueberry Glaze) Photo: Fall Creek Farm and Nursery

Blueberry Glaze Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium x myrsinites x corymbosum hybrid, Blueberry Glaze)

Attractive and practical, this plant looks like a boxwood with glossy dark green foliage, but yields clusters of inky black edible berries in mid-summer. Works as an accent, hedge (can be sheared like a boxwood) or in containers. Grows 2 to 3 feet tall and wide.

*Hardy to USDA zone 5

*Full sun

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Colorful Foliage

Glow Girl Spirea (Spirea betulifolia ‘Tor Gold’)<em>Photo: Proven Winners<em>

Glow Girl Spirea (Spirea betulifolia ‘Tor Gold’) Photo: Proven Winners

Glow Girl Spirea (Spirea betulifolia ‘Tor Gold’)
Lemon-lime foliage that holds its color through three seasons and resists summer burn. Cold hardy. Attracts hummingbirds. Use as foundation planting or in mixed borders. Grows 3 to 4 feet tall and wide.

*Hardy to USDA Zone 3

*Sun to part shade

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Sunjoy Tangelo Barberry (Berberis thunbergii 'O'Byrne')<em>Photo: Proven Winners<em>

Sunjoy Tangelo Barberry (Berberis thunbergii ‘O’Byrne’) Photo: Proven Winners

Sunjoy Tangelo Barberry (Berberis thunbergii ‘O’Byrne’)

Bright orange foliage often accented by a chartreuse margin. Provides color from spring to fall. Deer resistant. Works well as foundation planting or in mixed borders. Other colors in the new Sunjoy series include gold, red and nearly black. Grows 3 to 4 feet tall and wide.

*Hardy to USDA Zone 4

*Full sun

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Lemon Candy Physocarpus (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Podaras 3’)<em>Photo: Ball Ornamentals<em>

Lemon Candy Physocarpus (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Podaras 3’) Photo: Ball Ornamentals

Lemon Candy Physocarpus (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Podaras 3’)

Fluorescent gold from spring until summer. Cold-hardy native can tolerate many types of soils. Deer resistant and drought tolerant. Plant in sun for best color. Grows 3 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide.

*Hardy to USDA Zone 3

*Sun

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Distinctive Appearance

Cousin Itt Acacia (Acacia cognata ‘Mini Cog’) <em>Photo: Ball Ornamentals<em>

Cousin Itt Acacia (Acacia cognata ‘Mini Cog’) Photo: Ball Ornamentals

Cousin Itt Acacia (Acacia cognata ‘Mini Cog’)

Unique feathery texture with soft, dangling foliage. Thornless and drought tolerant. Provides a beautiful accent in the landscape or in a container. Grows 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide.

*Hardy to USDA Zone 9

*Sun

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Black Tower Sambucus (Sambucus nigra) <em>Photo: Ball Ornamentals<em>

Black Tower Sambucus (Sambucus nigra) Photo: Ball Ornamentals

Black Tower Sambucus (Sambucus nigra)

Upright burgundy-black plant holds its color well in heat. Striking accent plant. Narrow habit is good for smaller areas. Grows 6 to 8 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide.

*Hardy to USDA Zone 4

*Sun to part sun

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Sugar Shack Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis ‘SMCOSS’) <em>photo: Proven Winners<em>

Sugar Shack Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis ‘SMCOSS’) photo: Proven Winners

Sugar Shack Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis ‘SMCOSS’)

Native plant that’s been bred to a manageable size for the landscape. Glossy foliage and eye-catching white pincushion flowers with red fruit in fall. Does well in wet conditions. Grows 3 to 4 feet tall and wide.

*Hardy to USDA Zone 4

*Sun to part shade

 

 

 

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