Flowering shrubs can enhance your landscape by adding seasonal blooms. In some cases, they can provide colourful foliage during the growing season and also the changing autumn colours before the leaves drop. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes and have many benefits. Large flowering shrubs can help screen an undesirable view, provide privacy or become the middle ground in blending the space between tall trees and low growing plants. Some shrubs may be scented or attract wildlife with their flowers, berries or seeds.
The following are some of our favourites.
some newer cultivars to try
- A panicle flowering hydrangea that blooms continuously from July to September
- Grows 6-7’ tall and 5’ wide
- Dense, cone-shaped flowers begin white and as the blooms mature, they turn varying shades of pink ending in a deep strawberry-red colour, often with all the colour stages on at the same time
- Does best in full sun
- Plant in rich, well-drained soil
- Make sure that plants receive adequate water.
- Was introduced in 2010 and named top plant by American Nursery and Landscape Association
BoBo Hydrangea – Proven Winners™
- A dwarf hydrangea that grows 30-36” tall and 3-4’ wide.
- Forms a mounding habit.
- Has an abundance of white cone-shaped flowers that are held on strong upright stems
- Blooms continuously from July til frost
- Flowers turn pinkish in fall
- Prune in late winter or early spring
Tuff Stuff Hydrangea – Proven Winners™
- Grows 2-3’ high and 3’ wide
- Pink lace-cap flowers bloom continuously or re-bloom
- Flowers on new and old wood
- If needed, prune immediately after spring blooming
- Flowers may be affected by soil pH
- Apply aluminum sulphate to turn them blue
Tiny Tuff Stuff Hydrangea – Proven Winners™
- Similar to the above, but shorter
- Has a mounding habit and grows 18-24” high and wide.
Cultural needs of Hydrangeas
All hydrangeas have similar needs. They require full sun to part sun for best flowering and moist, but well-drained soil. They will not tolerate soggy soil. Hydrangeas have shallow roots and will take plenty of water until they become established. Apply 2″ of shredded bark mulch to help their roots stay moist longer.
Hydrangeas do not always need to be pruned. You can remove any spent flowers and dead wood each early spring. Avoid pruning re-blooming hydrangeas and those that bloom on old wood. Choose your varieties carefully to suit the space. They can grow anywhere from 2′ – 10′ and are available in many colours.
Cultural needs of Ninebarks
Ninebarks prefer full sun to part sun and are drought tolerant once established. Provide adequate water in the first year.
Coppertina Ninebark – Proven Winners™
- Grows 6-8’ tall and wide
- Has striking coppery-orange foliage
- Blooms in early summer on old wood
- Soft pink, button-like flowers grow along gently arching branches
- If needed, prune immediately after flowering
- Attractive reddish seedheads in September to October if you don’t prune
- Best in open areas with good air circulation
Summer Wine Ninebark – Proven Winners™
- Grows 5-6’ tall and wide
- Has compact branching and fine, deeply cut dark crimson-red leaves
- Pinkish-white, button-like flower heads in mid-summer
- Mildew resistant
- Extremely hardy
Little Devil Ninebark – First Editions™
- Grows 3-4’ tall and wide
- Upright, rounded habit
- Compact plant with deep burgundy foliage
- Has button-like whitish-pink flower heads in June
- Free from pests and diseases
Brandywine Viburnum – Proven Winners™
- Grows 5-6’ tall and wide and has a rounded, upright spreading habit
- Showy, white, flat-topped flower heads in April-May are fragrant
- Glossy, dark green leaves turn maroon-red in fall
- Clusters of berries ripen in fall to vibrant pink and blue and remain on the plant over winter
- Will attract birds and butterflies to your garden
- Tolerant to a wide range of soils
- Likes full sun to part shade
Blue Muffin Arrowwood Viburnum – Proven Winners
- Blue Muffin is more compact than other Arrowwoods
- Grows 5-7’ tall and wide
- Easy to grow
- Has creamy-white, flat-topped flower heads in the summer
- Clusters of tiny, dark blue berries follow
- Attracts songbirds to the garden
- Fruit is edible to the birds
- Glossy green leaves turn shades of orange to burgundy-purple
- Grows in full sun to part shade
- Prefers a moist, well-drained soil, but tolerates a wide range of soils
- Prune immediately after flowering, if needed