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Shrubs 73 Stories

Trends in plants come and go, but if there's one that seems to have settled into the modern gardening mainstream, it's shrubs with purple foliage. I, for one, am glad. There was a time when (gasp!) I wasn't wild about plants with colorful foliage, but purple plants were my gateway, and for that, they continue to be some...
Great Design Plant: Staphylea Trifolia Shines in the Shade
The delicate branches of American bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia) are covered with clusters of nodding white flowers in spring. This underutilized, shade-tolerant, native shrub (small tree) is ideal...
These Aren’t Your Grandparents’ Junipers
Let’s take a journey back to our favorite childhood memories. For many of us, those memories include playing hide-and-seek or kick the can with the neighborhood kids on sultry summer or crisp autumn nights. Inevitably we hid beneath trees and shrubs,...
Great Design Plant: Chionanthus Virginicus
White fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus) is a large shrub or small tree with a native range across the southeastern United States, but it can tolerate temperatures in colder zones. Fringe-like flowers cover the tree for two weeks in late spring,...
Great Design Plant: Rhododendron Canescens
The Southern garden wouldn’t be complete without azaleas. Every spring they make a big statement in every color you can imagine. The Piedmont azalea (Rhododendron canescens) is a native woodland shrub with a pale pink color that will offset the...
Great Design Plant: Nourish Wildlife With American Beautyberry
The American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) is a large Southeast native shrub that not only looks its best in fall, but also offers habitat and food to native birds. Its bright purple berries bring unique seasonal color and provide...
Great Design Plant: Violet Silverleaf Thrives on Scant Water
The gray foliage of violet silverleaf provides a perfect color contrast to green shrubs seen throughout the Southwestern landscape. This drought-tolerant shrub is transformed with the appearance of violet flowers sporadically throughout the summer and...
Great Design Plant: Arctostaphylos Glauca Nourishes and Delights
As with many manzanitas, big berry (Arctostaphylos glauca) has an architectural structure with dark red seasonally peeling bark and sinuous branches that add a sculptural sensibility to a rugged or natural garden. Its extra-large...
Great Design Plant: Snowberry Pleases Year-Round
Wander along nearly any stretch of Pacific Northwest roadside or through a forest clearing, and you will soon encounter vast thickets of snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus). Most commonly seen in roadside ditches in farming areas, growing with steeplebush...
Great Design Plant: Parry Manzanita Stands Out in Low-Water Gardens
The magnificent stature, sculptural branching and sensual, deep cinnamon bark of Parry manzanita (Arctostaphylos manzanita) make a bold architectural statement. The smooth, dark red bark and sinuous branching are...
Great Design Plant: Little-Leaf Cordia Handles Desert Extremes
Little-leaf cordia (Cordia parvifolia) is the perfect addition to the desert landscape, where it adds beauty with its distinctive white flowers while also handling hot, reflected sun and temperatures into the teens. This large desert native...
Great Design Plant: Evergreen Huckleberry Appeals All Year
Evergreen huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum) is surely one of the most versatile, attractive and wildlife friendly of all the Pacific Northwest natives. Factor in the delicious berries that are adored by wildlife and humans alike, and you have a plant...
How to Avoid Overcrowded, Overpruned Shrubs
Have you driven by a landscape with flowering shrubs, crowded so closely that they have had to be pruned into round, square or even cupcake shapes? It makes you wonder if it was how the landscape was intended to look. Unfortunately, there are far too...
Great Design Plant: Texas Ranger Explodes With Color
Residents in the Southwest who are fortunate enough to have Texas ranger (Leucophyllum frutescens) growing in their gardens are familiar with the eager anticipation of the year’s first flush of purple that covers this attractive yet tough...
Great Design Plant: Northern Bush Honeysuckle, a Bronze Beauty
What first attracted me to this gently mounding shrub at the nursery was the distinctive bronze foliage that glowed in the sun. The fragrant tubular yellow blooms came as an unexpected bonus, as did the discovery that deer do minimal damage to it —...
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