Looking for a few good shrubs

>> Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I still have some extra space to fill. Conventional wisdom says you should start any landscape with a good solid foundation, in the case of gardening that foundation is trees and shrubs. I have never found convention to pave the ‘sunniest’ path to happiness for me. Aside from the occasional vine, rose bush and raspberry cane, I have not broken through the three foot height barrier that most perennials live in. Now, I find it is time to reach a little higher into the stratosphere with shrubs. I have fruit trees that should satisfy my need for height, but somehow, the fact that they were a part of this landscape before I was does nothing to fulfill my need to grow a tree and a shrub.

I really should use drought tolerance as a major decision factor since we are undoubtedly heading for a warmer drier climate. That being said, I still want lush growth, fruit for the birds and/or flowers that attracts butterflies, hummers and bees and needs to have at least three seasons of color. Is that asking for too much?

The list of drought tolerant shrubs is fairly short and is usually lacking in at least two of what I consider desirable.

The only shrubs that come close are Butterfly Bush, Red-Osier Dogwood, Viburnum, Purple Beautyberry.

Butterfly Bush-I already have one, and I’m still waiting for the butterflies to come flocking to it. This one is Black Knight.

Red-Osier Dogwood, aka Red twig dogwood- a Utah native, very drought tolerant. The dark red branches make a nice winter accent. There are several varieties of dogwood available that will grow anywhere from 2 to 12 feet high. Beautiful in winter.

Viburnum Aurora-aka Korean Spice, 4 to 6 feet tall and wide, water need is listed as medium, whatever that means. blooms March-April, not much said about winter interest. Attracts birds and butterflies and is fragrant.

Viburnum Red Wing-aka Highbush Cranberry, 8’-10’ tall and wide, good fruiting and flowering

Purple Beautyberry-attracts bees, butterflies, birds, blooms mid0summer, 4’ to 6’ tall and wide, berries in fall, yellow or purplish autumn color.

All of these shrubs have lush growth and attracts wildlife. As far three seasons of color, well, I guess that is asking for too much. These five shrubs are all very nice looking shrubs for my zone 5 conditions and overall I’m pretty pleased with these.


Corner Gardener Sue September 29, 2011 at 2:41 PM  

I found this post looking to see how big beautyberry bushes get. I was going to move one of my 3 year old bushes to put something taller in the spot, but if they get that big, I'll just leave it there. I'm in zone 5, too, so I was glad to see yours, as most of the ones I was coming across were in warmer places.

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