Variety Central: Architecturally Aesthetic
Trees and shrubs add a structural element to the garden. Check out these newest varieties.
October 1, 2008
‘Raspberry Profusion’ abelia from Ball Ornamentals grows into a dense, compact shrub when it is established in the landscape. During the summer, the glossy foliage is medium to dark green. Fragrant, raspberry-pink bloom clusters start to appear in mid-spring and practically cover the plant by mid-summer. ‘Raspberry Profusion’ is deciduous in the winter months.
‘Kaleidoscope’ abelia from Garden Splendor features fall foliage in a combination of golden yellows, bright oranges and fiery reds. Light pink buds open to small, white tubular flowers, which persist in spring. Reaching a mature height and width of 2 feet by 3 feet, ‘Kaleidoscope’ offers year-round color, making it a great accent for beds, mass plantings or containers. Hardy to Zones 6 to 9.
Acer palmatum ‘Shirazz’ from Novalis is a recent introduction from New Zealand. Unique in its leaf color, ‘Shirazz’ is a complex blend of pinks, greens and creamy white with new growth emerging in striking, crimson-pink, with autumn tones of scarlet. A vigorous, upright grower at first, branches become gracefully arching. Reaching maturity at 15 to 18 feet tall by 15 feet wide and hardy to Zones 5 to 8, ‘Shirazz’ is available in limited supply for the first year only through independent garden centers.
Berberis thunbergii ‘Moretti Select’ is Cabernet Barberry in the First Editions line from Bailey Nurseries. Its bright crimson new growth is followed by deep burgundy red to purple foliage. Rich color stands out all season and is the perfect foil for plants with golden leaves. Autumn adds another dimension to the border with orange and scarlet tones, along with shiny red berries that are attractive to birds.
Berberis thunbergii ‘Sunjoy Gold Pillar’ is a barberry selection in the Proven Winners Color Choice line from Spring Meadow Nursery. The first upright, golden barberry with red new growth, this variety is burn resistant and reaches a mature height of 3 to 4 feet with a moderate growth habit. ‘Sunjoy Gold Pillar’ offers excellent garden architecture to bring a vertical element to the landscape. It thrives in full sun and is tolerant of most soil conditions.
‘Blue Chip’ buddleia is a Proven Winners Color Choice shrub from Spring Meadow Nursery. The only blue flowering dwarf buddleia on the market, ‘Blue Chip’ is ideal for smaller landscapes and container gardens. Its fragrant flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds. A fast grower, ‘Blue Chip’ will reach 3 to 4 feet tall by 3 feet wide at maturity.
‘Vintage Gold’ Japanese False Cypress from Garden Splendor offers attractive, bright yellow, fernlike foliage that covers like a golden mound in all seasons. Reaching a mature size of 3 feet tall by 2 feet wide, ‘Vintage Gold’ thrives in sun to partial shade and makes a perfect accent plant for mixed borders and foundation plantings. It provides a wonderful garden presence, offering new dimension and texture to the landscape.
‘Empress of China’ dogwood from Novalis is not only evergreen but also exceptionally garden worthy. In early summer, thousands of blooms envelop the mature plant, blooming for 6 to 7 weeks. The 1 1⁄2-inch flowers are four-petaled with a tiny green center. They open a pleasing lime-green, maturing to white as the season progresses. In late summer, flowers are replaced with strawberry-like fruits, providing interest through fall. This vigorous specimen reaches a mature size of up to 25 feet tall and 20 feet wide and is hardy to Zones 6 to 9.
Sugar Tip hibiscus, a selection in the Proven Winners Color Choice line from Spring Meadow Nursery, is the only variegated hibiscus (Rose of Sharon) that blooms with clear, double pink flowers in late summer. A moderate grower, Sugar Tip can reach a mature height of 8 to 12 feet and is beautiful for use in containers, as a privacy screen or as a specimen. It thrives in full sun and is tolerant of most soils.
Let’s Dance Starlight Hydrangea macrophylla, a Proven Winners Color Choice shrub from Spring Meadow Nursery, is the first-ever new wood blooming lacecap variety. Its massive blooms sit atop strong stems and provide color all season long. A fast grower, this variety reaches 2 to 3 feet tall at maturity and thrives in full sun to partial shade. Flower color is dependent on pH.
‘Snow White Sensation’ mock orange from Novalis is a repeat flowering new hybrid boasting 2-inch double flowers born in clusters that bloom abundantly in spring and again in summer. Philadelphus is an old-fashioned favorite deciduous shrub with a graceful, fountain-like habit and snow-white blooms of the sweetest citrus fragrance. A versatile shrub with a wide growing range, ‘Snow White Sensation’ offers attractive foliage on gracefully arching branches, guaranteeing easy placement in the garden with other flowering shrubs. Reaching 5 to 6 feet tall, it is hardy to Zones 5 to 8.
Fireball Red photinia from Ball Ornamentals is a completely new Red Tip that has been bred and selected for its bright red new growth. Fireball Red grows into an upright shrub, approximately 3 to 4 feet tall and 4 to 5 feet wide. This variety is perfect for colorful, low-growing foundation plantings, municipal plantings and general garden use. Hardy to Zones 7 and warmer.
‘Oriental Pearl’ is a compact, low-growing, evergreen shrub that features clear, white flowers in the spring with attractive, dark green foliage. This Indian hawthorne from Ball Ornamentals performs well in a container with little pruning. The easy-to-grow plant has a dense, mounded habit that reaches 2 feet tall and 21⁄2 feet wide at maturity. Hardy to Zones 8 to 9.
All the Rage, Easy Elegance from Bailey Nurseries boasts coral buds that swirl open to apricot-colored blossoms with yellow centers, aging to deep pink. Plants bloom steadily all season long atop clean, disease-resistant foliage.
Super Hero, Easy Elegance from Bailey Nurseries features clusters of gorgeous blooms all season long. Red blossoms stand out strongly against dark green, satiny foliage. This compact, disease-resistant shrub rose works well in the border or as a foundation plant.
Salix integra ‘Flamingo’ from Garden Splendor offers a spectacular show of colors including white, green and deep pink during the growing season. Ideal for landscape beds or as an accent plant, this dappled willow reaches 2 feet tall by 2 feet wide at maturity and thrives in sun to partial shade.
Spiraea x vanhoutii ‘Levgold’ is Firegold in the First Editions line from Bailey Nurseries. Firegold stands out because of its brilliant lemon-lime foliage. New growth is soft yellow changing to lemon, and finally to lime green. White flowers, typical of the species, appear in spring along gracefully arching branches. The color is stable and at its most brilliant in full sun. Yellow-orange fall color extends the season of interest.
A blooming machine, ‘Shining Sensation’ weigela from Novalis has pink, funnel-shaped flowers that engulf the plant in May and June and then sporadically bloom through summer. Shiny, burgundy foliage appears as though it has been polished. Long, arching stems provide a handsome architectural element to the mixed border. A fast-growing shrub with a gracefully arching habit, it stands up to summer heat and offers season- long color. ‘Shining Sensation’ attracts hummingbirds, reaches 5 to 6 feet tall and is hardy to Zones 5 to 8.
Ghost weigela, a Proven Winners Color Choice selection from Spring Meadow Nursery, bears deep, red flowers in spring and has leaves that magically turn to a ghostly, iridescent buttercream as summer progresses. A moderate grower, Ghost reaches 4 to 5 feet tall at maturity and works well as a replacement for older, weaker cultivars.