By Nancy Brachey
(MCT)—Making spring colorful with flowering shrubs is so easy. Just look around. Summer is different. We’ve kept it largely green with the pink and red of Knock Out roses and the soothing blues of hydrangeas to liven up the scene. But you can have more color — and a different look. Here are five flowering shrubs you can plant right now that grow well in the Piedmont and bloom in summer.
The multicolored flowers change in color as they mature from pale yellow to orange to pink to deep pink. The five petals on each bloom open in a fashion that reminds people of colorful butterflies. This is a low-maintenance, long-blooming rose that works well as a tall hedge or against a tall wall. It grows at least 3 feet tall and can reach 6 feet, with a width of 2 to 5 feet. Grow and train it as a large shrub or a tall climber. Given full sun, the bloom show continues into autumn. It is easier to manage than the popular (and enormous) Lady Banks rose, a nice alternative in the landscape to the Knock Outs and very interesting to watch as the flowers change color and become more vivid.
New varieties have expanded the palette into vivid purples and reds and pretty pinks and blues. This deciduous shrub—yes, butterflies love it—loses its leaves in the winter. But correct pruning in late winter produces a shrub filled with new growth that bears flowers in summer. Some are as short as 4 to 5 feet; others soar to 10 or higher. Size will govern placement near the front of a shrub bed or as an anchor in the back. They look best in a bed, mixed with other shrubs that offer color at other times of the year.
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