By Russell M. Gullo
Flowering shrubs are the foundation of any landscape. Not only do they provide beauty
and curb appeal to your home, they attract pollinators, fill your yard with wonderful
scents, and provide eye-popping contrast, that when used correctly, is truly stunning.
When people think of flowers, their mind often pictures annuals. These 10 shrubs will
provide years of interest and value, however, and are all improved varietals custom-
tailored for maximum performance. Even more, using a mixed selection of these shrubs
will provide season-long color for maximum enjoyment.
Say hello to the most colorful spirea out there! This new shrub from the #1 plant brand
Proven Winners provides season-long interest, starting with vibrant candy apple red foliage
in spring. As it matures, its color changes to pineapple yellow, with new growth throughout
the season emerging bright orange. This creates a dazzling contrast that is sure to be a
highlight of any landscaping it is planted in. That’s not all though. Purple flowers provide
the icing on the cake, emerging in late spring/early summer. This plant is a particular
favorite of Gullo’s Professional Landscaping and can be seen in many of our award-winning
The newest hydrangea in the famous Endless Summer series, Summer Crush™ is sure to
delight. Massive, florist quality raspberry blooms grace this plant from summer to fall
You don’t have to worry about it getting too big or floppy either. This is a dwarf
hydrangea that only reaches 18”-36” in height and spread, the perfect size for a nice,
neat, and colorful display. Summer Crush™ hydrangea is perfect for adding color to
outdoor living spaces as well. Simply plant in a pot and enjoy!
Proven Winners has solved the age-old problem with lilacs. While they are beautiful
and incredibly fragrant in spring (anyone who has been to the Lilac Festival in
Rochester can attest), their bloom period is very short. The Bloomerang® Lilac series
solves this problem. They will still bloom as a regular lilac would in early spring,
but after a short period of time to rest, re-bloom in mid-summer to fall! Bloomerang®
lilacs also are a bit smaller than most lilacs and have a nice rounded shape. Disease
and deer resistant, these wonderful plants are also known to attract butterflies. Be
sure to check out the dark purple version of this plant as well – BLOOMERANGE®
DARK PURPLE REBLOOMING LILAC
When these arrived at the garden center this spring, I knew I had to write about them.
An improved ninebark from First Editions, they are compact, tightly sheared, and a
gorgeous wine red color. That alone would be enough for me to plant them in my
landscaping, but once summer arrives, it becomes loaded with clusters of small
purplish-white flowers. Reaching only 3’-4’ in height and width, these Little Devil™ can
be used in spaces that other varieties of ninebark will outgrow. Additionally, Little
Devil™ is resistant to mildew, making it the perfect ninebark.
The hydrangea that started the hydrangea revolution! Endless Summer® was the first
hydrangea discovered to bloom both on the new season’s growth as well as the previous
year’s woody stems. It is the hydrangea by which all other hydrangeas are judged against.
Featuring incredible, large blue flowers from late spring to fall, its color can even be
changed to pink by manipulating your soil’s pH level. Be sure to check out the entire line
of Endless Summer varieties as well – BLUSHING BRIDE, TWIST-N-SHOUT®, and BLOOMSTRUCK®.
We are often asked if we carry native plants in the garden center. Yes we carry many, and
this clethra is one of them! This tight, dense shrub with glossy green foliage explodes in
summer with long, fragrant white flowers that attracts butterflies. Because it maintains it
shape with little pruning, this is an excellent choice for low-maintenance gardening.
Sugartina® Crystalina can even be used in border or woodland gardens.
This vastly improved family of roses comes in many colors, from a classic red to white
to coral, and bloom from spring to fall. Unlike most rose bushes, which are susceptible
to black spot, Knockout® is the most disease resistant rose bush on the market. Don’t
worry about deadheading these either; they are self-cleaning. A rose bush is perhaps the
most classic example of a flowering shrub, and Knockout is an exquisite example.
Another awesome selection from Proven Winners, this weigela is a miniature version of the
famous WINE & ROSES® WEIGELA. Growing only 24”-36” in height and width, it won’t outgrow
your garden and features fabulous deep purple foliage and bright pink flowers. Worried
about deer feeding on you shrubs? Spilled Wine® is deer-resistant.
Are you looking to add late-season color to your garden? So many plants flower in spring, and
it can be a challenge to maintain color and interest throughout the season. Ruffled Satin® Rose
of Sharon is your solution! Blooming in late summer to fall, it features incredible carmine-pink
ruffled flowers that are reminiscent of tropical hibiscus. It also attracts butterflies and
hummingbirds! Be sure to check out ORCHID SATIN® ROSE OF SHARON as well. It features the same
characteristics as Ruffled Satin in a light pink bloom with red center.
Are you looking for a plant that attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds? Check,check,
check. Oh, and did I mention it blooms all summer? A full size butterfly bush, Inspired
Violet™ can be used in informal gardens or even as a hedge. Its large purple blooms wistfully
cascade downwards and require no deadheading, making this a low-maintenance shrub.