Burn the Burning Bush!

Fall Fothergilla in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer http://agardenforall.com

Fothergilla’s range of fall colors (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

I travel on a lot of country roads during my ride to work, and enjoy the scenery along the way. Especially in the fall, as leaves start turning flashy shades of gold, orange and red.  Alas, there is a putrid, pinkish-red leaved villain littering the native landscape, a shrub that is non-native, highly invasive and virtually mundane and uninteresting except for its fall foliage.  It has taken over our native woods with reckless abandon and continues to dominate further and further every year.  Most will only notice it for those few weeks in autumn when it turns an almost freakish, faded red; a color resembling one of Santa’s suits after a few too many washes. Humdrum summer foliage, unnatural fall color, boring architecture, and a bully to boot, why, burning bush should be just that-burned! [Read more…]

Shrubs for Fabulous Foliage

Viburnum Winterthur in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer http://agardenforall.com

Viburnum nudum ‘Winterthur’ (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Fall foliage is nature’s firework expo, signaling the end of one season and the beginning of another. As the last colorful petals of summer trickle to the ground, trees and shrubs continue the vibrant display across our landscapes, often extending the show for several more weeks. You don’t have to have a huge yard or a degree in gardening to have fiery beauties thriving on your property, as most color producers are low maintenance and tolerant of modest soil conditions. Following are a few of my favorite prismatic exhibitionists for your consideration:
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Thriller Fothergilla

Fothergilla gardenii's spring bouquet in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer http://agardenforall.com

Fothergilla gardenii’s spring bouquet (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

One of my favorite shrubs for sounding the arrival of spring is fothergilla, a southeastern U.S. native that thrives in sunny, moist (but well drained) locations in zones 5-8.  Like a woman with a full head of rollers in preparation for her big date, fothergilla makes a stunning debut in your spring garden as it unfurls dozens of bright, cylindrical blossoms atop its crown.  These white, bottle brush shaped flowers are sparklers at the tips of fothergilla’s branches, and for our winter weary senses, they are a sight to behold.  Did I mention the blooms also possess a delicate fragrance? Ahhhh, how can you resist this cheerful shrub? But wait, there’s more! [Read more…]