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…]

Jewel of the Garden

Itea with Stachys officinalis in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer http://agardenforall.com

Itea with violet Stachys officinalis (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

I’m not much of a fashionista where jewelry is concerned, although I do own a few unique pieces that I absolutely treasure.  And that’s the case when it comes to gems of the garden, as there couldn’t be a more remarkable shrub than Virginia sweetspire, Itea virginica ‘Henry’s Garnet’.  An amiable border companion, native to woods and wetlands from Pennsylvania to Texas, this beauty embellishes the garden in spring (May-June) with fragrant, white racemes that dangle like tempting lures from each branch tip. Yet that’s not where the show concludes with good ol’ Henry, no sir.  Starting in October, and often lasting through December, itea virginica produces the most outrageous, stunning display of ruby red foliage you have ever seen.  I guarantee it. [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:
[Read more…]