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A compact shrub form of serviceberry, 'Regent' produces finely toothed, rounded leaves that are bluish on top and gray-green on the bottom. In fall, they change to vibrant yellow and red. Spring finds the shrub sporting white flowers in upright clusters that give way to fruit in June. Birds as well as humans appreciate the tasty berries, which make great jellies and jams and are more abundant in full sun. This plant is native to the Great Plains and tolerates harsh, dry, or alkaline conditions when mature.
This is a fine plant for cascading over the edge of a wall. It's a hardy, prostrate shrub with intricate branching that often forms mats up to 3 feet wide, by runners. Fragrant, white bell-shaped flowers tinged with pink are borne in May and followed later in the season by red berries. The common bearberry's stunning red stems are studded with small, glossy, evergreen leaves.
The rounded, lustrous leaves of this native plant form an appealing green ground cover. This plant produces beautiful, 2- to 4-inch, glossy green heart-shaped leaves. In spring, you'll find interesting, mauve-purple flowers hidden under its foliage. -Marty Hair, Regional Picks: Upper Midwest, Fine Gardening issue #127
This vigorous deciduous shrub provides a long season of interest in the garden with its variegated leaves, attractive berries, pretty fall color, and red winter stems.
These showy shrubs have two distinct phases of garden interest. In winter, they display boldly colorful bark—red, yellow, or orange—on twiggy stems to make a striking scene. In spring, the stems lose their vivid color and produce bright green, gold, or variegated foliage that accents the garden through the fall. Twig and leaf color vary according to the cultivar.
A spreading subshrub, Cornus canadensis has whorls of leathery mid-green leaves that turn purple in the winter. Green and white, sometimes pink-flushed flowers emerge in late spring and early summer, followed by clusters of scarlet berries.
Iceland poppy is a short-lived perennial usually grown as a cool-weather annual, or biennial. From hairy tufts of linear blue-green foliage rise wiry stems bearing a pendant bud. The single (occasionally double) short-lived flowers unwrinkle their petals into a wide-spreading saucer shape 3 inches across.
Moss phlox is a dense ground cover blanketed with notch-petaled flowers in April and May. Blooms can be muddy hot pink, bright rose, and magenta, while other cultivars include white, soft lavender-blue, clear pale pink to deep pink, clear scarlet, and lavender, some with a darker or lighter eye. Evergreen foliage is narrow, short, and stiff. Darker-flowered forms have dark-green leaves or red-tinged leaves that darken to burgundy in winter.
'Procumbens' is similar to 'Pendula' in color but prostrate in habit, with cascading branches sometimes staying stiffly horizontal. Makes a spreading, undulating, mounding ground cover of silvery white needles.
This spreading rose grows to only 2 feet tall, making it an ideal groundcover for a steep bank or roadside. It produces fragrant, double, deep-pink blossoms from spring to fall.
This choice rose has single, gently cupped light-pink flowers that exude an intense, clove-scented perfume. It blooms in spring and sporadically throughout the season, and produces red hips. In autumn, the foliage turns deep maroon, which changes to yellow tinged with coppery highlights. It grows to 3 to 4 feet high and wide.
'Agnes' is one of the few yellow rugosa roses, and it epitomizes the finest rugosa attributes in both leaf and overall form. Doubled blooms give this selection an old-fashioned aspect, as does its delightful fragrance, which is reminiscent of antique roses. Bloom color changes somewhat with the temperature: in cool temperatures, the flowers are an apricot hue, but as the weather warms, they turn a soft yellow. -Suzanne Verrier, No muss, no fuss rugosa roses, Fine Gardening issue #121
Though not very well known, 'Dart's Dash' is one of the best of the crimson double rugosa roses. 'Dart's Dash' has large blossoms with the spicy scent typical of rugosas and when blooming is done, the plant puts forth a marvelous display of showy hips. It establishes itself quickly and is a fine choice for a low hedge. -Suzanne Verrier, No muss, no fuss rugosa roses, Fine Gardening issue #121
Large, open, semi-double pink flowers with yellow stamens and an intoxicating scent make 'Foxi' an outstanding rugosa rose. The relatively small height of the shrub makes the blossoms appear larger. This is a relatively new rugosa rose. -Suzanne Verrier, No muss, no fuss rugosa roses, Fine Gardening issue #121
'Henry Hudson' has flattened, symmetrical, semi-double, white flowers with a spicy clove scent. The dense and deep green foliage makes a fitting backdrop for this selection's reddish buds and ensuing cream-colored flowers. The blossoms don't drop cleanly, so deadheading is necessary. -Suzanne Verrier, No muss, no fuss rugosa roses, Fine Gardening issue #121
'Linda Campbell' is an unscented, true red rugosa rose. Attractiv, smooth-leaved glossy foliage and clusters of elegant buds open to bright blossoms. It grows in an upright habit and makes a very nice addition to the back of a hot-color border. -Suzanne Verrier, No muss, no fuss rugosa roses, Fine Gardening issue #121
'Polar Ice' is one of the most vigorous and densely growing rugosa roses and features clusters of double, slightly nodding flowers. Green buds open to creamy white blooms with pink petals and deeper pink centers. The flowers smell lightly of baby powder, and the new lime green foliage smells like strawberries and sweet grass. In autumn, the foliage turns bright yellow. -Suzanne Verrier, No muss, no fuss rugosa roses, Fine Gardening issue #121
'Purple Pavement' has large, ruffled blossoms with a purple-red color and strong fragrance. In the fall, the blossoms give way to large, handsome hips, and the foliage turns from green to shades of yellow and maroon. This shapely shrub with dependable repeat bloom it is especially good for a late display, when the hips appear alongside fall asters and other perennials with assertive autumn colors. -Suzanne Verrier, No muss, no fuss rugosa roses, Fine Gardening issue #121
'Wasagaming' (pronounced "wah-SAG-ah-ming") is a prolific bloomer that has the charm of the antique roses but with greater vigor and better growth habit. Cascading rich pink blossoms with an old-rose scent spill across the shrub. 'Wasagaming' will thrive in less sunny but bright conditions. -Suzanne Verrier, No muss, no fuss rugosa roses, Fine Gardening issue #121
This variety has single, papery white blossoms that open from light pink buds and have contrasting yellow stamens. The heavily-scented flowers are followed by reddish-orange hips. It grows up to 6 feet high.
Experts Pick Their Favorite Plants
We asked 42 gardening experts from around the country to select their favorite plants. Now you can see the complete results of the survey.
Conifers for Shade
Yes, you can grow evergreen trees and shrubs in shade. Who knew?
by Christine Froehlich
Sweetly Scented Annuals
Pique your senses all season long with colorful, long-blooming beauties
by Danielle Ferguson
4 Ways to Design with Coleus
If you're having trouble finding the right plant for the right place, this versatile performer offers a multitude of options
by Ray Rogers
How to Prune Conifers
These plants are unforgiving, so make the right cuts for the right reasons
by Bert Cregg
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