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This upright, sparsely branched, woody shrub reaches 4 to 10 feet tall. It's easy to grow but slow-growing. It displays dark green leaves that are blue-green beneath, and large, silken blossoms 6 to 12 inches across in late spring and early summer. The plants maintain a graceful branching structure throughout the winter.
Mock orange is an upright, deciduous shrub grown for its very fragrant, creamy white flowers that bloom in early summer. 'Aureus' has golden yellow leaves in spring that turn yellow-green in summer. Use in a shrub border or woodland garden.
This is an upright evergreen shrub with lance-shaped leaves. Foliage emerges bright red or bronze, turning a leathery dark green. Small white flowers appear in mid- to late spring.
'Brilliantissima' rivals hollies (Ilex spp.) in the quantity and crimson color of its fruit. The quarter-inch-diameter, crab apple-like berries hang in clusters amid brilliant foliage that matures to scarlet. Like the species, this cultivar develops into a handsome, multistemmed, vase-shaped shrub that reaches 8 to 12 feet tall and about half as wide.
This evergreen shrub is often grown as a tender perennial where not hardy. It sports long spikes of red, dangling, bell-shaped flowers with yellow throats in summer. It makes a beautiful and unique addition to a perennial or shrub border.
This evergreen shrub, native to South Africa, has long, skinny stems and phlox-like pale blue flowers. It can be used as a shrub, climber, pot plant, or groundcover.
Carolina cherry laurel is an evergreen shrub or small tree with shiny green leaves and bowl-shaped, fragrant white flowers borne in dense clusters in spring. The fruit is lustrous, cherry-like, and black.
This short-lived shrub or small tree with feathery foliage is blanketed in late spring with fragrant, pea-shaped violet blooms with white wings. Though it is native to streamsides, scurf pea doesn't require extravagant watering and survives occasional drought. When the plants eventually die, they leave ample progeny and straight branches useful for garden stakes. Combine with azaleas and camellias, which bloom at the same time.
Developed by the National Arboretum, 'Teton' pyracantha has a striking upright form, reaching 12 feet tall or more, and orange to golden yellow fruit. It is also resistant to fireblight and scab. Less hardy than some other cultivars, only to Zone 6.
This native azalea, winner of the 2007 Georgia Gold medal award, will thrive in heat and humidity, which is why it is a good choice for the South. Large, fragrant yellow blooms appear in early spring. Reportedly pest- and disease free, 'Admiral Semmes' is a progeny of Exbury hybrid R. 'Hotspur Yellow' and R. austrinum. -Allan Armitage, Plants to know and grow, Fine Gardening issue #119
This rhododendron from China is quite unlike most of the better known species planted in gardens today. Its leaves are small, oval and, when young, bronze. Dainty-looking, pink, bell-shaped flowers bloom in spring. Williams rhododendron reaches just 5 feet tall and almost as wide, making it a nice choice for beds and borders in a shady area.
This showy rose produces a pastel cloud of small pink flowers with lighter centers. The blossoms are single and shallow-cupped; they occur in large, loose clusters. Blooms hold up better in partial shade. This rose grows from 4 to 6 feet tall and wide, blooming from spring to autumn.
This outstanding rose has single, fragrant blossoms of rich cabernet-red. The young foliage emerges chartreuse, while the new stems and small thorns are claret. The flowers are followed by hips the color of ripe grapes, which contrast with the amber autumn foliage. This rose grows up to 8 feet high.
'Betty Boop' is a bushy, upright, floribunda rose growing to 3 to 5 feet tall. Semi-double, ivory-white flowers with red edges are borne in clusters over a long period. They are mildly scented. New leaves are dark red, maturing to glossy green. This cultivar does not produce hips.
This rose produces single, carmine-pink, slightly fragrant blooms nonstop from June until frost. It grows 2.5 to 5 feet high and wide.
A miniature, upright rose with glossy, dark green leaves and very dark red flowers from spring to fall, 'Black Jade' reaches only about 2 feet tall. It is good for growing in containers, rock gardens, and other small areas, or at the front of beds and borders.
The white of this rose has a purity of color that is without equal. It produces semi-double, very fragrant flowers from spring to fall, which are sometimes followed by orange hips. It grows to 6 feet high and wide.
This sweetly scented, rambling rose has glossy leaves and produces large groups of semi-double, creamy-white, 2-inch-wide blossoms in summer. It grows to 30 feet high.
This fragrant rose produces generous clusters of double apricot flowers that fade to a soft yellow. It usually grows to 5 feet and taller when trained, making it an ideal candidate for screening or growing up a wall, arch, or trellis. It blooms from spring to autumn.
This is one of the darkest-flowered roses from the oldest class of garden roses, the gallicas. 'Cardinal de Richelieu' is a strong grower with a compact, lax habit. The rounded, double, fragrant, deeply colored flowers are a deep burgundy-purple. They are in bloom from spring to early summer. Introduced in 1840.
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Skip the finicky selections and go for these unique yet reliable beauties
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