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This celebrated hybrid is notable for its green leaves with golden-yellow margins that fade to cream. Its deep-pink buds open to pale, pink-white blossoms in early spring and give off a sweet fragrance.
'Blue Bird' is a Pacific Hybrid delphinium grown as an annual or biennial. Its mid-blue flowers have white centers. The flowers are large but short-lived and bloom on tall stems from early summer to midsummer. Grow at the back of a border or in the middle of an island bed. There is nothing quite like delphiniums in the garden.
'Summer Sundae' Sweet William is a nice mix of red, pink, and white flowers held in rounded groups at the tops of stems. Plants bloom from late spring to early summer. The flowers are lightly fragrant. Use in a cottage garden or border, or in containers. It flowers the first year from seed.
While not a true honeysuckle (Lonicera spp. and cvs., USDA Hardiness Zones 3-10), Northern bush honeysuckle has honeysuckle-like yellow flowers and glossy green foliage on a native, deciduous shrub 3 to 4 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide. The flowers appear in early summer and last through summer, and the foliage occasionally exhibits bright red fall color.
Southern bush honeysuckle has an attractive thicket-forming habit. Glossy green leaves with tapered tips emerge tinged with bronze and mature to mid-green on reddish stems. Sulfur-yellow flowers in terminal clusters to 3 inches across appear in summer.
Autumn olive is a vigorous, deciduous shrub with pale yellow-white bell-shaped flowers to a half-inch long borne in late spring and early summer. Its silvery fruit turns red in fall and attracts birds. Wavy-margined leaves are silvery when they emerge and mature to bright green above.
A member of the conifer clan, Ephedra equisetina is commonly called bluestem joint fir due to its finely textured blue stems. In spring, it features a conspicuous froth of yellow blooms that are often followed by red berries. It is perfect for naturalized areas since it reliably spreads.
The familiar burning bush is a dense, flat-topped, deciduous shrub with a rounded, horizontal branching habit. Reddish purple fruit grows beneath the simple, finely toothed, dark green leaves. Foliage turns an extremely showy bright red in autumn. Smaller cultivars exist.
Because it is a relative of the immensely popular burning bush (E. alatus), it isn't surprising that eastern wahoo has great fall color. This North American native grows as a small tree in the southern part of its range and as a large shrub on the Plains. The bright red of its fall foliage is amplified and extended by abundant clusters of scarlet fruits that persist after the leaves have fallen, providing color even into midwinter. Eastern wahoo is effective as an accent plant or when massed wherever a bold, surprising splash of color is desired.
A member of the rose family (Rosaceae), Apache plume has single, white, rose-like flowers in a fine-textured shrub up to 5 feet tall and 8 feet wide. Flowering occurs from late spring until late summer, and is followed by clouds of showy, pink, feater-duster-like seed heads that are just as showy as the flowers.
This perennial shrub or small tree has an upright form that reaches heights of up to 10 feet. It blooms before grayish-green foliage emerges. Leaves mature to bright green and contrast beautifully with one-year-old black bark. Small, attractive black berries appear in autumn.
Its blaze of yellow flowers is surely one of the first harbingers of spring. Forsythia are widely recognized for their utility in a shrub border, a bank, or for hedging, and their light to deep yellow, four-petaled flowers.
Fragrant, cylindrical inflorescences are made up of long, white filaments, and open before the leaves in spring. In autumn, the foliage shades range from blood red to blazing yellow, and every shade in between.
This cultivar of a favorite fall shrub has the same great spring flowers as the rest of the species. But its brilliant fall color remains longer and later than its cousins, holding its strong orange, red, and yellow tones into late November or even early December. 'Jane Platt' also features a mounding habit rather than the upright habit common to the species. Fothergillas are often recommended for shade, but this one is tough enough to be grown between rocks in hot, full sun.
Alliums All Season Long
Deer resistant and dynamic, these bulbs provide color from the first showers of spring to the last leaves of fall
by Stephanie Cohen
Spectacular Spring Bloomers
These perennials are the light at the end of the long, wintry tunnel
by Dave Demers
Find out what all the buzz is about by planting these colorful perennials
by Sally Roth
Enchanting Japanese Maples
Two experts pick their favorites based on color, shape
by Francie Schroeder
How to Grow Trilliums
Plant the best species for your region in fall for a spectacular display in spring
by Gene E. Bush
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