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This low, mounding, Southwest native shrub up to 4 feet tall and 6 feet wide has feathery foliage that contributes fine texture to a garden. While evergreen in milder climates, in temperate climates it is deciduous. Its small, pealike purple flowers appear in late summer and continue into fall.
Despite a soft, delicate appearance, trailing indigo bush is one of the toughest groundcovers around. The feathery, silvery green compound foliage makes the clusters of tiny, rosy purple flowers stand out at close range. The blooms, which occur most heavily in spring and summer, return sporadically the rest of the year. This plant is excellent for stabilizing soil on slopes because its stem nodes root wherever they come in contact with the ground.
This small shrub to 3-4 feet tall and wide blooms from late spring to fall with a liberal sprinkling of small, white, highly fragrant flowers over grey-green leaves that form a fine-textured mound. This shrub is semi-evergreen. It will retain some of its leaves in winter, though in colder climates it may be completely deciduous.
This compact variety performs well as a groundcover and is an excellent choice for the mixed border or rock garden.
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.
This evergreen shrub can light up the dark corners of a garden. It grows quickly, and its branches are arched and somewhat spiny. Bright yellow, 3- to 4-inch-long leaves splashed are outlined in green. The twigs are a metallic copper color, and the undersides of the leaves are specled with a copper color, too. Tiny white flowers appear under the leaves in fall. They are hard to see, but very fragrant. Small orange fruit appear in spring. -Michael Lee, Fine Gardening issue #119
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.
California poppies grow to about 12 inches tall, and their pretty foliage is ferny, like carrot tops. They come in a variety of colors, from the standard golden orange, to yellow, cream, and red. Grow them in a border or rock garden.
California poppies grow to about 12 inches tall, and their pretty foliage is ferny, like carrot tops. This cultivar has soft rose colored, double blooms with yellow centers.
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.
'Minimus' has smaller leaves than other plants of the species and a very low-growing, spreading habit. This evergreen shrub is best used as a groundcover, but it can climb as a vine if given support. It forms a dense mat of quarter-inch leaves. It may suffer winter burn in cold climates.
Candelilla forms an upright clump of slender, waxy gray-green stems. Inconspicuous leaves appear on new growth but quickly drop with the first dry spell. Tiny flowers of cream and rosy pink periodically hug the upper portion of the stems throughout the warm season, particularly in response to rain. Candelilla is perfect for narrow planting strips because its stems grow straight up in tight bundles.
Diamond Frost euphorbia is an absolute workhorse in the garden, blooming almost the entire planting season and with no deadheading needed. Don't let its delicate appearance fool you - it's exceptionally resistant to both heat and frost.
Blue is hard to get one's hands on in the garden, but Blue My Mind™ evolvus fills the void! This heat-tolerant beauty makes a stunning addition to containers beds alike, and it's so polite that it doesn't even need deadheading.
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.
This southwestern native shrub grows to 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide and sports long, dull, spiny stems that green up and leaf out after a rain, followed by long, scarlet flowers that attract hummingbirds.When dry conditions return, ocotillo drops its leaves again. This cycle can replay several times a season. Great as a surprising specimen or forbidding hedge.
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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