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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 stunning specimen has luminous, creamy-ivory leaves and narrow green margins. The pale pink flowers are secondary to the glamorous foliage, which can light up a shady border and create definitive contrast.
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.
This rounded shrub has leaves with white margins, and pale pink star-shaped flowers that bloom in the spring, fall, and sometimes in between. The blossoms release an intoxicating fragrance.
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 evergreen species produces rose-purple buds that open to white and are intensely and exotically fragrant. The blooms (from mid-winter to early spring) are followed by red fruit and dark-green, glossy leaves.
This winter daphne has yellow-margined leaves and rosy-pink flower buds that open to white. Fragrant flowers bloom in winter and early spring. Reaching 4 feet tall and wide, 'Marginata' is beautiful against a wall or near a patio or deck where its fragrance can be appreciated. Or grow in a shade garden where its variegated leaves really shine. Daphne odora is evergreen and has a rounded form. It is native to China and Japan.
This compact variety performs well as a groundcover and is an excellent choice for the mixed border or rock garden.
This erect and bushy deutzia has masses of fragrant white flowers in upright clusters for weeks in spring and early summer.
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 tropical shrub or small tree may be grown in a mixed or shrub border; in colder climates, it does well in a temperate greenhouse. Flowers in shades of sky-blue, lilac, purple, or white blossom gracefully along arching branches in summer; they are followed by spherical, yellow fruit.
This small shrub from China is noteworthy for its spherical clusters of very fragrant yellow flowers that bloom in winter and early spring.
This is a tough evergreen shrub with pendent flowers that provide a delightful gardenia-like perfume during October and November. Brown fruit ripens to red in autumn. Handsome foliage is a lustrous green above, dull and silvery dotted with brown below.
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.
This tree-like shrub bears pendent clusters of bell-shaped, creamy-white flowers with rose veins in late spring and early summer. In autumn, the foliage turns magnificent shades of orange and red.
This is perhaps the most refined Enkianthus, bearing dainty, white pendulous bells in May. It forms an elegant, rounded shrub to 6 feet with gracefully tiered branches and produces brilliant scarlet color in autumn.
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.
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
Find out what all the buzz is about by planting these colorful perennials
by Sally Roth
10 Shrubs for Summer Color
These vibrant bloomers give even the showiest annuals and perennials a run for their money
by Paul Cappiello
Enchanting Japanese Maples
Two experts pick their favorites based on color, shape
by Francie Schroeder
Q&A Moving houseplants outdoors for the summer
by Tim Pollak
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