Shrubs are the workhorses of the garden. If you play your cards right, you can design a low-maintenance garden from a handful of perfectly suited flowering shrubs. These stellar plants are tough enough for our hot summers, relentless sunshine, and dry conditions. When well established, all are low-water plants and good choices for a “fire wise” landscape.
‘Kaleidoscope’ glossy abelia
‘Kaleidoscope’ glossy abelia (Abelia × grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’, Zones 6–9) is a jazzy-colored semi-evergreen that is so much more than green. The leaves of this hardworking shrub are variegated green, yellow, and red, and they change in response to seasonal conditions. The softly fragrant pale pink or white blossoms put on a great show that starts in late summer and goes until the days shorten and freezing temperatures set in. Graceful arching branches make this shrub 3 to 5 feet tall and wide. Abelia loves afternoon shade in our hottest regions.
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