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Look, our native dogwoods are not glamorous shrubs. Red Twigs do give you pretty winter interest. I know many of you feel strong about planting native plants in your landscape. Both Red Twigs and Silky dogwoods should find a place in your plans. Great structure for predator protection and nesting, the berries are a great food source, and once established, benefit from deer foraging. Beauty is often only skin deep. These gals have soul.
Red Twig Dogwood Cornus sericea
• If you’ve walked near a swampy bog, you’re familiar with this native shrub
• Prefers sun to partial shade for optimum color; moist woodland conditions. If not pruned, 6’ H x 6’W and will spread by suckers – remove suckers to control spread
• Very important habitat and food source for a variety of birds and animals with small white flowers in late spring, berries in fall and winter structure all winter
• Yearly early spring pruning is recommended as new growth produces the brightest red for winter interest
Some photos by Proven Winners Inc. www.provenwinner.com
Have you ever eaten a crab apple? In all honesty, I haven't either. Growing up, we had a beautiful flowering crab in our yard - but the apples weren't edible. This guy's fruit is edible. I had a customer jump for joy to know I had this variety. This tree also is used as a pollinator for most apple varieties due to its long bloom time. I don't have an apple orchard, but I've been told orchard owners often plant a crab among their apple trees for pollination. I would recommend it if you're buying any of my apple trees.
Dolgo Crabapple Tree
Malus x 'Dolgo'
• Long Blooming white flowers makes this a beautiful spring sight
• With its long bloom time, outstanding pollinator for all fruit trees
• Produces 1.5 “ EDIBLE fruit in September!
• 15’ H x 20’ W
• Prefers rich loamy slightly acidic soil
• Needs full sun and good air circulation
I'm really happy with my propagation of this shrub, I have some great plants ready to go. This is a feature plant in your landscape, it will become the main attraction each spring when in bloom. After that, you get a deep maroon leaf. These take to pruning really well, so you can keep it at whatever size you wish. A good prune helps the plant as the best flowering and deep colors come from new growth. So what's up with this Snow????
Purple Leaf Sandcherry Prunus cisterna
• This is a great specimen plant. All your friends and neighbors will stop in their tracks when its spring blooms are popping!
• Fragrant pink/white flowers in spring followed by deep purple summer foliage, edible berries, and fall interest
• 72” H x 60” wide; can be pruned to a bush or as a single stem small tree
• Prefers well-draining soil – this is essential. Full sun
• Also does well as a container deck plant
Here's a sweet smelling late bloomer that does well in full sun to dappled shade and still is a flowering shrub. The more sun you can give it, the better the flowering. They are slow growers under shady conditions so you've got to be patient! I've had this planted in my shade bed for 2 years now and last fall was the first I noticed new top growth. Often on a slow grower like this, folks get impatient or think something is wrong because the plant/shrub is not putting on a lot of top growth ( it's not getting bigger). The plant has it's own schedule! Plants instinctively know they need a strong root system to survive, so the plant prioritizes that first - as long as it has a few leafs for photosynthesis, it puts all that energy into roots. Remember the ad from the 1970s... Don't mess with Mother Nature! It is native to North America.
Summersweet Ruby Spice
Clethra alnifolia 'Ruby Spice’
• Here’s a great compact shrub for that partial to full shade area
• As the name implies, has sweet smelling fragrant rose-pink flowers
• Blooms in July/August
• Prefers partial shade. Will tolerate full shade. Likes moist sandy conditions
• Slow Grower 48” H x 36” W
I love these shrubs. I grow 6 different varieties and carry a total of 8. Personal preference, but one of my favorite flowering shrubs. Like me, I'm sure your husband would like the little pink flowers, but won't admit it!😁 Weigela are on the MSU deer resistant list. The Java has gorgeous maroon foliage even after it blooms. It's always a good looking shrub in your landscape.
Weigela Java Red
Weigela florida 'Java Red'
• Very dependable always stays nice looking compact shrub
• Blooms in Spring with Deep pink blooms; foliage also has an attractive purple tinge
• Prefers average soil and lots of sun for best flower production but will grow just fine in partial shade
• Takes to pruning very well – anytime, best just after flowering 36” H x 36” W
Really, if you like the huge white panicles of the Limelight hydrangea, but don't have the space for it, this is your choice. Stop, game over. This hydrangea is bred to be covered from ground up with flowers and has vastly improved strong stems to support them. This will take our cold winter winds and come back strong each year. No negatives, what can I say?
Hydrangea paniculata Bobo
• Loads of large white flowers on this tiny hydrangea that covers every inch even down to the ground!
• 32” H x 36” W
• Strong stems means no flopping
• Prefers partial sun and good loamy soil with consistent moisture
• Blooms on new wood – so VERY dependable bloomer each year. Give it a light prune in early spring for shape.
Photo by Proven Winners Inc. www.provenwinner.com
Let's start with a Gold Medal Winner.
Most folks are familiar with this one, but you see it around for good reason. It is considered the true harbinger of Spring. Sure we've had some nice weather, but it's not spring until we see the forsythia bloom. I put this shrub in the deer resistant category. Why? It's tough as nails. Once established, it can take deer forage and come back each year. Let'm munch. In fact, the deer helps this shrub. I like to yearly prune mine hard for shape but also to promote a full shrub. So it isn't spring yet. Not until the forsythia bloom.
Lynwood Gold Forsythia
Forsythia x intermedia 'Lynwood Gold'
• It’s not spring until the Forsythia are in bloom! This is the classic one. Feel the warm spring breeze in the air?
• Very easy to grow in most all soils and moisture –prefers full sun to partial shade but best flowers in full sun
• Yearly pruning is important to maintain size and shape. Prune after flowering and before the 4th of July to assure next year’s flowers
• Prune to hedge, round shrub, small tree or prune almost to ground to stimulate new growth
Coral is the Color Today. I'm going back to one of my favorites for near perfect blooms, the Peony. Although they are not long bloomers (depending on the weather, about 2-3 weeks), they are just magnificent. Beautiful Weather..hope you can get out in your yards and do some spring cleaning. Stay safe everyone..
Coral Charm Peony
Paeonia lactiflora 'Coral Charm'
• An early blooming semi double charmer! Buds emerge deep coral with coral, pink flowers
• The Blooming Show starts in late June
• Peonies prefer deep well-draining soil in full sun. Needs consistent watering when young than can withstand dry conditions. No fertilizer needed.
• Planting depth is absolutely critical for flower performance – 1 ½ “ to 2” below soil line
• 36” H x 36” W
• Very Deer Resistant!
I just think this bloomer is so fresh looking and I can see this planted in mass along one of our many stream or lake sides. Sunny warm morning, cup of coffee on the deck at the lake, loons singing and this beautiful plant along your shoreline. Okay...quit day dreaming! We're stuck at home reading silly posts!! This takes awhile to establish itself, so patience is required but oh so worth it. Enjoy.
Chinese Globe Flower Trollius chinensis 'Golden Queen'
• Fresh, clean, striking. Just a few descriptions for this Golden Queen!
• 24” H x 20” W
• Golden-orange, bowl cupped shaped flowers; late spring to mid-summer
• Slow grower, takes a couple years to establish well
• Prefers full sun to partial sun and rich moist, even boggy conditions alongside a pond, lake, or stream
Photo by Walters Gardens Inc.