'Flamingo' or "dappled" willow is not grown for its flowers; nor is it a standout for fall color. Rather, it is valued as a variegated shrub that, like 'Arctic Beauty' kiwi vines, puts on its best foliage display in spring. But this is not a low-maintenance bush, as it requires pruning for optimal color and to keep it in check.
Red Twig Dogwood Bushes
Red twig dogwood gets its common name from its bark color. The red color is particularly valued in winter (although it is actually at its most vibrant in early spring, as new growth emerges), when northern landscapes are relatively barren. But the type featured here is a variegated shrub, and its period of interest greatly extended as a result.
'Carol Mackie' Daphne: The Variegated Shrub That's Almost an Evergreen
'Carol Mackie' daphne is sometimes classified as a "semi-evergreen." My own bush (zone 5) keeps its leaves during most of the winter. The foliage becomes ratty-looking in late winter; but by then, it doesn't matter for long, since the new growth is on the way. These variegated shrubs boast flowers with a heady perfume.
Double Rose of Sharon With Bi-Colored Leaves
"Sugar Tip" rose of sharon sports a double, pink flower. Like other types of Hibiscus syriacus, it blooms later in the growing season than many blooming plants, thereby helping to extend the period of floral color in the garden. But none of these qualities gives the bush its name, which refers to the fact that it is a variegated shrub.
Emerald 'N' Gold Euonymus Bushes
Emerald 'n' Gold euonymus, like 'Flamingo' willow, is grown for one reason and one reason only: that it is a variegated shrub. But here, the variegation is different from that on the examples discussed so far. As indicated by the bush's cultivar name, "There's gold in them thar leaves!" A pink blush may also grace the foliage in winter.