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Flowering Shrubs as Specimens, To Attract Birds

What do you expect from a landscape plant? Pretty blossoms? Leaves with fall color? Sparkling berries that draw birds and admiring humans alike? You can get all that and more from flowering shrubs. It's just a matter of picking the right ones for your yard. This guide will help you decide.
  1. Summer Standouts (9)
  2. Nice Shrubs for Fall, Winter (10)

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures!
Remember, as a kid, preferring those books that had mainly pictures? Heck, there are adults who share that preference. I know that none of my readers are like that, but still, you just can't beat photos sometimes to cut to the heart of a matter, correct? Glancing through these pictures of flowering shrubs may lead you to just the right bush.

Types of Flowering Shrubs
I talk about some of the best types of flowering shrubs in this article. But this is not a Top 10 piece; i.e., I don't rank the entries. No, I make selections separately for spring, summer, fall and winter. After all, comparing one plant valued for its spring blooms to another cherished for its fall color is sort of like comparing apples and oranges.

Doublefile Viburnum
Mariesii doublefile viburnum shrubs bloom in spring. But these are no one-season wonders. Enjoy the berries in summer and both berries and fall foliage in autumn. I tell you about their growing requirements and about related bushes here.

Late Spring Blooming Shrubs
Late spring flowering shrubs take the colorful baton passed to them from the early spring bloomers and run with it into summer. Don't miss out on a single gem from this group of vibrant bloomers! Scour my list (with descriptions and pictures) to add to your yard any of these beauties you're not already growing.

Japanese Rose
Japanese rose shrub blooms in April, when it is adorned with golden button flowers; but it's no slouch in winter, either. That's because the branches of Japanese rose (Kerria) are a bright green in winter and stand out specimen-like in a landscape covered with snow.

Witch Hazel Bushes
Why do I appreciate witch hazel? Out of context, it's easy to despise this flowering shrub, especially when it's still young (and small). The flowers look like those little strips of paper at the bottom of your paper shredder! But let me provide some context: this is the first bush to bloom in my yard, after the long winter.

Neon Flash Spirea Shrubs
Some names are descriptive, others, sadly, are not. 'Neon Flash' is among the latter. How could consumers possibly guess what this bush looks like, based solely on the name? Maybe those who named it were more interested in hyping it with a flashy label than in christening it with a useful moniker. Find out here if it lives up to the hype.

Mock Orange Plants
How did mock orange (for example, Philadelphus coronarius) get its name? What are some popular cultivars? How do you prune this deciduous flowering shrub? Like most of my articles, this one answers such questions succinctly for the general public. My introduction touches on both Philadelphus coronarius and 'Minnesota Snowflake'.

Weigela Bushes
Weigela bushes have blossoms that somewhat resemble those of another old-fashioned favorite, beauty bush ( Kolkwitzia amabilis ). But when it comes to the weigelas sold nowadays, there are more reasons to buy than just the pretty flowers. With today's cultivars, an attractive foliage (for example, on golden weigela) may be the main selling point.

Landscape Color for Late Spring: Lilacs
What slot does common lilac occupy in a schema to achieve continual sequence of bloom? Well, this sultan of smell blooms in late spring, heralding summer. Plant lilacs in conjunction with early bloomers (e.g., forsythia), summer bloomers (e.g., hydrangea), and fall-blooming plants such as asters to maintain uninterrupted eye-catching color.

Bougainvillea
Do you seek a Mediterranean feel? Then you'll love bougainvillea. I can't hear the name without thinking of a courtyard wall in a hot climate draped with it. But that's the problem for those who live in cold climates: this plant likes it hot. Whether you grow it in pots (North) or in the ground (South), you'll want to read this piece to learn more.

Loropetalum Shrubs
Chinese loropetalum shrubs are classified as evergreen for hardiness zones 7-10. The shape of this bush's pink flowers betray it as a member of the Witch-Hazel family. Loropetalum is especially common in the American Southeast.

Forsythias: Flowering Shrubs That Announce Spring
When the forsythia bushes come into bloom, you know the long-awaited return of the floral color in the yard has been realized! By forcing branches from forsythia, you can even enjoy its blooms prematurely. This forsythia article lays out all you need to know about this iconic flowering shrub: its attributes, landscape usage and growing...

Care for Azalea and Rhododendron Bushes
Learn about azaleas and rhododendrons, flowering shrubs that are almost synonymous with spring in some parts. You plant geeks will find my introduction to their taxonomy fascinating! The article concludes with care instructions. Some of these beautiful flowering shrubs are evergreen, others deciduous.

Crepe Myrtles
Another popular selection in the American Southeast (where it has even naturalized in places), crepe myrtles (Lagerstroemia) flower from mid-summer to fall and are often grown in tree form. In my zone 5 landscape, they grow as flowering shrubs, dying back in winter. I shelter mine with a frame and mulch heavily, and it returns in spring.

Gibraltar Azaleas
Gibraltar azaleas (part of the Exbury group) bear rich orange flowers in May. This orange color is showy enough to earn these flowering shrubs "specimen" status for spring. Read this article to learn why Gibraltar's claim to a spot in your landscape is rock-solid.

Golden Oriole Azalea Bushes
Have you tried a yellow azalea yet? If not, it may be time to expand your horizons. In this article, I relate information about a type of azalea that's yellow but with a healthy admixture of orange, too.

Flowering Quince Shrubs
If you're hoping for information on a bush that will yield fruit for jams and jellies when you hear "quince," you'll be disappointed in this article. Here I discuss cultivars of flowering quince that are fruitless (also thornless). They are grown to satisfy the eye, not the belly. Still interested?

Stewartstonian Azalea Shrubs
Stewartstonian azaleas bear red flowers in spring and red leaves in autumn. The foliage is evergreen, so there's even some winter interest. I instruct you on how to grow them in this piece.

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