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Readers Respond: What Are the Best Bushes to Grow?

Responses: 21

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From the article: List of Shrubs

Many a landscaping need is best met by growing bushes (shrubs) Why? Because bushes are the Goldilocks of the plant world. Trees can be too tall to grow in a certain area in the yard where you need color; they can also be high maintenance, as when trimming them requires the use of pole pruners. Conversely, many perennials lack the height to make a statement from afar.

Enter bushes, those versatile plants of an intermediate size. What bushes would you list as your favorites? Click the link and fill in the boxes provided to let others know your choices for the best bushes to grow -- and why you've chosen those particular bushes.

Longing for Butterfly Bush

Unfortunately, I can't grow a butterfly bush. Here in Wisconsin, we've been told we're creeping into Zone 5, too, but I don't believe it. Some years it may work out fine, with warmer temps, but there's always that chance of a sneaky, rough winter and then the Zone 5 plants can be history, which is heart-breaking.
—Guest eOaxMiOhgMX

Forsythia

My pick is forsythia, because of its beautiful bright yellow color. And it is as beautiful fall as it is in the spring.
—Guest journey

This Is "for the Birds"

Thanks so much I felt like you were talking to me. My husband and I bought our place to retire to. I have an open palate and a lot of work (but then no work). Our "best bushes" would be ones that attract birds (although we'll keep a few treats for us!). Planning on doing it slowly.
—Guest Debra

Quince, Rose Favorite Bushes

For this time of year (February 16), it is my quince bush that is starting to bloom, just in time for my anniversary of 35 years to my wonderful husband, Bobby. In the next few weeks, it will be my Lady Banks Rose.
—mabs21676

Three Favorite Bushes

I love lots of different bushes, but my three favorites are butterfly bushes, hydrangeas (for the gorgeous flowers and the way they draw birds and butterflies) and Bridal Wreath spireas. I think my Bridal Wreath spireas are so pretty.
—Guest Musicat

Best Bushes: 2 Fragrant Favorites

My favorites are the Sensation lilac (it's a bi-color) and, of course, my beloved double peonies.
—Guest JIM BORUCKI

Lights Azaleas My Favorite Bushes

Aside from all fruit bushes, the "Lights" series of orange/yellow Azaleas. Simply drop-dead stunning!
—frankmosher

Drift Rose My Best Bush, This Year

This year my favorite bush is the Drift rose. They come in several colors: pink, coral, peach, and red. They bloom so much that you can hardly see the foliage. They only reach 18 inches so they are great as a border. The foliage is of course green in the summer, but the new growth is a reddish color. Even in the winter they do not loose all of their leaves. I am very pleased with their performance in almost any condition. Try them, you will love them.
—Guest Teresa Merrell

So Many Favorite Bushes...

First, lilac for the, what else, fragrant blooms. Potentilla, for the long lasting, cheery, bright yellow blooms. Spirea, they always remind me of a bridal bouquet. Last but not least, Honeysuckle, again for the fragrance.
—BrucesMom

Diablo Ninebark Has Stolen My Heart

The Ninebarks are really great here in Colorado. Purple color leaves and great pink flowers in spring. They are fast growing and full in just one year. So many are my favorites, I am replacing many shrubs in the complex where I live / work and trying new varieties. Thanks for all your comments and help on all the various shrubs that do so well and look fantastic! [Editor's note: Glad to be able to help you in your selection of the best bushes to grow, FiestyFlowerGal!]
—Kathleen.Norris

Best Bushes: Ninebark, Viburnum

Ninebark 'Dart's Gold': lovely color, pretty flowers, interesting bark. Also arrowwood viburnum for fall color.
—Guest mark

But What About Year-Round Animals?

I'd purchased an Autumn Magic Black Chokecherry on the recommendation it was a year-round interest plant. Flowers in spring, autumn color foliage, berries that last deep into winter. True! I love it. But I had no idea how much rabbits in the winter loved every part of it. Before I knew it, I looked out in early December to find what was once a broad, 4' tall, 4' wide beauty was chomped down to few nubs by the neighborhoods rabbit infestation. Not much left but I rushed out to put wire around the remainder. In the weeks after the rabbits moved on to my Helmand Pillar barberry (winter interest also eaten clean down to the ground), then to my gray twig dogwood (two branches left), and two blue muffin arrowwood viburnums (once 4 foot tall now stand 1 foot tall). So I can say the rabbit infestation has taught me that winter interest is not only pretty to a human's sense of aesthetic, but often also of interest to scurrying rodents hungry for a snack. Those pretty shrubs better be caged up.
—Guest Eric Anondson

My Favorite Bush

I have several favorites: Butterfly Bush for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds, mophead hydrangea and lilac for the wonderful scent of the flowers in spring.
—Guest GardengalinCaif

Best Bushes to Grow: Lavender

My two favourite lavenders are French and English, but I also like Cotton lavender. Admittedly, lavenders can become woody and leggy if neglected but if they are being fed, groomed and manicured the result can be very pleasing. They have style, texture, fragrance and colour all going for them.
—Hedgecutter

Fothergillas Best Bushes to Grow

I love Fothergillas...beautiful blue/green leaves, then changing to gold/orange in the fall
—Guest Bonnie
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