The Q&A Archives: Colorful Shrubs And Beautiful Centerpieces

Question: I lve in Northern New Jersey and am starting a flower garden anew. I am looking for sugestions for a beautiful centerpiece lant/shrub for the garden as well a suggestions for some funky colorful shrubs along the front of the house. The shrub area is partially shady and the centerpiece area gets full sun

Answer: This is so much a matter of personal taste it is almost impossible to make suggestions. In a flower garden there is always a need for height, and often nothing to look at in winter, so perhaps a tall evergreen such as a "Skyrocket" juniper or a simple boxwood or a clipped yew topiary? A tree peony is always attractive and somewhat unusual. Perhaps a tower trellis and clematis? In making the selection, look for a plant with good structure to enjoy year round and one that matures within an acceptable size range given the overall area.

The shrub area is more difficult. If the sun is in the afternoon or last six hours and includes noon then look for sunloving plants. If the shade is dappled all day or includes just a few hours of sun, then look for shade to partial shade plants. For sun you might consider the brightly colored so-called dwarf evergreens, knowing that some of them mature to quite a large size after a number of years, or perhaps some of the brightly colored barberries in red and golden tones, or perhaps the summer blooming spireas with pink flowers and bright foliage would do. For partial shade, you might consider the variegated varieties of Euonymous fortunei or perhaps a variegated form of the shrub dogwood. I hope this gives you some ideas.

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