Shrubs cover a lot of space with just one plant. Shrubs that grow up to 3 feet tall are the shortest and do well under windows, in front of a split-rail fence, under tall trees, in containers, in rock gardens and as specimen plants bringing color to a front lawn. The plant may be short in stature, but it will be long on color.
Blue-mist shrub (Caryopteris x clandonensis) is also known as bluebeard and blue-spirea. The shrub is hardy in USDA Zones 6 to 9. The plant grows from 2 to 3 feet tall with blue-green, fuzzy, egg-shaped leaves that grow from 1 to 2 inches long. Blue flowers bloom in August growing in clusters. Plant Blue-mist shrub in loose, fertilized, well-drained soil and full sun.
Cranberry cotoneaster (Cotoneaster apiculatus) is a deciduous shrub native to Western China. The plant grows up to 3 feet tall and up to 6 feet wide. Dark-green, fuzzy, circular leaves grow to 3/4 inch in diameter and turn red and purple in the fall. Small, pink flowers bloom in clusters in July and are followed by small, red clusters of fruit from September through October. Plant cranberry cotoneaster in full sun or partial shade and a soil that is loose and well drained. The plant is hardy in USDA Zones 4 to 7 and bees will come by for some of the nectar.
Dwarf fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii) does well in full sun, partial shade or full shade and a soil that moist, rich and well drained. It is hardy in USDA Zones 5 to 8. The shrub grows from up to 3 feet tall and about the same in width. Egg-shaped leaves grow up to 3 inches long on short stems starting out as bronze or light green, changing to gray-green, dark green or blue-green as they mature and finally to a mix of green, yellow, orange, pink, violet and scarlet on the same plant if the plant is in full or partial sun. If it is planted in shade, the colors will be green, yellow and orange. Flowers start out as green-white, change to white and grow on oval, green spikes 2 inches long and 1 inch wide in April or May.
Sheep laurel (Kalmia angustifolia) is also known as lambkill kalmia. The shrub is a spreading evergreen that grows from 1 to 3 feet tall. Blue-green, elliptic-shaped leaves grow from 1 to 2 inches long. Rose-pink flowers bloom in late June and grow up to 2 inches across. Plant sheep laurel in partial shade or full sun and a cool, moist, organic soil. The plant is hardy in USDA Zones 1 to 8.