When landscaping the garden, there are a number of plant choices, including ground covers, vines, trees and bushes. Gardeners consider a variety of factors when selecting a bush or shrub, such as its irrigation needs and the plant’s ultimate height and shape. Another reason for selecting a bush is for the flowers it produces, which add color and texture to the garden. While the rose bush is the classic flowering shrub, there are other flowering bushes from which to choose.
Gardenia bushes, with their dark green leaves, produce heavily scented, sweet smelling, snow-white flowers with velvety petals. Don’t be tempted to touch the flower petals, as they bruise easily. Gardenia flowers typically bloom in the springtime, through May. By midsummer, the next season’s buds develop on the bush. Gardenias are suited for warm regions which do not experience severe winters or frost. Low humidity causes problems for the plant, as does over or under irrigation. They do well along walkways with partial shading.
The lilac produces clusters of delicate, fragrant, lavender-colored blossoms. While considered a deciduous shrub, some gardeners grow the lilac as a small tree. Grown throughout the United States, the lilac bush is native to Asia and Europe. A hardy plant, the lilac prefers slightly alkaline, well-draining soil and sunny locations. Lilacs require regular pruning to keep flower production high. Regular pruning also improves circulation, which reduces instances of powdery mildew.
For a showy and dramatic flower, the hibiscus plant ,or rose of Sharon, produces a notable blossom. A native of China and India, the hibiscus thrives in USDA Zones 5 through 9, preferring sunny locations and moist soil. Its flowers are large and bloom during the summertime. The hibiscus bush can grow up to 10 feet in height, with a width between 4 and 10 feet. Its flowers come in a variety of colors, including blue, lavender, red, white, purple and pink.
The hydrangea flowers in the summertime, producing generous clusters of white, pink or blue blossoms. A hardy bush, the hydrangea is resistant to many plant diseases and garden pests, making it an ideal choice for the garden. When selecting a location for planting, choose a site sheltered from the wind, with full or partial sun. To avoid wilting of the plant’s foliage, provide ample irrigation, as the hydrangea prefers a moist soil.
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