Flowering plants are an extra bonus in your landscaping. Perennial bushes and trees that offer bright blooms for a time each year, retain root life, while the tops appear to die off during the winter months. Flowers, bushes, vines and trees are some of the most commonly known flowering plants.
Roses are a flowering plant, which happens to also be a perennial. A perennial plant is one that lives at least three years, with new growth annually. Most people love roses and think of them as a romantic flower. There are three specific types of roses, with many categories and varieties under each. Wild roses are mainly considered wildflowers and can be spotted on rocky slopes, forests and clearings along the roadway. The Rosa carolina, a wild rose species, has large pink blooms. Old garden rose is a name given to any rose species that is a non-hybrid, cultivated before 1867. The Alba rose, for example, is most reminiscent of castle gardens in the Middle Ages. It is fragrant and found in white and light pink. The last type of rose is the modern garden rose. These are hybrids created after 1867. The hybrid tea rose is an example of a modern garden rose. It is a classic rose cut for vases and arrangements, as it has a long stem with a single flower per stem.
Most trees produce some sort of flower; this is how they reproduce. However, when you refer to flowering trees, you probably think of the showy blooms of ornamentals. One of the favorites is the crepe myrtle. It prefers a warmer climate of USDA hardiness zone 7 and higher (see Resources). Not only is it a fast growing tree, but surprises its owner with rich, thick blooms of white, red, pink or purple. The hybrid crepe myrtle varieties bloom longer than the heirloom trees. The Muskogee crepe myrtle blooms for 120 days. It grows to a height of up to 25 feet. Plant these in groupings for a spectacular array of lavender blooms. A smaller crepe myrtle variety is the Pink Velour crepe, growing to 10 feet. It has bright pink blossoms. It’s one of the easy-to-grow crepe myrtles, and is drought-resistant. For a shock of bright red flowers, choose the Arapaho crepe myrtle. It will grow to a height of 25 feet, blooming spring through fall.
Azaleas are one of the most popular flowering bushes. They are referred to as the “royalty of the garden.” There are thousands of varieties, allowing most southeastern locations the opportunity to grow this great beauty. They also grow well along the Pacific coast. Most of the azalea varieties are unable to withstand temperatures below -10 degrees F. There are plants within the azalea family that are evergreen (keeps leaves year-round) and deciduous (loses leaves in winter). Most popular are the evergreens. The funnel-shaped flowers are so full and color-spectacular during blooming, usually spring. Azalea varieties come in white, pink, lavender, red, yellow, apricot, salmon and orange. These flowering bushes can grow from 4 to 6 feet. The hardiest are Gable hybrid varieties. A rarity, the Robin Hill azaleas can withstand temperatures to -30 degrees F and up to 100 degrees F.