A flowering bush is like a special gift in your garden. Although the blooms don’t last as long as summer annuals, they are a pleasant spot of color during their blooming season--spring or summer. Some flowering bushes, such as the Dogwood, continue into winter with a surprise of color from their limbs.
The lilac bush is well known and loved for its graceful beauty. There are several common varieties. The Common Purple lilac has one of the most powerful scents of any flowering bush. It has lavender-shade blooms that grow in clusters. Even the foliage is appealing with dark green leaves that are heart-shaped. This particular variety of lilac grows suckers from the roots, causing the overall plant to become larger. It will grow to 8 to 10 feet high. It’s adaptable to most soil combinations. Plant it in full sun to partial shade in hardiness plant zones 3 through 9 for best results.
The Common White lilac is like the Common Purple lilac, but with white blooms.
Another common lilac bush is the Miss Canada which has bright pink flowers. It is also adaptable to different soils. If you are looking for a more compact lilac for a smaller garden, this one only reaches a height of 6 to 9 feet.
Butterfly bushes love to be planted in a full-sun location, especially where conditions are extremely wet. These plants also like well drained soil, which means a sandy soil is best. You can amend clay soil with compost and a bit of sand. They are best known for being butterfly magnets. One of the common varieties of the butterfly bush is the White Butterfly bush. The blooms are white and the foliage is a light green. They grow best in hardiness plant zones 5 and 6. This is a plant that does better if it is dead headed. This will encourage a more prolific blooming of the plant. In late winter, cut the dead branches to the ground. This will ensure a faster growing, healthier plant with superior blooms the next year.
Another popular Butterfly bush is the Claret Purple. It is a bit more hardy than the White Butterfly bush and will do well in zones 5 through 9. It is revered for its honey scent and glorious claret-colored flowers.
The Dogwood bush is extremely popular for two reasons. It will grow in almost any soil condition. This makes it an easy plant, even for those self proclaimed “brown-thumb” gardeners. Secondly, the aesthetic value extends through winter months with lovely bare branches. The dogwood bush fruit is an important food for songbirds.
The popular Red Osier Dogwood bush leaves red-purple stems behind after the summer blooming season. Another one of the dogwood bushes with colorful bare limbs is the Coral Red Dogwood bush, which are bright red. Both of these Dogwood varieties do well in planting zones 2 through 8, making them available to a large segment of the U.S.