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Garden Hedges: Flowering Shrubs-2

Flowering shrubs can add color and fragrance to a garden hedge and be a great addition to the garden. They can create garden rooms, screen out an unattractive view, or act as a barrier to keep out animals or unwanted visitors. There are many different flowering shrubs that make good hedges so there is probably one that will meet the wants and needs of every gardener.

The five shrubs described below respond to pruning well and can be trained into a hedge.

Late Lilac (Syringa villosa)Late lilac has a lot to offer. It is one of the hardiest of the lilacs, its flowers open a full week after the flowers of common lilac have faded, and it’s dense growth and shorter stature makes it a fine candidate for a hedge. The flowers are rosey-lilac to white. True, they are not as fragrant as those of common lilac but the overall appearance of the shrub makes it a good choice for a hedge.

    Height: 6-9’
    Bloom Time: Spring, a full week after common lilac
    Light : Full sun
    Soil: Average, moist, well-drained
    Hardiness: Zones 3-7.

Bridlewreath (Spirea x vanhouttei)The graceful branches covered with white flowers and the arching habit make this a prized shrub in spring. Add to that its vigorous growth and dependability and you have an outstanding shrub, one of the best spireas available.

    Height: 6-8
    Bloom Time: Mid spring
    Light: Average, medium moisture, well-drained
    Soil: Full sun
    Hardiness: Zones 3-8.

Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles speciosa)The white, pink, or red flowers may be single or double and are borne before the leaves on twiggy branches. After the shrub blooms it is not particularly attractive but the presence of thorns make it especially suitable for a barrier hedger. Many cultivars are available.

    Height: 6-10’
    Bloom Time: Early spring
    Light: Full sun to part shade
    Soil: Average, moist, well-drained, slightly acidic; tolerates some dryness
    Hardiness: Zones 4-8.

Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)There are many cultivars of crepe myrtle from dwarf shrubs to small trees. Their flowers may be white, pink, red, or lavender and are borne in dense trusses for many weeks in summer, the exact bloom time depending on the cultivar.

    Height: 3-30’
    Bloom Time: Summer
    Light: Full sun
    Soil: Average, well-drained
    Hardiness: Zones 7-9.

Chinese Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)For a tropical look you can’t beat Chinese hibiscus with its large showy colorful flowers. Many cultivars are available with white through yellow, orange, and red flowers. The large leaves are glossy and dark green. This evergreen shrubs need plenty of water and fertilizer throughout the flowering season.

    Height: 4-10’
    BloomTime: Spring through fall
    Light: Full sun
    Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained
    Hardiness: Zones 9-11.

The five flowering hedges described here vary considerably in their appearance and hardiness. Some, like late lilacs thrive in cool climates while others like Chinese hibiscus can only grow as a hedge in very warm climates. Most are medium height and will make an attractive hedge without a lot of pruning. Flowering quince has thorns making it a good choice for a barrier hedge.

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