Take your pick of Shrubs and Bushes!
When you’ve been planting bushes and shrubs as long as we have at Bucks Country Gardens, you get a first-hand idea of what works and what doesn’t. There are certain specimens that consistently land on our list of favorites since we started this business over 40 years ago. We also favor several shrubs that are relatively new hybrids which have proven to be far superior to their older counterparts.
Our criteria is simple: Is it a shrub that thrives in our climate and soil conditions, and is it beautiful? We look for a variety of shrubs that will provide you with color all year round. Below is our most common shrubs that we carry. If you are looking for a specific variety or species ask an expert.
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Here are Bucks Country Gardens’ most common shrubs.
Azaleas are spring-blooming shrubs that are part of the Rhododendron family. Typically, they have smaller flowers and leaves and are arranged in a similar cluster-type form. Most azaleas offer a pink, white, red or purple flower are backed by evergreen foliage on a low spreading or mounding form. Azaleas prefer morning sun and afternoon shade environments and thrive in slightly acidic soil. To help control growth, you can prune your azalea shrubs after they have finished blooming. Be sure to hold off on any winter pruning is this will damage the azalea.
Holly plants are a medium-sized evergreen that can grow to 50 feet tall and about 30 feet wide. Most will never make it that size in your lifetime. They are pyramid-shaped when young but become broader and more rounded as they age. Most holly shrubs’ leaves are alternating, thick and glossy with sharp tips along the edges. They also can have smooth rounder shaped leaves.Hollies produce small white flowers in late spring and red berries during winter months. The berries are inedible to humans but provide food for birds, squirrels and other animals.
American boxwood is a perennial shrub that can grow to 20 feet high and up to 15 feet wide. However, many cultivations of boxwoods are pruned regularly to maintain a standard size and shape appropriate for the surrounding landscaping. The growth pattern is generally spherical, although some longer stems may emerge from the top and extend several feet beyond the bulk of the stems and foliage. Boxwood leaves are evergreen and grow in pairs on opposite sides of the twigs. They are generally around 1 inch long and 1/2 inch wide. The leaves emerge in various colors of green, ranging from a richer dark color to a lighter, yellower tone.
Rhododendrons have dark green, shiny leaves with lighter green, matte undersides. The leaves tend to be thick and leathery in texture. These plants retain their leaves year-round, though cold weather may cause the leaves to brown, curl and shrivel. Some varieties have leaves that turn dark red in winter. They have showy clusters of bell-shaped flowers in pink and purple, and are popular as landscaping plants.
Hydrangeas have big, bold leaves that are structured in a one-to-one position on each side of the main stem. Leaves are typically simple in shape with jagged edges. Many varieties of hydrangeas are not evergreen and will loose their leaves in the winter. Hydrangea flowers grow in large clusters, with each individual flower typically possessing four to five separate petals. Hydrangea flowers can be blue, white, red or pink in color. The color of some species of hydrangeas are affected by the ph level of the soil they are grown in. Soils with a high pH produce blue hydrangea flowers, while alkaline soils produce flowers that are red and pink. Hydrangeas do very well as cut flowers, maintaining their color and shape for up to one month with proper care.
There is no singular viburnum foliage. It can be rounded, lance-shape or toothed, smooth, velvety or rough. There are some evergreen and semi-evergreen varieties and many deciduous varieties with outstanding fall color. Most viburnums have either white or pinkish flowers which are sometimes fragrant. The flowers themselves come in three major types: 1) Flat clusters of florets, 2) Flat umbels outlined with larger flowers, resembling lacecap hydrangeas and 3) Dome-shaped, snowball like clusters.
These early bloomers sport the vibrant yellow flowers that have become a fixture of our spring dreams. Their flowers precede their leaves. Border forsythias are fast-growing shrubs with an upright and arching form. Border forsythias, as the name suggests, are often used to demarcate property boundaries. They are also often used as a “living wall” privacy fence for summer and fall, after they have fully leafed out. Forsythia plants can also be used as specimens and for erosion control on slopes.
The cherry laurel bush reaches 4 to 6 feet tall at maturity. Its dense, rounded growing habit makes great for a hedge. Glossy foliage is green, oval and 2 to 4 inches long. The leaves do not change color during fall. Starting in spring, long stalks filled with clusters of white, fragrant flowers bloom. The flowers fill the shrub throughout late springtime. After the flowering phase, clusters of blackish-blue fruits form, which are a food source for wildlife.
Roses have canes, which can be very thick or quite slender. These are the branches from which the flowers bloom. The leaves of rose plants are ovate and range from medium to dark green in color. They grow in clusters of three or five. The flowers of roses can range from simple, five-petaled blooms to large, heavily ruffled beauties. Some miniature roses only reach a maximum height of 8 inches, while a few species of climbing roses can climb to 50 feet. Most climbing roses do not get more than 15 feet tall, however. The popular hybrid tea rose plants, which are upright and bushy in form, average between 4 and 6 feet in height and width.
The spirea is a small-leaved shrub in the rose family of plants. While bridal wreath spireas bloom in spring with clusters of white flowers, lower-growing varieties bloom in summer to fall with clusters of pink, red or white flowers, which appear at the ends of upright branches. The narrow, green leaves of spirea shrubs have toothed edges and can be evergreen or deciduous. In fall, deciduous spirea leaves turn orange. Spirea shrubs thrive in partial to full sun exposure and can tolerate most soils except those that are severely wet.
Best Flowering Shrubs for Sun
Magic Carpet Spirea
Black Knight Butterfly Bush
Vitex Blue Chaste Shrub
Pink Diamond Hydrangea
Wine and Roses Weigelia
Best Flowering Shrubs for Shade
Delaware Valley White Azalea
Endless Summer Hydrangea
Best Flowering Shrubs for Deer Resistance
Magic Carpet Spirea