We don't call this a "blow-out" sale for nothing - the prices are irresistible, especially if, like me, you're a big fan of shrubs for low-maintneance, high-mpact gardens.  I just wish I had the space to add more - this week, before the sale is over or they're sold out.

Shrub Guide

'Neon Splash' Spirea and 'Gulf Stream' Nandina, both $15


I'm a huge fan of Spireas, the large group of flowering shrubs that breeders are doing great things with these days and more gardeners are discovering every year.  No longer are Spireas just huge mounds of cascading white flowers - the old-fashioned 'Bridal Wreath' type.  As much as I love them, too, gardeners need smaller types to choose from, and longer periods of bloom.  And this 'Neon Splash' Spirea delivers on both counts.  The rebloom you see here is from late August, and the shrubs will deliver another surprise in the fall - red foliage.  'Neon Splashes' are also nice and compact - just 3 by 3 feet.  I've found Spireas to be surprisingly drought-tolerant and trouble-free.

Nandinas are another plants I find myself frequently recommending to homeowners, because they're sooooo tough and one of the very few evergreen shrubs that can take shade.  And unlike some plants that overpower the houses they're planted in front of (especially yews)  they stay nice and narrow.  And unlike the full-size species Nandina, the 'Gulf Stream' variety doesn't need pruning to prevent legginess - Gulf Streams stay full and relatively short, at 3-3.5 feet in height.  And check out the range of leaf color these Gulf Streams exhibit throughout the year.


'Gold Dust' Acuba


Another long-time favorite of mine is 'Gold Dust' Acuba, shown here thoroughly hiding an ugly garage and nicely paired with hostas, and then in detail at our Davidsonville store.  I've found Acuba to be super-drought-tolerant and a real do-er that brightens up the darkest of spots.  They're vigorous growers that can be hacked back to any size and shape with no fear of being harmed by inexpert pruning.  So if you want to keep yours shorter than their ultimate height of 6 to 10 feet, no problemo.  They're also easy to start from cuttings, in case you're feeling generous with your friends and neighbors.  These are on sale for $12.


Salix 'Hakuro Nishiki'


Next is the Dappled Willow 'Hakuro Nishiki', a plant I haven't grown but would dearly love to - for its gorgeous foliage, which emerges pink in the spring, matures to a creamy white and green, then becomes yellow in the fall.  But the show's not over yet because the stems turn red in winter.  And what a lovely cascading shape they have!  At 4-6 feet tall and 5-7 feet wide I don't have room for one in my little townhouse garden but am holding out hope that the breeders will develop a dwarf variety soon.  These good-sized shrubs are just $15.


'Brown Turkey' Fig and ''Red Emperor' Japanese Maple


Another plant I regret not having room to grow is a fig or two, especially the 'Brown Turkey' that you see here.  It's the most popular variety in our area because it  survives our winters with no problem and is so darn productive.  though my garden doesn't have enough space or sun, a nearby neighbor does and she lets us all snack on the figs any time we want.  And this time of year I find reasons to walk by this generous neighbor at least daily.  Sometimes twice a day.  There's nothing like a fresh-picked fig.

And finally, our woodies manager Joseph Panossian made sure I saw the 'red Emperor' Japanese Maples in his department because in addition to their beauty, they're reduced from $120 to just $30.   Already quite large, they'll grow to the nice garden size of 15-18 feet tall by 12-15 wide and be this gorgeous dark red all season - until they become a bright fire-engine red in the fall. It's happy in partial sun, can take full sun, and with its Asian look and dramatic shape, it adds "pop" to the garden all year.

Those are just the ones that caught my eye - there are MORE.  While supplies last, of course.

Salix photo credit.

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