There are a lot of different ways to go about improving your overall landscaping design. South Carolina’s climate makes it possible to plant a tremendous range of plants and elevate the look of a home in a huge way. Fall and winter are often considered the best times to plant, since the summer sun and heat won’t lead to significant water shortages for plants and will help them improve their survival rate.
There are numerous plants you can choose, and many are readily available at your local garden center. However, very few are as versatile as shrubs. Flowering shrubs go beyond the basic benefits that flowers can offer, bringing a burst of color to gardens and properties of any size. They are small enough to fit into patio gardens, tuck into corners of large gardens, and even line driveways with. However, they’re still big enough to provide a little bit more than small flowers.
Additionally, shrubs provide longer periods of beauty – they flower in vibrant hues and maintain their blooms longer than perennials and even annuals will. Planting in the fall brings big color to the summertime months, and several shrubs deserve your attention.
Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, the right combination of size, shape, and color will all go into the final appearance of your property. Here are 6 great shrubs available at your local garden center that will elevate your landscaping in a big way.
- Dwarf Crepe Myrtle – A smaller version of the classic bush, these shrubs bloom from summer all the way into the middle of fall with flowers that appear and will last for as long as 3 months. They’re great for container planting and will thrive in pots, but can also be planted in flowerbeds as well to provide a little something extra. Six different cultivars are available at your local garden center, providing plenty of colors to choose from while also providing a drought resistant plant that fits into any landscape design.
- Oakleaf Hydrangea – These new varieties of the classic hydrangea features oakleaf style plants with big, quilted leaves that are coupled with white flowers that will gradually mature into a rich, vibrant pink color. Maximum plant height is only 3.5 feet, providing a shrub that is perfect for use in even smaller garden spaces or for those who are using container gardening to create their landscapes. Their smaller size makes them a great choice when you need accent pieces or when you want to fill empty spaces with something unique.
- Camellia – Summer and spring shouldn’t be the only seasons that showcase your landscape’s beauty. Camellia flowers throughout the fall and the winter, adding a bit of color to the times of year when most plants are dormant. They’re very hardy and develop soft, pink colored flowers that really pop, and can reach as much as 6 feet in height. They should be used carefully to avoid them overtaking landscape design, but used correctly with some advice from your local garden center’s experts you can truly elevate a property with these plants
- Loropetalum– Loropetalum (Loropetalum chinense), also known as Chinese fringe-flower, is a member of the Witchhazel family (Hamamelidaceae). The genus name, Loropetalum, is derived from the Greek words for strap and petal, and refers to the long, thin petals of its fringe-like blooms. While native to China, Japan and the Himalayas, loropetalum is well-adapted to all regions of South Carolina.
- Gardenia– Gardenias have been popular shrubs in South Carolina since the 18th Century, and have been grown by the Chinese for over a thousand years. They were named after the Scottish naturalist Alexander Garden (1730 – 1791). Gardenias are not the easiest shrubs to grow, but the exquisite white, fragrant flowers make up for the extra attention gardenias require.
Ilex (Hollies) The Holly (Ilex) genus consists of more than 400 species. Hollies offer a diverse range of plant characteristics. They can be deciduous or evergreen and vary from small (18 inches) to very large (over 50 feet). Most hollies require well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter and slightly acid. All appreciate mulch to deter weeds and keep the soil moist and cool. Hollies will grow in sun or part shade, but for the best berry production and most compact growth choose a sunny spot. Some hollies are self-fertilizing, but others are exclusively female and need a male plant nearby for pollination. Check with your nursery owner about whether the hollies you are buying need both male and female plants to set fruit.
All six of these great shrubs are readily available throughout South Carolina, and all of them will thrive in our area perfectly. They’re a great fit for any landscape design plan, and your local garden center can help you master the art of planting them properly. As the fall rolls into the winter, it’s finally time to start planting shrubs and making big changes to your landscaping. Don’t overlook what shrubs like these can do – it could transform your home’s natural beauty in a big way.