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Brighten the Landscape with Summer Flowering Shrubs

Potentilla, Japanese spirea and hydrangeas come to mind when looking for summer blooming shrubs. But consider adding some lesser-used plants to add color and beauty to your summer landscape.

The fragrant white flowers of native Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis hardy in zones 4 to 8) brighten the summer garden and perfume the air. Grow this versatile plant in full sun to part shade and moist to wet soils. It provides wildlife habitat, food for silk worms, attracts butterflies and helps maintain water quality.

Add a splash of sunshine to the garden border or shrub bed with St. Johnswort (Hypericum kalianum hardy in zones 4 to 8). The yellow blooms stand out against the blue green leaves and are frequently visited by bees and butterflies.

Finish the summer with seven-son flower (Heptacodium miconioides hardy in Zones 5 to 8).  The flower buds appear in early summer, but don’t reveal the fragrant white flowers until later in the summer. But the show is not over. The persistent rose-purple sepals provide several weeks of added beauty. 

A bit more information:  Our native bush honeysuckle (Diervilla) is another summer blooming shrub. You’ll see hummingbirds and butterflies visiting the tubular yellow blossoms. New varieties with variegated, orange tinged and purple foliage are now available.

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