I love to use shrubs in the landscape so I asked some of our local garden center owners, managers and employees about their favorite shrubs for the garden and what specifically they liked about these plants.
Ross Moreland from Andy’s Gardens in Piqua and Troy noted one of his top favorites, Little Lime hydrangea.
This is similar to Limelight hydrangea, but shorter.
The creamy green-tinted flowers begin to bloom in July and last all season. They are nice in dried arrangements as well.
Plant this one in a little bit of shade or filtered sun and it will thrive in the garden.
Polly Ashmore of Bern’s Garden Center in Middletown says that Buddleia X Lo & Behold have done quite well in their display garden. This miniature butterfly bush is great for smaller landscapes as it only gets about 3 feet tall and about as wide.
The bluish flowers start in midsummer and continue until frost and are quite attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds.
Mic DiGioia of Crown Market in Springfield said he thinks the Double Take series of flowering quinces have a lot of promise. This old-fashioned shrub is one of the first to bloom in the early spring. It’s very low-maintenance and comes in scarlet, pink and orange and is thornless, unlike the species!
Jerry Schellhorn of Grandma’s Garden Center near Centerville recommended dwarf fothergilla as one of his favorites.
This small shrub grows to about 3 feet tall and is well-suited for the smaller landscape and does well in sun or shade.
The bottle-brush white flowers appear in April and smell like honey. In addition, it has an exceptional mix of orange, reddish, and burgundy fall color.
Rob Scott of Knollwood Garden Center in Beavercreek said he is excited to have the newest of the Endless Summer hydrangeas, Bella Anna. This 3-foot by 3-foot hydrangea has large pink blooms and is quite winter hardy and withstands severe pruning.
Staci Weller of Maple Lane Trees and Garden Center in Urbana picked Mr. Bowling Ball arborvitae and I couldn’t agree with her more.
This is a great compact arborvitae that doesn’t need trimming and grows to between 2 and 3 feet in height.
It’s extremely low maintenance and maintains the round shape — hence the name.
Mark Webber of Mark Webber’s Landscape Company Nursery and Farm in Dayton is an aficionado of native plants and really likes the native button bush. This large (grows 15 feet tall and 7 feet wide) all-purpose plant is drought-resistant and takes standing water; give it lots of room to grow. The spherical flowers appear in midsummer and attract butterflies.
Earl Robinson from Meadowview Growers Inc. in New Carlisle suggested Bloomerang lilac. This newer cultivar of lilac is one of the reblooming lilacs that have hit the market lately.
It blooms with lavender blue flowers in the spring and then again throughout the summer; removing the dead blooms encourages more blooming.
It can grow to about 5 feet tall and a little wider and is promoted as “deer resistant.”
Robert Siebenthaler from Siebenthaler’s Garden centers in Beavercreek and Centerville suggested a variety that goes way back, but it’s a great plant to consider.
People have really stopped using Taxus as a landscape shrub in general.
Robert says that Taxus hicksii is an “underappreciated” shrub.
This particular species is a dependable, adaptable plant that is happy in sun as well as shade and provides a beautiful dark green columnar habit in the landscape. They don’t like wet feet, but do well almost anywhere else in the landscape.
Pam Corle-Bennett is an Ohio State University Extension horticulture educator and the state Master Gardener volunteer coordinator.