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PLANT PROFILES: MID-FLOWERING SHRUB

When getting into planting design…

…one of the most important aspects is layering plant heights and textures. After a design has the larger anchoring elements in place, MID-FLOWERING SHRUBS are the next tier down to add variety and structure to the landscape.

While not as tall as LARGE FLOWERING SHRUBS, many MID-FLOWERING SHRUBS have varieties that grow larger. This variance in size allows for easy swap outs in design—If there’s not enough room for a Limelight Hydrangea, a Little Lime Hydrangea might be the better call. It’s important to note that not every category is necessary in every layout, but a healthy layering from tall to short with variance in seasonal interest is key to a knock-out design.

But it’s often a process. Once you know the site conditions and your aesthetic goals, there still may be a mountain of plants to choose from. To maintain a fashionable palette that’s not too heavy with plant material, expect to swap species a few times from each category until the desired combination is achieved. Good news is if you start off with a Little Lime Hydrangea but want to substitute for a Red Knockout Rose, you can easily bring in the taller Limelight for that pop of light floral green!

 

LARGE TREE ORNAMENTAL TREE LARGE FLOWERING SHRUB MID-FLOWERING SHRUB LOW-SPREADING SHRUB UPRIGHT EVERGREEN LOW-SPREADING EVERGREEN
FLOWERING PERENNIAL FOLIAGE PERENNIAL UPRIGHT ORNAMENTAL GRASS SHRUB-LIKE ORNAMENTAL GRASS FLOWERING GROUNDCOVER EVERGREEN GROUNDCOVER VINE

 

KEMORA PICKS Azalea, Chokeberry, Cinquefoil, Clethra, Forsythia, Fothergilla, Hydrangea, Ninebark, Rhododendron, Rose, Sumac, Sweetspire, Weigela

SUN Full Sun to Partial Shade
ORNAMENTAL INTERESTS
MID-FLOWERING SHRUBS provide ornamental
value in leaf color, texture, bark aesthetic, or
floral displays. A few varieties also boast berries
to sustain native bird populations in the winter.
DESIGN USE
As the middle range of the deciduous shrubs,
MID-FLOWERING SHRUBS act as a layering element while providing unique interest and bloom times when other species may be dormant. Use in front
of taller shrubs and trees, but behind shorter shrubs, perennials, and groundcovers.
ALTERNATIVES
Like the width or height of a MID-FLOWERING
SHRUB
but hate that it looses its leaves in winter? SPREADING EVERGREENS layer well with larger
shrubs and trees while creating privacy
and winter interest.
Lilac Photo Credit: Tom Britt via Flickr [CC BY 2.0]; Dogwood Photo Credit: USEPA Environmental-Protection-Agency, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Plant info found on Google is not always precise as it is an aggregate of information from around the world—so we want to share our observations from years of getting our hands dirty in the Second City. This post is the latest in one of our newest series, PLANT PROFILES, where we explore each plant category as well as the preferred species of Kemora. We love plants which in turn gives us a trained eye for trouble-shooting them. And it is our hope you will come to love them too!

Kemora Landscapes is a full-service design, build, and maintenance company based in Chicago.

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