10 super summer shrubs: fragrance, intriguing blossoms, color even bird and butterfly appeal (2)

Simply Stately

Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)

This exotic beauty thrives in moderate climates. Its tropical-looking pink, lavender, or white funnel-shaped blossoms revive any faltering midsummer garden. At full height, the Rose of Sharon is V-shape. But be warned: This beauty can be invasive, shedding seed capsules that spur weedy seedlings. Remove the capsules before they mature or look for sterile hybrid varieties, such as lavender ‘Minerva’, dark pink ‘Aphrodite ‘, or pure white ‘ Diana’. Mulch well in cooler winter regions. In winter or early spring, cut away last season’s growth (for bigger blossoms).

Growth: 10 to 15 feet tall

Conditions: full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soil that’s neutral to slightly alkaline

Zardy: Zones 5 to 9

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10 super summer shrubs: fragrance, intriguing blossoms, color even bird and butterfly appeal (1)

Spring-blooming shrubs put on a great opening act, but summer shrubs steal the show. Their strong U silhouettes add balance, mass, and scattered shade as they link trees and larger woody plants with smaller flowers, vines, and ground covers. They enhance the garden’s dynamic swirl of colorful annuals and perennials. Here are our favorites, with their distinctive benefits.

Heavenly Blue


(Caryopteris x clandonensis)

This Asian native is well settled into American life. Birds and butterflies love it, bees buzz it so vigorously that you can hear them clearly, and it makes a great cut flower.

Bluebeard never flinches at summer heat and humidity, doesn’t tempt deer, and manages with less than ideal rainfall. However, it can be short-lived; after 4 or 5 years, it may need replacement, but in the meantime, it’s well worth having. Bluebeard forms a low, fine-textured mound of intensely blue flowers in airy clusters on spreading branches. ‘Kew Blue’ has deep violet-blue flowers while newcomer ‘Sapphire Surf’ is amazing in mass plantings. Its leaves are aromatic and, on some cultivars, such as ‘Worcester Gold‘, variegated. Cut it back in late winter or early spring for strong, dense growth. Read more

Tips to choose the best Log Splitter

You will find essentially three various kinds of log splitters obtainable; the actual three types tend to be electric, gas and a guide. It’s difficult to find out which sort is the greatest one; eventually, this will depend on your requirements along with the spending budget you need to use. Guide firewood splitters would be the cheapest versions while electric log blades tend to be listed in the best log splitter would be the priciest choice from the three kinds.

Tips to choose the best one:

So as absolutely help figure out which sort is the greatest for you personally, you should look at the cost along with the size associated with fire logs that you’re splitting and also the rate of recurrence useful that you’ll be while using a device. See the following tips: Read more

Flowers that change color: is it magic or a marvel of nature?

Most of us know that vegetables change color as they ripen and that leaves often display bright colors just before they fall. Some flowers change color, too, even while blooming.

A sunny bank of volunteer forget-me-nots (Myosotis) alerted me to this phenomenon. The sweet, small flowers spread a carpet of pink and blue. Then, one day, the ground was covered in blue.

At first, the buds of the lungwort (Pulmonaria) under the maple tree stood out as pink among the silver-streaked and white-spotted leaves. The next time I looked, patches of blue dominated. For weeks, bees hovered over the blue blossoms, and then, seemingly before my eyes, the blossoms turned dark pink.

How do they do it and why?


Since the days of English naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-82), botanists and other scientists have studied color change. Color changes related to pollination have been observed in at least 77 families of flowering plants. Read more