As we reach the height of summer, many of the earlier showstoppers have peaked and are starting to wind down. Now it's time for some shrubs to really hit their zenith with lush growth, fabulous flowers, or pretty fruits. (And, with fall planting just around the corner, now's the time to take stock of the garden. Also, keep an eye toward spots that need a bit of late summer interest.)
To get you started, we asked Monrovia craftsman Suzette Nordstrom (who's based in MN). She gave us her picks for 5 shrubs are look seriously stunning in August in the Midwest. Here’s what she told us!
(Plants overlap zones, so you might want to check out these other regions for more ideas:
Long-lasting, cone-shaped white flower clusters look crisp and cool now in the heat of August. Then, they'll turn rosy-red as they age in late summer and fall. A great cut flower for late summer tables. Up to 12 ft. tall and 10 ft. wide. Zone: 4 – 8.
Light-pink blooms followed by abundant large pink fruits that remain on bare stems in winter. Important late season food source for many species. (And good for you too! Loads of colorful cut berry sprays for autumn decorating.) Up to 4 ft. tall and wide. Zone: 3 – 7
This upright and narrow shrub (so good for tight spaces) is a problem solver for cold zone climates. Harvest berries for making elderberry wine and jam, or leave on the plant to attract birds and other wildlife. Up to 8 ft. tall and 4 ft. wide. Zone: 4 – 8
Roses are still going strong and this one blooms right up till frost. Among the most cold hardy climbing roses, produces deep-pink, fragrant blooms for cutting. Beautiful on fences or arbors. Up to 10 ft. long. Zone: 3 – 10
A new, more compact reblooming weigela with a tidy, rounded shape. It's covered with bright, lipstick-red flowers kissed with a white eye. It’s been blooming like crazy since spring, and won’t stop till the end of summer. Up to 3 ft. tall and wide. Zone: 4 – 9
Tips to Keep the Garden Looking Happy
- Keep watering. Especially all those shrubs and perennials which need a deep soaking of about 1-inch of water each and every week.
- Keep weeding. Yes, you’re over it at this point, but yank them before they go to seed. Not doing so will only buy you problems next spring!
- Keep dead heading. Snip spent flowers on annuals, roses, and perennials now and many will reward you with more blooms well into fall.
- Keep mulching. Because it helps with both numbers one and and two on this list. Plus it keeps the garden looking clean and fresh even as the show begins to wind down.