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Creating Visual Harmony: The Art of Color & Contrast in Landscaping

by | Sep 25, 2023 | Landscaping, Gardening | 0 comments

Shrubs and trees can provide a rainbow of colors in the landscape. Their longevity matters because of the cost to establish and maintain them.

Shrubs & Flowers

The spring-flowering shrubs with color are:

  • azalea – pink, purple, red or white
  • flowering quince – orange, pink, red, or white
  • forsythia – yellow
  • hypericum – yellow
  • Indian hawthorn – pink or white
  • mountain laurel – purple
  • snowball – white
  • weigela – pink, red, or white

The spring and summer flowering shrubs with color are:

  • althaea – pink, red, violet or white
  • Bridal wreath – purple or white
  • gardenia – white
  • hydrangea – blue, pink, or white
  • oleander – pink, red, white or yellow
  • pomegranate – red

The summer flowering shrubs with color are:

  • abelia – pink or white
  • bottlebrush – red

The summer and fall flowering shrubs with color are:

  • crape myrtle – pink, red, purple, or white
  • flowery senna – golden yellow
  • purple sage – lavender-pink or white

The late fall-to-spring flowering shrubs with color are:

  • camellia – pink, red, or white
  • Italian jasmine – yellow
  • primrose jasmine – yellow

Shrubs with fruit

The shrubs with colorful fruit are:

  • aucuba – red
  • barberry – purple or red
  • cotoneaster – red
  • euonymus – red
  • holly – red or yellow
  • honeysuckle – red
  • Indian hawthorn – purple
  • juniper- steel blue
  • ligustrum – blue-purple
  • mahonia – steel blue
  • nandina – orange-red
  • photinia – red
  • pomegranate – red
  • pyracantha – orange, red, or yellow
  • redwing – red
  • rose – red
  • viburnum – black or red
Colorful trees in the landscape.

Colorful trees in the landscape.

Longevity of Trees

The trees with a long life span (over 50 years) are bald cypress, bur oak, cedar elm, Chinese pistache, Chinquapin oak, crape myrtle, dogwood, Eastern red cedar, lacebark elm, live oak, Loblolly pine, magnolia, pecan, red oak, slash pine, sweetgum, water oak, and yaupon holly.

The trees with a medium life span (25 to 50 years) are Chinese tallow, cottonwood, crabapple, Deodar cedar, golden raintree, green ash, hackberry, loquat, ornamental pear, redbud, and silver maple.

The trees with a short life span (under 25 years) are Arizona ash, boxelder, catalpa, Chinaberry, fruitless mulberry, Lombardy popular, mimosa, Siberian elm, sycamore, and willow.

Trees & Flowers

These trees produce spring flowers with color:

  • crabapple – pink, rose-red or white
  • dogwood – pink, red, or white
  • possumhaw holly – white & red berries
  • flowering peach – pink, red, or white
  • flowering pear – white
  • flowering plum – pale pink or white
  • redbud – burgundy, pink, or white
  • saucer magnolia – white/orchid blend
  • southern magnolia – white

The summer flowering trees with color are:

  • althaea (rose of Sharon) – lavender, pink or white
  • crape myrtle – lavender, pink, red, or white
  • golden raintree (northern) – yellow
  • golden raintree (southern) – yellow
  • mimosa (silktree) – pink
  • pomegranate – orange-red
  • retama (Jerusalem thorn) – yellow

Trees with red leaves

The best trees for red fall color are blackgum, Chinese pistache, Chinese tallow, crape myrtle, dogwood, Japanese maple, ornamental pear, red maple, red oak, smoke tree, sumac, and sweetgum.

Trees with yellow leaves

The best trees for yellow fall color are American elm, Arizona ash, ginko, green ash, persimmon, pomegranate, silver maple, and western soapberry.

Transplanting Trees & Shrubs

Transplanting shrubs or trees usually causes considerable damage to the root system. You should prune the limbs to an extent more than the damage to the root system so the plant will continue to grow. If limbs aren’t pruned, the plant may die during the summer or not grow much for several years.

The hole should be slightly shallower than the roots so that the soil mark on the plant will be higher than ground level. Soil removed from the hole can backfill around the roots. Backfill the hole to about half, then cover the soil with water and wiggle the plant so the air around the roots bubbles up.

Backfill the remaining soil and form a small berm around the plant and over the hole’s edge. Apply more water to soak the topsoil. The plant may need more water each week during the first year.

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