What Shrubs Have Year-Round Interest?

What Shrubs Have Year-Round Interest?

“What are some shrubs that add interest and color year-round?  For example, foliage that changes color in the different seasons.” Question from Alecia of Puyallup, Washington

Answer: There are loads of shrubs that remain attractive through the seasons. Here are four great selections for your region followed up by a video of my favorite shrubs that bloom all summer long. Many of these also look attractive through fall and winter.

Shrubs with Year-Round Interest

  1. Cardinal Candy® Linden Viburnum (Viburnum diltatum Cardinal Candy®) – Cardinal Candy has clusters of white flowers in spring and lustrous foliage and heads of greenish berries in summer that turn scarlet in fall and persist into winter. The fall leaves also turn beautiful burnished shades of dark red.

  2. Kaleidoscope Abelia (Abelia x grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’) – Beautifully variegated evergreen foliage and loads of flowers through most of the growing season make this compact shrub a real winner.

  3. Ruby Slippers Dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’) – All oakleaf hydrangeas have all-season interest, but most become very large, which is why I like compact varieties like ‘Ruby Slippers’. It has beautiful oak-like leaves and clusters of white flowers in early summer that persist on the shrub into fall, turning shades of ruby-rose as they age. In fall, the leaves turn burgundy red and the flowers dry to tan. Through winter, the old flowers will remain and the stems have attractive peeling bark.
  4. Yak Rhododendron (Rhododendron yakushimanum) – For your region, yak rhodies are great garden performers. They bloom beautifully in spring with clusters of flowers in varying shades of pink and white, depending on the variety. They form lovely tidy, broad mounds of evergreen foliage with attractive felty new foliage. I just love them. To discover more rhododendron for your area visit the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden website. The garden is also a real treat to visit in spring.

I hope that some of these shrubs appeal to you.

Happy gardening!

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist