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Mon, 04/30/2012 - 15:15 — Sarah Martinez
Cultivate some personality!
Use your “outdoor attitude” to choose flowering shrubs
We could wax poetic for days about shrubs that perform well and add a burst of color to Texas gardens. But when it comes down to it, all that matters is your personal style and gardening attitude.
Azaleas, Hydrangeas, Camellias and Roses are the typical “go to” plants when you want to add character to the landscape. Within each of these categories are dozens—if not hundreds—of selections. It’s always good to go online and do some preliminary research. But the best way to make a decision is to see these beauties in person.
An opportunity to do just that is right around the corner. All Calloway’s and Cornelius Nursery locations will be hosting a free garden clinic on May 5 cleverly titled, “Those Blooming Shrubs.” Starting at 10:15 a.m. you can learn more about flowering shrubs that will stand up to tough Texas weather.
In the meantime, review the following “attitude assessment” to begin narrowing down your choices.
- Want a burst of color in a somewhat shady area
- Aren’t willing to wield hedge shears
- Love classic beauty
- Don’t mind watering
- Are willing to “amp-up” your soil
Then Azaleas might be the right choice for you!
Nothing says Southern Beauty like Azaleas. But, like any botanical belle, Azaleas require some TLC. These shrubs need an acidic, well-drained soil. If that doesn’t describe your surroundings, consider planting Azaleas in a raised bed enhanced with an Azalea-specific soil amendment. Calloway’s and Cornelius Nursery can help you select the best Azalea for your landscape and suggest products to get your soil ready for planting.
- Want to jazz up an area that gets afternoon shade
- Like your flowers big, bold and beautiful
- Are willing to dabble in chemistry
- Like the “traditional” look
- Want to thumb your nose at Madonna
Then a Hydrangea might be the next resident in your garden.
Remember the uproar last year when the famous pop diva was overheard disparaging a hydrangea presented to her by a fan? The horticulture outcry was legendary! And rightfully so. Texas gardeners in particular don’t want anyone knocking their hydrangeas. They’re colorful, showy and downright gorgeous.
For traditional “mophead” hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) you might need to toy with your soil’s pH level to achieve the pink or blue blossoms you desire. The professionals at Calloway’s and Cornelius Nursery can help you hone in on the right formula. While you’re shopping, don’t forget to check out the many other hydrangeas on the market, including eye-catching lace-cap varieties and oak-leaf Hydrangeas.
- Love to be outside once it gets chilly
- Like tea
- Are really into holiday decorating
- Aren’t keen on thorns
- Loved your history courses in school
A Camellia might be your blooming shrub of choice.
There are two major categories of Camellias: Camellia sasanqua and Camellia japonica. Both species flower in late Fall to early Winter. C. sasanqua has a particularly rich history. It was initially prized for its leaves—used for tea—and seeds, which were made into tea-seed oil. C. sasanqua is sometimes categorized as a “Yuletide” selection.
You’ll often hear C. japonica called “the rose of winter.” This shrub’s outstanding flowers are typically quite large, ranging from 1½ to 4 inches in diameter. The “rose” designation is honorary, though. You’ll find no threatening thorns on this beauty.
- Always want a dozen for Valentine’s Day
- Dream of having fresh flowers for weeks on end
- Are a bit of a romantic
- Like to show your patriotic pride
- Know that each and every one has its thorn
Roses might be the best choice for your garden.
Really—how could we be describing anything but roses? Which, by the way, are the national flower of the United States. (Go ahead. Wow someone with that trivia!) Shrub roses offer a long bloom season and low maintenance. A winning combination indeed. The staff at Calloway’s and Cornelius Nursery can help you sort through the many varieties available and choose one just right for your garden.