When it comes time to think about which plants you are going to use for your upcoming landscape project, you may be surprised at how many options are out there. Most homeowners are familiar with many of the classic plantings such as roses, hydrangeas, maples, etc., but there are a lot of lesser known trees and shrubs than can add interest and variety. Utilizing these plants can give your landscape that little touch of something unique to help set it apart from everything else. Here are 5 of my favorite overlooked plants.
- Witch Hazel: This is a large deciduous shrub with yellow to orange blooms. They like full sun to part shade. There are Missouri native varieties, and they are very low maintenance. The unique thing about them is that they bloom in winter, and they make for a beautiful show when they are blooming with snow on the ground. So often people when people think of winter interest plantings, they think of evergreens, but what about a flowering shrub!
- Arizona Cypress ‘Blue Ice’: This is an upright pyramidal evergreen tree with blueish green foliage. The foliage is not a needle like foliage that many think of when picturing an evergreen but rather has a soft appearance. This is a great way to add another color and texture to your landscape that you’re not going to find with other plants. Because of its upright habit, this tree also works well in places where you need height, but don’t have a lot of space.
- Seven-Son Flower: These multi-stem trees are prized by plant lovers but not known by most. They have a unique exfoliating bark, and gorgeous colors when blooming. They have a white bloom, but what catches my eye more than the blooms is when the blooms fall off to reveal bright pinkish red bracts. They are also a tree that blooms in summer time which contrasts with so many of the spring blooming tree varieties out there.
- Snowberry: This is a shrub with a blueish green leaf that I am using more and more because it helps fill a niche when thinking about seasonal color. The unique thing about snowberry is that they have pink berries that they put on in fall. A lot of homeowners overlook fall color when planning their landscape. Some great options for varieties are ‘Candy’, ‘Amethyst’, and ‘Proud Berry’
- Vitex: Blue is one of the hardest colors to find in plants. My favorite Vitex get a rich blueish purple panicle bloom, but there are also pink varieties. They have a unique highly dissected leaf shape. Vitex can be planted in masses, but they really shine when used as a specimen plant.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when considering plants for your garden. Talking to the staff at Superior Garden Center or hiring a qualified designer is a great way to get guidance on your plant selections and to see if you are missing some great overlooked plants.