Allen Wilson is a Vancouver gardening specialist. Email Allen Wilson at [email protected]I am tired of pruning my overgrown barberry and Spirea shrubs in my front landscape. What would you suggest for replacement shrubs that will stay under 4 feet without pruning and keep their leaves all year round?I am always surprised at how many deciduous shrubs are planted in our front landscapes when we have so many good evergreen shrubs that keep their leaves all year round. I know how particularly undesirable it is to prune barberry shrubs with their sharp thorns.This article will cover shrubs for full sun or light shade. They are all easy to grow and need very limited pruning. Next week, I will cover shade-tolerant dwarf shrubs.My favorite group of dwarf evergreen shrubs are the dwarf Nandina varieties. The varieties listed below mature at heights of 2 to 4 feet. They grow well in full sun to light shade and are drought-tolerant.Burgundy Wine Nandina has green leaves with burgundy-colored new growth, which continues through the summer and turns scarlet in the fall.Blush Pink Nandina has blush pink new growth in springtime. Pink leaves persist throughout the growing season. In autumn, leaves turn a deep shade of purplish-red.Firepower Nandina has lime green leaves with pastel pink tips. Leaves turn fiery red in the fall and winter.Sienna Sunrise Nandina has red new foliage, which cools to a lush green in summer. Fiery red highlights reappear in fall and winter.New leaves of Gulf Stream Nandina emerge scarlet red in spring and mature to blue-green in the summer. Intense red foliage develops in the fall.Three dwarf Pieris or Lily of the Valley shrub varieties also stay quite small. They need regular watering during dry summer weather.Cavatine reaches just 2 feet tall in 10 years. Numerous green buds open to white bell-shaped flowers in early spring. Prelude is similar to Cavatine but grows 3 feet tall.Little Heath Pieris is a neat, compact shrub with a yellow-green variegation on the margins of the gray-green leaves. New leaves are pink. It has small, bell-shaped white flowers and grows 3 to 4 feet tall and wide.Dwarf Escallonia grows 3 feet high and spreads to 4 feet. Plants were damaged during two cold winters in the last 15 years. After removing the damaged branches in the spring they quickly regrew to their former size.Heath and heather (Erica and Calluna) are dwarf shrubs growing 1 to 2 feet high and spreading to as much as 3 feet. Mediterranean or Winter Heath is the most popular because it has white to rosy red blooms in winter and early spring when not much else is showing color. It is often planted as a ground cover. It is very drought-tolerant once established.Most of these varieties are available now at full-service nurseries and garden stores. They can be planted now throughout the spring and summer.
Powered by WPeMatico