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Ornamentals for the Garden

April 24th, 2014

It’s finally time to start adding a few ornamentals to the garden. I’ve finally lived through an entire gardening year here, watching where the water runs and pools, watching where the sun rises and falls and taking note of where the wind comes from. I’m finally starting to add ornamental plants.
new plants 1
I purchased two ‘Anabelle’ hydrangeas, this variety is my all time favorite flowering shrub. I also purchased a ‘Limelight’ hydrangea which is another one of my favorites. Both of these varieties of hydrangeas produce food for pollinators. Back in Ohio I had one type of beetle that loved my ‘Annabelle’ blossoms. I never saw it on any other plant.
new plants 2
I also purchased a climbing hydrangea, which I have wanted to add to my garden for many years. Right now I’m trying to decide which part of the house I want to have it climb, I’m thinking perhaps on one of the walls of the back porch. A lovely clematis ‘Alpina’ also made it into my basket, along with a false indigo. Most of these will go in a few flowerbed I’m adding up by the garage.
new plants 3
Yesterday I headed out to one of the local greenhouses and purchased a few of my favorite plants that I had to leave behind in Ohio. Plants aren’t cheap, thankfully I have a lot of starts from plants from my previous garden and I can get a lot from my mom as well. I did have to purchase a few replacements. I usually don’t mind spending money on plants, I know they’ll last in the garden and give me years of joy.

What’s your favorite ornamental shrub?

16 Comments to “Ornamentals for the Garden”
  1. daisy on April 24, 2014 at 5:33 am

    I’m not much fond of shopping, but like you, I don’t mind perusing the nursery for plants. We have a thryallis shrub here in Central Florida that just keeps giving. Most of the year it’s loaded with delicate yellow blooms and we have several along the sides of our house. It also self-seeds, so it’s a wonderful plant to pass along. Looking forward to seeing your garden come alive!
    daisy´s last post ..Thrifty Thursday-Garden Laundry Rack

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    • Misti on April 24, 2014 at 8:25 am

      I love thryalis! It grows here in Texas too, but I haven’t gotten around to purchasing one yet.

      I love hydrangeas, we just have two. A variegated one and an oakleaf.
      Misti´s last post ..Clematis | Wordless Wednesday

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  2. Laura @ Raise Your Garden on April 24, 2014 at 7:34 am

    Didn’t know about climbing hydrangeas, will have to look into them.

    Love clematis too! So pretty.

    Favorite ornamental shrub is definitely the forsythia, makes me think spring and everything that’s yellow and bright and happy.

    Reply to Laura @ Raise Your Garden's comment

  3. Nebraska Dave on April 24, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Susy, I really don’t have a favorite plant. I’m hoping that my Rugosa Rose bushes will become a favorite. Right now with Daffodils and Tulips in bloom, they are my favorite. I guess the answer would be what ever is blooming. The spring blooming trees are in full display mode right now and are simply gorgeous. Usually, the trees only put on their show for a short time. I would like to build an arch for a climbing plant for the entrance to my garden but I’m not sure about what it would be just yet.

    Have a great ornamentals for the garden day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  4. MN Reid on April 24, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Even though it is not hardy for me, I like the Budleija Davidii butter fly bush.

    Blue Mist Spirea is a bee magnet come mid August. It has willow like foliage, and gets about 4.5 feet. The flowers are blueish purple. You can treat it like a woody perennial and cut it to the ground.

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  5. bonnie k. on April 24, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    I would be hard pressed to narrow it down! I DO like ornamental shrubs. I have forsythia, kerria, snowball bush, azaleas, hydrangea, gardenia, musk rose, rose of Sharon, spirea, tea olives, eleagnus, camellia, nandina. I like them all!

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  6. sarah on April 24, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    I’ve also just started to think about ornamentals after a year and a half of vegetable gardening at a new house in a new state (Texas).

    I don’t do much in the way of shrubs but I have a lot of vines. Bleeding heart, crossvine, wisteria, tons of jasmine. Other than that we have a lot of lavender and rosemary.

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  7. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary on April 24, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    I didn’t know they had climbing hydrangeas either! I’ll have to get me one!

    I love my hydrangeas. I have 9 in he yard and the limelight is my current favorite.

    My husband bought me my first hydrangea 12 years ago. It was half dead and I wondered if I was going to be able to save it. It’s now about 7 feet tall and 8 feet wide. It made it!!!
    Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary´s last post ..Lemon Almond Ricotta Cake

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  8. Marina on April 24, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    I love Annabelle, Limelight and Pinky Winky hydrangeas, and petiolaris, the climbing one.which is very slow growing but well worth the wait.
    Also favorites are Ekianthus, Wisteria, Weigela, Viburnums and old fashioned lilacs, a wind break at the north end of the orchard.
    I am rooting a Petiolaris hydrangea right now, at my kitchen sink window.
    Your are going to really feel at home after you start planting shrubs and perenials, and your patience and study of light and conditions will pay off!
    There is so much fun in starting from scratch. You can take all that you did that was successful, and add to it, and make right what did not work out at first…

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  9. Marina on April 24, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    I wish we Northerners could have lavender and rosemary, so big we’d have to trim them! :-)

    Reply to Marina's comment

  10. Amy S on April 25, 2014 at 12:55 am

    I have received mixed information about Annabelle hydrangea. Do you know if it will tolerate full sun? It was suggested to me in a FB garden group to get Annabelle or Oak Leaf. What are your thoughts on any variety in full sun?

    Reply to Amy S's comment

    • Corrie on April 25, 2014 at 6:46 am

      I have grown Annabelle in sun and it does ok. Limelight is a better choice for full, hot sun.

      Reply to Corrie's comment

    • Susy on April 25, 2014 at 8:29 am

      I think whether it will tolerate full sun depends on how far south you are and how good your soil is. The farther north the more sun it will tolerate. I had it in full sun in my Ohio garden and it did very well. If you make sure the soil is good and it is well mulched to retain water it will do better in a full sun location.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • amy s on April 27, 2014 at 5:51 pm

        I live in central Illinois. My landscape is mulched and composted. I do have a downspout which would be west of it. I think I will try it. I’m a little worried but going to try it. I had a smoke bush there that was too hard to handle but I loved it with our woodland green siding. I love limelight too and thinking about getting the little limelight for the back of the house. Thanks for the comments! I love this blog.

        to amy s's comment

  11. amy on April 25, 2014 at 9:00 am


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  12. Amy S on April 27, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    I live in central Illinois. My landscape is mulched and composted. I do have a downspout which would be west of it. I think I will try it. I’m a little worried but going to try it. I had a smoke bush there that was too hard to handle but I loved it with our woodland green siding. I love limelight too and thinking about getting the little limelight for the back of the house. Thanks for the comments! I love this blog!

    Reply to Amy S's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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