This is the first summer in our new house, and so far I'm liking what I see growing around the house, except in the front. There are evergreen bushes along the front porch, and I hate them. They are partially dead and just look too 80's. I want to tear them out eventually, but not this year. I want to know if there is anything that is "bushy" like an evergreen but that flowers through spring and summer? Not just for a week during the whole year. I love lots of bright colors with big blossoms. Medium in height (about 3 feet). I'm in zone 4.
Also, there is a mystery plant growing on the side of our house. Its just starting to sprout. There are clumps of them together and they look like little 2 inch stalagmites. They are green, but have purple around the edges of the "leaves" that make up the stalagmite. I have a picture but not sure where to upload it to make it within the UA to link it.
I love azaleas and rhododendrons(sp?! lol) but their blooms are short lived.
I was wondering if your mystery plant might be hosta? Your description reminds me of mine when they're just starting to poke up and before the leaves start to unfurl. hmmmm, i'm zone 7-ish IIRC and my hosta have been up for a couple of months now, though, so not sure if that makes sense.
blessed Catholic mommy to DD 10/07 and DS 2/09, little one due 8/12!
I have hostas already growing with leaves around the house. Not sure why these would just be starting to sprout now if they are hostas.
I'm not sure whether you'd get the length of flowering out of these but I've found both spirea and hydrangeas to have decent long-lasting flowers. If you want something larger (dunno if it works in your region, and really it's a small tree) but smokebushes are fabulous looking.
Could your mystery plant be peonies? They kinda look that way when first coming up, I believe.
I think most shrubs and perennials have a shortish flowering time - it takes a lot of energy for plants to bloom, so most plants that bloom all summer are annuals. I do have some spirea in my garden that bloom twice during the summer, so have a little longer of a bloom period.
One idea for you - instead of planting one type of shrub, do a mixed border. Pick some early, mid and late bloomers. For example, next to my house, I have lilacs, spice bush, spirea, and roses. In the spring, the lilacs and spice bush bloom. Next come the spirea, then the roses, then the second blooming of the spirea, and then the roses often will bloom as second time. There is always something in bloom, but it isn't always the same plant.
I'm in zone 4 and my peony is already knee high and has started to bush out a little. It wouldn't look like stalagmites at this point...
I DO have 2 different types of hostas, one is up and hosta looking, the other is just getting started.
Oh, are they very flatskinny looking? I have irises coming up that are very flat triangles. Or course, they don't have the colouring you mention....
This is our second spring in our home and yes, I agree, that first spring/summer is magical, especially when the previous owner was a flower lover! So many odd and colourful things were popping up around here last year. :)
Turns out the mystery plant was hosta. The purple color turned white and they opened up. Odd. And disappointing.
Roses! That sounds wonderful. Are they really called Knock out roses?
Sorry it was just a hosta.
Yes, they are called knock out roses. here is a link about them http://www.conard-pyle.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/koplants.splash
They are really beautiful and so easy. I love that they bloom all season long. Mine haven't started blooming yet but they have buds so it won't be long.