Sunday, April 22, 2012

Feature Plant: Barberry 'Royal Burgundy'

         Barberry 'Royal Burgundy' in bloom

A wonderful shrub for color in the landscape is Berberis thunbergil 'Royal Burgundy' (Royal Burgundy Barberry).  Out of all the barberries it is definitely one of the the most vibrant and maintenance free for your garden. Exhibiting deep burgundy velvety foliage, 'Royal Burgundy' holds its color all throughout the spring, summer and into fall until it turns blackish-red and defoliates for the winter.   Barberry 'Royal Burgundy' is deciduous, hardy in zones 4-8 and stays compact at a height of two to three feet at maturity. It prefers to be grown in full sun in a well-drained soil and requires little to no pruning.  It is  drought tolerant once established and is also deer resistant. 

Barberry produces tiny yellow flower clusters in spring and red fruit in fall. This photo above shows a rare treat that I encountered while walking through my gardens.  Usually the spring barberry flowers remain very insignificant but this one proved otherwise to my surprise! 

Barberry can be planted with companion plants such as juniper, gold mop cypress, spirea, knock out rose, fountain grass, daylily, coreopsis, salvia or sedum for a vibrant display of color.  I would definitely recommend this colorful and versatile plant for your landscape.

*Update (2015):  Barberry has been labeled as invasive in some states.  Alternatives for dwarf barberry are Dwarf Weigelia 'Spilled Wine', 'Wine and Roses', 'Midnight Wine', 'Dark Horse' or Fine Wine.  Alternatives for regular sized Barberry are Eastern Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) 'Summer Wine' or 'Diablo' or Smoke bush (Cotinus coggygria). 

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@ A Guide To Northeastern Gardening Copyright 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day April 2012-Spring At Last!

Magnolia 'Royal Star'
Welcome to my zone 7 northeastern garden in April for another Garden Blogger's Bloom Day.  It is spring at last and a very unusual spring it has been.  It was a winter where the ground never froze and only a few inches of snow graced the landscape.  It has been very warm with temperatures way above normal. The garden is in full speed ahead.  Let us take a look around to see what is blooming!

Korean Spice Vibernum (Vibernum carlesi)

The Magnolia 'Royal Star' is exceptionally beautiful this year with its mildly fragrant white blooms.  Vibernum carlesi (Korean Spice Vibernum) displays its pinkish-white blooms and its fragrance can be noticed across a distance.
Pink Weeping Cherry (Prunus subhirtella Pendula)

My Pink Weeping Cherry tree ( Prunus subhirtelli Pendula) highlights the corner of the property with its light pink blooms on cascading branches.
Grape Hyacinths
The grape hyacinths bloom in the warm of the sun.

Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow'

Old reliable Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow' has made it through the winter and is sprouting its new purple growth soon to be followed by bright royal blue flowers.  I just re-introduced myself to ajuga this past summer after past failed attempts.  I am really enjoying its vibrant color...success!


The daffodils are in bloom.
Thundercloud Plum blossoms

Here are the first blossoms on my new Thundercloud Plum.  We planted it last fall once an old maple tree had to be removed.  I always wanted one of these beautiful trees and am enjoying it already!
Kwanzan Cherry blossoms
The Cherry blossoms are lovely...just love the blooms in spring.

Nepeta 'Little Titch' (Miniature Nepeta)

As you can see here there are bright spring blooms on Nepeta 'Little Titch'  This is also a new addition to the garden from last year and it seems to start blooming even earlier than the fuller sized nepeta.  This variety stays petite at a height of about 6-8 inches.
Spring Garden-Magnolia 'Royal Star' and Spirea 'Gold Flame' in Bloom

The gardens are coming to life.  The gold mound spirea are getting their foliage and the lilies emerge from their winter sleep.

The forthysia show off their bright yellow display.

Hello Spring!

In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful. ~ Abram L. Urban

I hope you enjoyed the tour of my April garden.

Be sure to visit our hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens and see what's blooming in other gardens.

As Always...Happy Garden Blogger's Bloom Day and Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@ A Guide To Northeastern Gardening Copyright 2012