It’s no secret that common, native, perennial trees and shrubs definitely have an important place in the garden—but they have a place in everyone else’s gardens, too. I mean, the reason they’re so low-maintenance and that pollinators love them so much is because they survive on their own, in yards and forests all over North Dakota!
While it’s great to nurture the natural environment around us, no gardener wants their landscape to simply blend in and go unnoticed. Why not branch out and include some fun, unique plants that’ll set your garden apart from everyone else’s? Give yourself, your guests, and your neighborhood something interesting to enjoy with these magnificent, unique trees and shrubs:
This bright, sun-loving sumac reaches a fair size of 6 feet in both height and width, making it a pretty noticeable addition to your landscape. Chartreuse green-yellow foliage and rosy pink stems contrast nicely-just enough spunk to catch your eye without being too overwhelming. In the fall, enjoy dramatic shades of bright yellow, deep orange and scarlet red. Its vivid colors, paired with upward angled branches and draping, deeply-cut leaflets, this tree is showy in more ways than one.
This Tiger Eyes® Sumac can grow in a wide range of soil types, even tolerating dry soils, poor drainage, and urban conditions. All it asks for is a sunny location and some occasional watering to prevent it from drying out too much.
Bring elements of both color and dimension to your garden with the 'Centerglow' ninebark, which features bright red emerging foliage that fades to a glowing, golden center. While you might lose that pretty ombré as the tree matures, you'll still be left with stunning, deep burgundy color for multi-season interest. In the summer, creamy white blooms adorn the tree, contrasting the red foliage beautifully. In the fall, enjoy the attractive red berries that decorate your yard as well as the birds they'll bring along.
This flowering shrub prefers planting in full sun for the best blooming results. Plant this ninebark shrub in well-drained, slightly acidic soils and water it deeply and often-especially during its first season. Prune in the summer, after the flowers have faded.
Everyone’s familiar with the typical, lavender-colored lilacs that grace our gardens with their sweet scent every spring. But what about the pretty pink lilac variety, ‘Tinkerbelle’? This small-sized cultivar features rosy, wine-colored buds that open up to reveal delicate, pale pink blooms that emit a spicier scent than regular lilacs. This variety is also a great choice for attracting pollinators—like bees and butterflies—to your garden.
‘Tinkerbelle’ thrives in partial to full sun and likes to be well-watered during the summer heat. Plant this compact variety along borders and walkways, or space them about 3 feet apart for a gorgeous, flowering hedge. Each year, after flowering, prune about one-third of this lilac’s branches down to the ground to encourage new growth and abundant blooms.
While most shrubs emerge green each spring and save their crimson colors for autumn, this showy shrub doesn't follow suit. You won't be able to take your eyes off of the deep, rosy-red foliage and perfect, round shape of this charming barberry bush. The leaves of 'Rose Glow' appear on graceful, arching branches each spring to warm your landscape after a long, cold winter, and remain red right up until fall. Bright red berries adorn your barberry bush from fall into winter, making this extraordinary plant a great choice for year-round interest.
Even better, barberry shrubs are fairly tolerant of city life, including road salt and urban pollution. They thrive when planted in full sun, with well-drained soil. They can withstand heat and some mild drought but should be watered regularly for the best results. Give yourself a gorgeous, rosy barberry hedge to make your home stand out-you'll be the envy of the neighbourhood.
If unique shrubs and mid-sized trees just aren’t enough to make your garden stand out, then the ‘Prairie Cascade’ willow might be right for you. Standing at a whopping 35-45 feet tall, with an impressive 40-foot spread, this towering willow brings all the drama. Don’t worry, you won’t have to wait too long for it to reach impressive heights! This fast-growing tree can gain up to 3-5 feet each year. The beautiful cascading leaves, arching branches, and golden stems are definitely all unique features for your garden.
Since this tree will grow tall above much of your garden, it only makes sense that it flourishes in full sun. It can also grow in a wide range of soil conditions, but actually prefers wet, moist locations—perfect for the soggy areas of your garden where nothing else will grow! Keep in mind, with rapid growth can come damage. Avoid planting this vigorous tree near underground pipes and other structures.
By adding a few unique plants to your native landscape, you get to reap all the rewards of native plants while distinguishing your garden from the rest. Stop into Plant Perfect this week and we’ll help you pick out the perfect, unique accent(s) for your landscape!