Meet the Elite Eight Shrubs: Part Two


'Miss Ruby' butterfly bush
Buddleia

When walking through the nursery's display beds in summer, 'Miss Ruby' never fails to stand out. Perhaps it's the flutter of butterflies drawing attention. Perhaps it's the vibrant pink color of its blooms. Perhaps it's how well its neat, compact habit plays with others in the landscape. There are a lot of obvious reasons why it draws you in, but its most important characteristic is not so in your face. This interspecific Buddleia hybrid is noninvasive. 

{Choirs of angels descend from the skies.}

Yes, 'Miss Ruby' has everything you want in a butterfly bush, so it's not surprising that it has made it this far in the Shrub Madness competition.

And P.S., 'Miss Ruby' is deer resistant, too.


USDA Zone 5 AHS Zone 9 | 4-5' tall and wide | Full Sun
Fun Fact: 'Miss Ruby' was rated #1 in the All Europe Trials
Like this noninvasive butterfly bush? Try one of these: 'Miss Molly' butterfly bush, Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip' butterfly bush, Lo & Behold® 'Lilac Chip' butterfly bush, Lo & Behold® 'Ice Chip' butterfly bush, Lo & Behold® 'Purple Haze' butterfly bush, (coming spring 2015) Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip Jr.' butterfly bush, and Lo & Behold® 'Pink Micro Chip' butterfly bush


Oso Easy® Paprika landscape rose
Rosa

The Oso Easy® series has 11 varieties of easy-to-grow, super disease resistant roses, and Paprika is the spiciest of them all. The bright orange roses have yellow eyes, and its glossy green foliage has hints of red in the new growth. Additionally, the award-winning Oso Easy Paprika rose is hardy to USDA Zone 3.  

Orange you glad it made it this far in the competition? (Sorry, it's early Monday morning.Where did I put my coffee?)

USDA Zone 3 AHS Zone 9 | 1-2' tall and wide | Full Sun
Like the Oso Easy roses? Try one of these: Oso Happy® Candy Oh! rose, Oso Happy® Petit Pink rose, Oso Happy® Smoothie rose

Pinky Winky® hydrangea
Hydrangea paniculata

Pinky Winky hydrangea is often given a hard time because of its silly name. Before you snicker, however, you must know that the breeder, Dr. Johan Van Huylenbroeck, names his plants after his children's favorite cartoon characters. He's also dubbed such gems as Bobo® hydrangea and Mega Mindy® hydrangea. A little goofy? Absolutely, but that sort of charm deserves a "World's Best Dad" mug.

Pinky Winky hydrangea has 12-16" long blooms held upright on strong stems. They open white, turn pink, and then continue to push new white florets from the tip of the panicle, creating a two-tone effect. 

USDA Zone 3 AHS Zone 8 | 6-8' tall and wide | Full Sun/Part Shade
Like this hardy hydrangea? Try one of these: Bobo® hardy hydrangea, Fire Light™  hardy hydrangea, 'Little Lamb' hardy hydrangea, 'Limelight' hardy hydrangea, Little Lime® hardy hydrangea, Quick Fire® hardy hydrangea, Little Quick Fire® hardy hydrangea

Summer Wine® ninebark
Physocarpus opulifolius

If you read Part One, you know how I feel about dark foliage plants. Summer Wine ninebark is planted in my garden, so there may come a day you'll find me curled up in its graceful branches. It's small yet, but one day. You'll whisper, "What ever happened to that Shannon girl?" And your in-the-know friend will respond, "The one from PW? Oh, haven't you heard? She snuggled into her Summer Wine ninebark and was never seen again."

Summer Wine ninebark combines the fine texture and branching of 'Nana' with the dark foliage of Diabolo® ninebark. In mid-summer, it is accentuated by buttons of flowers along the length of its branches. The most exciting thing? Summer Wine ninebark was rated as the most mildew resistant variety in a University of Connecticut study. "Among the purple ninebark cultivars we studied," they said, "'Seward' Summer Wine®, with an overall mildew rating of 1.1, was the clear statistical and visual standout with minimal infection on very few leaves." Read the study, "Layers of Intrigue: Physocarpus and Powdery Mildew," for more information. Love that title.

USDA Zone 3 AHS Zone 7 | 5-6' tall and wide | Full Sun
Like this ninebark? Try one of these: Coppertina™ ninebark and Tiny Wine® ninebark

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