We go small today. Most of these are ornamental shrubs and trees. Everyone can use small but interesting features.
Around the base of a Black Locust, I have planted two Flowering Almonds with a Barberry between them. The Flowing Almonds have tight, double blooms of pink in April. They are very airy. The appearance is a little unkept.
They need little and water. If given the space they will be five feet high and six feet wide. The space used here is way too small for them. I trim them a bit. But you can see the Barberry is getting squeezed out. The Barberry will only get two to three feet high, but can spread out to four feet. The red leaves make a great accent. You may get whitish/pinkish berries late in the year.
Thus is a Hydrangea. A Blue Hydrangea actually. The flowers are only blue if it’s fed acidic fertilizer, peat moss, or pine needles. It good soil they can grow four to six feet tall and wide, depending on variety. This one will only grow to three feet tall and wide. The heavy soil doesn’t help, but there are ways around this. I have dug a extra deep hole and buried a plastic pail upside down under it. The pail has holes drilled in it with gravel on top too. This displaces water from the roots, keeping plant happy!
The Prairie Fire Crabapple is a midsized tree. In spring, deep pink/red blooms cover this tree. It’s red/bronze leaves add interest. The Crabapples are the lowest maintenance tree you can get. Most are so easy that a little water is all you need to do. If you get one of these or another red leafed Crabapple, you need to trim out any green branches. If you don’t the tree will be overrun by green branches!
This little guy is new! Last fall I planted this Saucer Magnolia. It’s about a foot and a half tall. It will be ten by ten in about a decade. The growth rate is quick and it needs space. It has already doubled in size. This blooms early, often before other trees have leaves. This means plant me in the shade! You can leave it in light,but it prefers some shade during summer. The glossy leaves reflect ambient light into dark areas.
The Black Hills Spruce is the evergreen if you have time. This tree was two feet tall five years ago. We have a three and a half tall tree now. Once it gets about five feet it will grow faster. But that’s a couple years off. The color has a bit of blue grey to it. It’s low maintenance. Good near a house, meaning a good ten feet from foundation. If we live long enough, the little guy could make 80 feet in a century.
The most common ornamental tree in my area, the Weeping Cherry. It needs loose soil to thrive. It will live with drainage, but won’t bloom as well unless you add a lot of organic material and sand. April brings a carpet of white blooms across the top. Really looks like a giant umbrella in white.