“Sunset Glow” is a hardy, clump forming non-invasive bamboo providing the garden with an exotic feeling. The foliage gives me the feeling that I’m in a semi-tropical locale.
Other plants with neat leaves for the summer months are the “Tiger Eyes” sumac, similar to the staghorn sumac, but with golden leaves and a more dwarf growing habit. It can be used as an accent plant or in a mass planting. The fall colour is a combination of yellow, orange and red. It is drought tolerant once established.
More exotic looking native plants are the false spirea and summer sweet. They are both actually better suited to light shade. The leaves of the false spirea really remind me of dwarf heavenly bamboo (nandina) but it is much hardier. The new growth is a reddish-orange with finely cut leaves like a mountain ash tree. This shrub grows three feet high by three feet wide, and flowers are white, a little later in the summer.
Summer sweet “Vanilla Spice” is a Proven Winners selection. It has large, fragrant white flowers. It grows three to five feet high.
Vibernum “Summer Snow Flake” grows to roughly the same size as summer sweet. Its flowers have no discernable scent but they do have an extended flowering period.
Toward the end of summer, the dark knight bluebeard makes for a real showpiece in the garden. Intense blue flowers from late summer to frost remind me of a more compact version of a butterfly bush.
Well, I hope your summer is off to a great start!
Evan and Wendy Davies own Beltane Nursery at 2915 Highway 3 in Erickson.