Are you are out looking for a new home?  New construction or perhaps an existing home?  What do you notice about the older homes?  In many cases, the older homes have big, overgrown plants in their landscapes. 

It is pretty amazing how you can change the look of an older home by updating or renovating the landscape.  Many older homes have landscapes that “date” them.  Like clothes, or hairstyles or eyewear…landscapes are designed differently today than they were even a short while ago.  Not only an older landscape design, but older plant selections that have really outworn their stay.  After a while, pruning may not be the answer.  Maybe it is time cut off or tear out those outdated shrubs and start over with a fresh new look. 

What do you notice about new homes that have been newly landscaped?  Not only are the plants smaller but you might notice more color, ornamental grasses and perennials have been included in the design. Color is huge, and smaller plants that rebloom are the landscape architect’s dream!

Plants that put on less growth in a season are so popular the plant breeders are always looking for plants that remain smaller as they mature.  Plants that don’t grow as tall or wide need less pruning which is huge for those of you who have better things to do with your time than to be to be out pruning.  If you have someone maintain your property, dwarf plants can cost less to maintain. 

Smaller flowering shrubs can still put out tons of flowers and fruit just like their larger parents.  Some shrubs produce flowers that are showy for an extended time.  Hydrangeas for instance bloom fresh flowers, age a bit to another color, and actually can remain on the plant well into fall.  Hydrangea flowers can be showy all winter long as they remain on the plant and dry. 

Some shrubs rebloom so you not only get that one round of flowers, you get subsequent sets of flowers that are produced.  Invincibelle Wee White or Invincibelle Limetta are two fine examples in the Invincibelle series of dwarf Hydrangea selections that continue to produce new flowers once blooming begins.  Some other Dwarf and Reblooming Hydrangeas include the Let’s Dance® series, Tuff Stuff® series, some of the Endless Summer® series, and the Forever & Ever® series all are worth checking out for your new foundation planting. 

Have you seen or read about the reblooming Azaleas series of plants?  Bloom-A-Thon® and Encore® series of include some incredible smaller versions of Rhododendrons that flower not only for weeks in spring, but most again summer and fall with weeks and weeks of bloom!  Many color options and check the mature sizes to pick the right one for the right place.  These Azaleas are game changers, photobombing your landscape with color throughout the season.

Another group of plants that have been bred to be smaller, produce massive amounts of flowers in June, and then continue to bloom throughout the season right into the fall season is Weigela!  As a bonus many of these newer selections have some pretty incredible leaf color.  Then the plant breeders not only included longer bloom, more rebloom, great foliage but all wrapped up in a smaller overall size.  Brilliant!

The same breeding is going on in perennials and grasses for smaller overall size without sacrificing the bang.  Sterile plants are hugely important too.  Plants that will not reseed or become invasive is also priority.  Many times sterile plants are so dumb, they keep making flowers because they are trying to make seed, so you become the beneficiary with a huge flower display!

Finally, let’s not forget that edibles have worked their way into today’s landscapes – and why not? Newer dwarf selections of Blueberry plants are wildly ornamental sporting flowers, fruit, incredible summer foliage and don’t forget that great fall color too.  But we are also seeing raspberry, goji, honeyberry, rhubarb and even grape vines all being utilized in today’s design.

Smaller plants with more color, and less pruning maintenance is all the rage.  Check out the many options from Nature Hills online nursery!  www.naturehills.com