Fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus) is a beautiful flowering ornamental tree that produces gorgeous white fringy-looking fragrant flowers in the spring that simply glow at night. In the summer, it boasts a great green color, and in the fall, a warm yellow. It leafs out in opposite, six inch long, toothless, glossy, green leaves as it blooms.
The fringetree is relatively small — usually only about 15-20 feet in height and spread — and has a beautiful form especially when limbed up so you can see the multi-trunks. It can be found from Pennsylvania down to Florida and is adaptable to a variety of light and soil conditions. Fringetree is indispensable in the spring landscape.
Hummingbird Summersweet Clethra (Clethra alnifolia ‘Hummingbird’) also referred to as sweet pepperbush is one of my favorites, and certainly a favorite of butterflies and bees. It typically grows to a height of five feet (the main species grows upwards of eight feet) and boasts beautiful dark green, pale yellow to golden brown
leaves in the autumn. It’s a summer flowering shrub that works great in moist to wet sites. Though it performs best in partial shade, it can grow in sunny locations as well as shady ones.
The main reason we (bees, butterflies and me) like it is for the beautiful white, fragrant flowers that decorate it in July and August.
Periwinkle (Vinca minor) also known as myrtle is my favorite ground cover. In my opinion, it’s the perfect plant for homeowners and contractors alike. It grows well in sunny or shady conditions and once established it successfully competes with most weeds but is not overly aggressive (like English ivy or some other groundcovers).
It requires little to no maintenance and is deer proof. It grows to a height of approximately 6-12 inches. In the early spring it boasts a simple and delicate lavender colored flower and shiny green leaves which contrast nicely with many broad leaved evergreens, flowering shrubs, ornamentals and turfgrass.
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