Caption: Clethra, Credit: Sericea/Flickr
Image by: Sericea/Flickr 

Flowering Shrubs

From: Vermont Public Radio
Series: Charlie's Garden Journal
Length: 02:30

This week, Charlie talks about three hardy bushes that flower in the middle of the summer. Clethra, the button bush, and the seven-son flower take the spotlight. Read the full description.

Clethra_sericea_small This week, Charlie talks about three hardy bushes that flower in the middle of the summer. Clethra, the button bush, and the seven-son flower take the spotlight.

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Piece Description


I'm Charlie Nardozzi and here are some thoughts from my garden journal. While mid summer is a beautiful time in the flower garden, it's a quiet time in the flowering shrub border. Other than the hydrangeas that are loving this wet summer we've had, there aren't a lot of choices for flowering shrubs in July and August. While, I love hydrangeas, I like different flowering shrubs as well. Here are three choices.

Clethra or summer sweet grows 4 to 6 feet tall and wide in full or part sun. In the spring it looks like it's dead because it leafs out later than most shrubs, However, by midsummer it sends up white, pink or red flower spikes with a sweet fragrance. It's a native plant, hardy to zone 4 and grows well in moist, acidic soils.

Buttonbush (or Cephalanthus) is another native to our region. It's hardy to zone 5 and I first encountered this summer bloomer on a canoe trip in the Lake C...
Read the full transcript

Additional Credits

Charlie Nardozzi, Host

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