Yummy berries for birds come in so many brilliant colors, including red, blue, purple, orange, pink, and yellow. The display is further enhanced by those with striking fall foliage. The icing on the cake is watching excited birds feasting on these tasty treats. Below are a few terrific natural ‘bird feeders’ to consider adding to…

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The best gardens have plants that add color and interest in all seasons.  Spring and summer are usually pretty simple to fill with color.  It can take a bit more planning to keep the garden looking great late summer into fall and winter.  However, with a bit of careful plant selection your garden can brim with interest in every season.  This article covers some perennials that will add late summer and fall color.  Now we are going to concentrate on shrubs.

Shrubs are a natural source for adding late summer and fall colors, after all fall is known for the colorful foliage of deciduous trees and shrubs.  However, fall color in shrubs certainly isn’t limited to foliage.  Flowers, seed pods and berries are additional sources of interest.  Today’s newer shrubs are powerhouses that can provide interest in multiple seasons.  The choices are almost limitless, but here are a few that we feel are especially good performers.

New and improved Hydrangeas are being introduced every year and it seems like there is at least one that works for any situation. Late summer and fall interest are no different, where Hydrangea paniculata shines. Two of the best cultivars are ‘Limelight‘ and Little Lime. They start blooming in mid-summer, when they show off lime-green flowers.  As the flowers mature they turn white, then light pink, then deep rose and eventually turn cinnamon brown and persist into the winter where they continue to add value to the landscape.  ‘Limelight’ isn’t an especially large plant, although under ideal conditions and without pruning it can reach up to 8 feet tall.  With yearly pruning, it can easily be kept under 6 feet tall.  The better choice, if you are looking for compactness, is Little Lime which tops out at 5 feet tall without pruning.  Both are hardy in zones 3 to 9 and do well in part sun to sun.  If you are in a climate with hot summers, afternoon shade is helpful more for the impact on moisture than heat.  Consistently moist soils will help keep the flowers fresh and looking good for the duration of their bloom.  Fire Light, a brand new introduction for spring 2014, is one to watch for the future.  The fall flower color is an especially deep pink.  Hardy in zones 3 to 8.

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