If you wait long enough, the clothes you wore 30 years ago will come back into fashion. Just like that denim skirt my daughters wanted me to toss last year. This summer, I'm back in style!

The same thing is happening in gardens. Garden centers have seen old favorites like shrub roses, hydrangeas, and rhododendrons regaining popularity. If your landscape design is in the early stages, these three plants will make your garden seem timeless. The reason is the same as the reason for my denim skirt; they're hardy, functional, and comfortable. Walk through a garden featuring that trio and you'll soon relax, breathing deeply.

Years ago, we were fortunate to live across from a family that was employed at Cook College at Rutgers University. The rhododendrons, that were being tested,often had blooms the size of my daughter's heads. The branching of the rhododendrons lined the country roadside of their property, creating a flowered fence. An added bonus was the way the leaves curled into themselves when the weather cooled. A little magic for the kids!

Shrub roses, whether in a border or as an anchor in a perennial bed, add color all summer with their repeat blooming. They are hardy to most climates, disease resistant, and don't require a lot of work. There are mounded, upright, and compact varieties. Blooms can be single or mutli-petaled. From white to pink, to reds or corals, there's a rose color for any garden. The foliage of roses can vary from light to a dark, glossy green. Rose leaves, that haven't been sprayed, can be painted with chocolate on their underside, cooled, peeled, and used to garnish cakes.

Hydrangeas are another plant seeing a resurgence. They work well as foundation plantings and add structure to a garden, with several different types of blooms. Oakleaf hydrangeas have a longer, cone shaped head. The mop head hydrangea, like Annabelle and Incrediball, have heads that are large and rounded. Smaller, more compact hydrangeas have been developed for gardeners with limited space. Colors vary with types and go from lime green to white to blue or pink. Your independent garden center can help with the ph balance of your soil for color variations.

Whether you're just starting as a gardener or looking to revitalize a current garden, these perennials will make you a Garden Fashionista!


See Also:

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Enter your email to receive the latest news, contests, concert announcements and more directly to your inbox!