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3 Ways to Save Water When Getting Ready For Spring

Four Fabulous, Fragrant Shrubs

By Natalie Carmolli, Proven Winners® ColorChoice®
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners® ColorChoice®

Can you smell that? I think it may be spring! Even if you still have snow on the ground, the scent of spring is not far away. Finally! Let’s get excited for it by taking a look at some low-maintenance flowering shrubs that not only look gorgeous but smell absolutely delightful, too.

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Bloomerang Dark Purple lilac

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Bloomerang Dwarf Pink lilac

Lilacs (Syringa)

Nothing says spring louder and prouder than lilacs. When you see a big, old-fashioned shrub covered in purple blooms with that heady lilac scent, you know the season has truly begun. In fact, it’s always a little sad when they finish their blooming cycle. But Bloomerang® lilacs bloom in spring, take a rest for several weeks, then flower again from mid-summer to frost! For a showy statement, Bloomerang® Dark Purple lilac reaches heights and widths of 4-6’. For smaller spaces, two dwarf varieties (Bloomerang® Dwarf Pink and Bloomerang® Dwarf Purple) grow to just 2.5-3’ tall and wide, so almost anyone can now fit a lilac into their landscapes. All are hardy in U.S.D.A. Plant Hardiness Zones 3-7.

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Illuminati Tower mockorange

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Illuminati Arch mockorange

Mockorange (Philadelphus)

An early summer bloomer, the Illuminati™ series of mockorange will knock your socks off with scent. Selected for its narrow, columnar habit and unique four-sided “tower” effect, Illuminati Tower™ mockorange blooms with hundreds of fragrant white flowers along the dramatically upright branches, nestled within handsome dark green foliage. Illuminati Tower reaches heights of 3-4’ and widths of 1.5’. Illuminati Arch® Philadelphus has a more compact, bushy habit at 4’ tall and wide and it blooms with cascades of white flowers. Both sport handsome, rugged foliage that keeps its deep green color all season long, unlike conventional mockorange, where the foliage can appear faded and tattered as the season progresses. Both are hardy in zones 4-7 and both have the sweet, old-fashioned mockorange scent everyone loves.

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At Last rose

Roses (Rosa)

Of course, when you’re talking fragrance, you have to include roses. Everyone loves the easy care and disease resistance of shrub roses, but it always seemed like the trade-off for their low maintenance qualities was fragrance. At Last® rose changes that by offering lush, full flowers with a true rose scent. Its romantic apricot-peach blooms are self-cleaning and appear continuously on the plant without deadheading. Glossy, deep green foliage stays free of black spot and powdery mildew. At Last® rose is hardy in zones 5-9 and will reach heights and widths of 3’.

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Pugster Pinker butterfly bush

Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)

Finally, for fun summer blooms that are beloved by people and pollinators, butterfly bush tops the list. Oftentimes butterfly bushes can grow to enormous heights, but the Pugster® series features full-sized flowers on a 2’ tall and wide habit. But their diminutive size doesn’t apply to the flowers! Extra-large, highly fragrant blooms bring butterflies flocking from miles around. Thick, sturdy stems also make the Pugster® series of woody Buddleia less brittle, improving winter survival in colder climates. Pugster Pinker™ is the newest member of a unique series with very rich pink flowers, each with a tiny bright orange eye in the center. Each member of the series blooms non-stop from early summer through frost and are hardy in zones 5-9.

Don't panic if you don’t see your butterfly bushes waking up at the same time as the rest of your garden! There are a number of shrubs that simply don't leaf out as early as everything else in your yard. Butterfly bush, in particular, may not show signs of life until early June in cold climates, so they need an extra-long grace period. Not unlike humans, when the time comes to wake up, they decide to press the snooze button and grab a little bit more sleep (or, more correctly, dormancy). Wondering what other sleepyheads you may have in your garden? Check out this GardenSMART article: Plants that Press the Snooze Button on Spring.

Get ready! Spring is just around the corner. I hope these four fab shrubs are getting some ideas percolating for some sweetly scented garden additions.

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