“Bring Me a Shrubbery”

By Amy Grant | August 30, 2021
Image by shelma1
by Amy Grant
August 30, 2021

I’m overly fond of perennial bloomers and trees, but not as thrilled by shrubs. I don’t know why; they often bloom, provide year round interest, and feed wildlife. 

In my landscape we do have the usual suspects for my region: spirea, hydrangea, potentilla, weigelia, and euonymus.  Other common shrubs for my zone 6 area are lacking in the landscape. Shrubs such as rhododendron, azalea, forsythia and lilac I have avoided. 

I like the idea of a mid size plant, especially one with year round interest, but I’m not much into evergreens. That said I do have a mental wish list of plants that I would like to add to the landscape. 


What is on my wish list? I love Sambucus Black Lace, and really what’s not to love? This shrub has unique ebony, lace-like leaves adorned in the early summer with masses of deep pink blooms that give way to black/red berries the birds adore. 

I also have a yen for a beautyberry. Beautyberry is a beauty indeed with its eye popping violet berries. The thing about beauty berry though is that for the majority of the year this shrub is rather drab. The berries are an eyeful, but you have to wait until fall for the plant to put on a show. The berries are edible although a bit floral in flavor, but apparently delicious made into jelly. 

An Unusual Shrub

Also on my wish list, Harry Lauder’s walking stick. I’ve wanted one of these since my sister got one, but it isn’t sibling rivalry that has me hankering for this shrub. Harry Lauder’s walking stick, also known as Contorted Filbert, has unique twisted branches, so contorted they seem unnatural. 

This Contorted Filbert was named after a Scottish vaudevillian entertainer, Harry Lauder, who used a twisted branch from the shrub for a walking stick, a rather amusing story for this one of a kind shrub. 

At this writing I have no major plans to obtain any of the above but then again it took me almost four years to get the witch hazel shrub I’ve wanted FOREVER. Check back again next year. Who knows how my garden will grow by then. Maybe someone who shall remain nameless will “Bring me a shrubbery”!

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