Connecticut Garden Journal: Summer flowering shrubs add color and fragrance
While flower gardens are exploding with color, another place to look for some color in mid-summer is with shrubs. Here are some summer bloomers that can compliment all the other flowers in your garden.
Summer sweet or Clethra alnifolia is a versatile, deciduous, native shrub. It grows in full sun to part shade up to 6 feet tall in a range of soils. It has few pests and even deer and rabbits don't seem interested. The best part is it flowers in July with spikes of white, fragrant blooms. Grow it near a deck or patio and you'll be enjoying the scent, and the butterflies and hummingbirds, with breakfast and dinner. There is a pink flowering version called 'Ruby Spice' and a 2 foot dwarf named 'Crystalina'. Summer sweet also has attractive, yellow, fall foliage.
Caryopteris or Bluebeard' grows 2- to 3-feet tall and produces dark blue flowers in late summer that butterflies and pollinators love. The foliage has a pleasant scent and the flowers continue until frost. Grow Bluebird on well-drained soil in full sun. In zone 5, it may dieback in winter, but simply give it a hard pruning in spring and it will send up new growth and still flower.
Cotoneaster isn't known for its summer flowers, but its fall berries and foliage color. This hardy shrub grows 1- to 3-feet tall and up to 6 feet wide. The red berries are stunning in late summer and fall. Plant in full sun on well drained soil for best berry production. Cotoneaster is also tolerant of wind and salt spray.