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If the entrance to your home is looking a little lack lustre there's one surefire way to give it a lift. Introduce some appealing colorful shrubs to your front yard landscaping and it will instantly transform the space.
There is nothing like walking out of your door in the morning and seeing the gorgeous blooms of a selection of bold beauties that you have chosen, planted and nurtured yourself. When choosing colorful shrubs for your modern front yard first think about whether you want the color to come from flowers, foliage or berries. Sometimes you might be lucky and get all three.
Our expert selection focuses on colorful shrubs that have standout flowers, and we've actually chosen five classics that never date. All offer a profusion of talking point blooms to stop and admire so you can add a little front yard perfection to your home.
The combination of colorful flowering shrub and picket fence makes a magical combination in your front yard. Weigela is one of the best summer flowering shrubs and works really well as an informal hedge that will grow up to six feet tall. It looks spectacular growing through a picket fence.
The clusters of funnel-shaped pink flowers in late spring and summer are attractive to hummingbirds, and if you're lucky you'll get repeat blooms late in the season.
According to the experts at Missouri Botanical Garden, 'Pink Princess' is easily grown in well-drained soils and is one of those plants that like full sun and heat. 'It needs full sun for best flowering and foliage color, but will tolerate some light shade or sun dappled shade. It is a dense, rounded, deciduous shrub that typically grows to 6-10 foot tall and may spread over time to as much as 12 foot wide.'
Prune it right after the flowers fade to keep it at the height you want but go easy. Shear it too hard and you will ruin the elegant fountain-like habit of the lovely arching branches with their profusion of flowers.
Hydrangea bushes are one of the most popular and easiest ornamental perennial shrubs you can grow. Potted hydrangea care is also easy, if you don't have space to grow them in the ground. While the cool white hydrangea varieties like 'Snowball' and 'Annabelle' tend to clock up the likes we think it's the pink varieties that are the real showstoppers, especially if you're looking for colorful shrubs just perfect for your front yard.
From bubblegum to blush, there's a pink hydrangea for everyone. Among the most common types are the mop-headed Hydrangea arborescens and the conical clusters of Hydrangea paniculata. Try 'Vanilla Strawberry', which will give you a mass of blooms for an eye-catching front yard display that carries on for months right into fall. This variety prefers sunlight, but can grow in partial shade as well. Hardy in Zones 3-9, this shrub will grow in most areas of the country and is easy to care for.
Some varieties of hydrangea are blue when grown in acid soil and pink in alkaline soil. Do a pH test to find out what your soil is, or alternatively check out what's growing in your neighborhood as that's a good indication too, then amend the soil according to your color preference.
This gorgeous shrub has been a front yard favorite for generations, generally grown as an accent plant, loose screening hedge, or for bordering garden paths to best enjoy the wonderful fragrance.
There are many varieties to choose from. Common Purple lilac will grow into a wonderfully rounded shrub if you give it enough room. If your front yard is small try a dwarf variety like 'Bloomerang'.
Lilac is easy to grow and provides plenty of stunning spring color. The clusters of delightfully fragrant flowers are large and prolific, and the dark green, heart-shaped leaves are lovely too.
Despite its delicate looking flowers lilac is tough, and blooms reliably in cold climates. Once established, lilacs don’t require much maintenance. Generally they only need watering during prolonged periods of drought.
The blooms are not particularly long lasting so consider planting multiple lilac varieties that flower at different times to enjoy a longer bloom time.
If you want to create a lavish floral façade for your home that's full of stunning color, there is nothing better than a rose. You can achieve the look in even the smallest of front yards. Roses are one of the best plants to welcome you home, featuring masses of blooms and filling the air with scent if you choose the right variety.
'It's hard to ignore the versatility of roses,' says Liam Beddall, senior rose consultant at David Austin Roses. 'From foot-high patio roses to 60-foot ramblers, from the deepest scarlet to the softest apricot blooms, there is a rose for every position.'
Plant roses to climb up the walls or flank the front path, or fill containers on the porch steps. Always one of the first English roses to start flowering, 'Gertrude Jekyll' has perfect scrolled buds that open to large, rosette-shaped flowers of bright glowing pink and is wonderfully fragrant. A vigorous grower up to 8 feet, it will beautifully enhance your front yard.
The fat buds of camellia burst into bloom at the bleakest time of the year when your front yard is most in need of a colorful shrub to add a pop of joy. The flamboyant flowers come in red, pink and white, and occasionally yellow, bringing a touch of much-needed color.
There’s a range of flower shapes to choose from including the big blowsy peony and rose varieties, as well as simpler anemone-style ones. As well as planted in the ground they look good in a container in the porch, although it's best to choose a compact variety. Camellia also makes a pretty flowering hedge for the front yard.
Gorgeous winter-blooming Camellia japonica 'Kramer's Supreme' is a glossy-leaved evergreen shrub with bright red double blooms and fragrance when you need it most. 'Blooming when few other plants are in flower, 'Kramer's Supreme' pushes out its double-petalled red blooms for all to see,' say the experts at Nature Hills Nursery, which is based in Omaha, Nebraska. 'This variety can reach 6-9 foot tall, with a nearly equal spread. You can train them into any size or shape, even creating a multi-trunked tree form by 'limbing up' the lower branches.'
The lush red blooms shine in the midwinter garden. Each voluptuous flower is highlighted by a bright yellow shower of stamen that act as bullseyes for bees and other beneficial pollinators.
The Livingetc Newsletter
For style leaders and design lovers.
Lifestyle journalist Sarah Wilson has been writing about gardens since 2015. She's written for Gardeningetc.com, Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Easy Gardens and Modern Gardens magazines. Her first job on glossy magazines was at Elle, during which time a visit to the legendary La Colombe d'Or in St-Paul-de-Vence led to an interest in all things gardening. Later as lifestyle editor at Country Homes & Interiors magazine the real pull was the run of captivating country gardens that were featured. Having studied introductory garden and landscape design as well as a course in floristry she is currently putting the skills learned to good use in her own garden where the dream is establishing a cutting garden.
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