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Shrubs, once they are established, are fairly care free in a garden and can provide interesting focal points. Try to plant shrubs to provide a succession of bloom from spring into fall.

“Caryopteris” sometimes called “Blue Mist Shrub” or “Blue Beard” is a desirable one as its cool blue flowers and silvery foliage freshen the landscape in late summer. It rarely grows bigger than three feet. It prefers full sun or light shade to flower well.

A native of China, it has dainty blue flowers at the base of the leaves at the ends of its branches. It likes good drainage and some sand or organic matter to lighten heavy clay soils. My bush likes it best if I prune it back in the spring rather than the fall, and rewards me with a long bloom season July to September.

Something To Note

I have killed a few of these shrubs by placing them in spots that don’t drain well. The one I have now is on a slope and seems happy. I am certainly happy when I see the airy blue flowers in the dog days of August. Deer don’t seem partial to it and short pieces last well in a vase.

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