Many gardeners will tell you it’s difficult to find a good variety of unusual shrubs that will survive in Colorado’s temperamental climate. More and more, however, nurseries are able to provide us with a wider, more interesting variety of shrubs. You might want to plant some in those areas of your yard that are protected slightly from the elements.
Fernleaf alder, Rhamnus frangula ‘Asplenifolia’, is a lovely, deciduous shrub with lacy foliage that grows up to ten feet tall.
There are several varieties of boxwood, such as Vardar Valley, Balkan and Korean, which can add winter texture, color and form to your landscape.
The Allegheny viburnum, Viburnum x rhytidophylloides ‘Alleghany’, is a tall, coarse shrub with large, dull, green leaves. It blooms in spring with off-white flowers, is semi-deciduous, grows to over ten feet tall and has red fruit that turns black later in the season.
The silver butterfly bush, Buddleia alternifolia ‘Argentea’, is a beautiful deciduous spring-flowering shrub that has lightly fragrant lilac purple blooms and grows to about ten feet tall.
The blueleaf honeysuckle, Lonicera korolkowii, is an open, spreading shrub that grows to ten feet. It has bluish leaves and pinkish flowers in the spring.
Nanking cherry, Prunus tomentosa, is a very tough, deciduous shrub that grows to eight feet. It has pink, plum-like flowers in spring followed by red fruit in midsummer that is attractive to birds. In the fall, it adds yellow to your yard’s color palate.
Many of these shrubs will add variety and visual interest to your landscape year-round, and with normal care will survive our unpredictable Colorado weather.
For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).