Excitement and anticipation is the air of a new season. The birds chirping, the sounds of outdoor activity everywhere! At Van Wilgen’s we have that feeling every day and want to share it with you. Our team in the nursery yard is here to make it happen. Whether you are looking to freshen up the front of your house, attract birds and butterflies, or just to get outside and dig in the dirt, we are here to help. Here is a sample of some of our favorite shrubs that look great this time of year.
Jason Scire, Nursery Manager, Jason@vanwilgens.com, 203-488-2110 x117 • CANP certified
Blue Point Juniper 8’x4’ Full Sun
One of my favorite upright junipers. It is a moderate grower, not getting too big. Great choice for a single planting or border. Its steel blue color is a great contrast in the garden. It performs best in full sun and tolerates dry conditions. Deer resistant, and good for container plantings also.
Shamrock Inkberry 3-4’x3-4’ Full Sun to Part Shade
This old standby has a place in many gardens. It is a good alternative to boxwood, with a slightly softer look. Great for hedges and borders. Responds to pruning well and is adaptable to many soil types. Evergreen and deer resistant.
Blue Mist Shrub 4’x4’ Full Sun
This little guy gives great late summer color. Periwinkle blue to purple flowers completely cover the plant for weeks. Perfect plant to transition from a perennial garden to a shrub garden. It has a very soft look, which makes it a great contrast plant.
Cardinal Candy Viburnum 8’x6’ Full Sun to Part Sun
The best feature of the plant are its red candy-like fruit it produces in the fall. White flowers in spring. Fall color is very attractive. Attracts birds. PW Selection
Henry’s Garnet Itea 4’x4’ Full Sun
Great native plant that give a much naturalized look. Fragrant white flowers in spring. Awesome deep red fall color, great alternative to burning bush. Tolerant of wet soils. Best when planted in masses.
Orange Rocket Barberry 5-6’x2’ Full Sun
Orange Rocket really lives up to its name. It has a tall and slender growth habit, making it perfect for narrow spots. Its new growth is a great shade of orange set against its red mature growth. Very drought tolerant and deer resistant. May be planted as a single specimen or borders.
Green Pillar Boxwood 8’x2’ Full Sun to Shade
The perfect choice for any narrow spot. Gives a formal look if pruned to shape or looks just as good in a more natural look. Green Pillar also is great for small screens. Responds well to pruning, handles shade and is deer resistant.
Verdoni Cypress 6’x3’ Full Sun to Part Sun
Verdoni Cypress is a perfect choice to add color to a garden. It displays just the right amount of gold without looking to overpowering. It is a slow grower and won’t get too big. It will handle full sun however it is happy if protected from strong afternoon sun.
Jean’s Dilly Spruce 4’x2’ Full Sun
This little one is the perfect choice for containers or small areas. It is very slow growing so it will never outgrow its place. It has a much tighter habit than the traditional dwarf Alberta spruce.
Gold Mop Cypress 3’x3’ Full Sun
This tried and true evergreen gives great color to any sunny location. Its bright gold color, adds pop, especially when paired next to any blue foliage plant. In the winter months its gold color fades, and displays a light pink winter color, however the gold never goes away.
Blueberry Delight Juniper 1’x5’ Full Sun
This awesome little plant truly lives up to its name. One of its best features are its blueberry-fruit, set against its blue green awl-like foliage. It is great for groundcover and erosion control. Attracts wildlife and is a native plant. American Beauties Selection.
Blue Princess Holly 5’x5’ Full Sun to Part Shade
Blue Princess is a great contrast plant in almost all gardens. Its traditional holly shaped leaves and red fruit are a real standout. It responds well to pruning and cut branches with berries are perfect for Christmas arrangements. It adds winter interest and attracts birds. Use Blue Princess as a pollinator.
Hydrangea Endless Summer 5’X5’ Part Shade
Bloomstruck is the newest member in the Endless Summer Collection. One of its distinct features is its red stems, set against its lovely green to reddish leaves. Its flowers will be purple in acid soils and pink in sweeter soils. Bloomstruck is also heat tolerant and very cold hardy.
PJM Elite Rhododendron 4’X4’ Shade to Part Sun
This is an improved version of the old fashioned PJM Rhododendron. Purple flowers emerge in spring against its dark purple foliage. Leaves brighten in color as the weather warms turning darker in colder weather. This broadleaf evergreen is great for shade gardens with interest the whole year. PJM Elite is one of the more deer resistant rhodo’s you’ll find.
Double Play Artisan Spirea 3’x3’ Full Sun
This is one of my favorite new spirea. Fuchsia pink flowers in spring are a great contrast against is deep green leaves. Its new growth is a deep burgundy red. Plant has a compact habit and is perfect for small spaces. Once the new growth matures prune it back a bit. This will help develop another round of flowers as well as another flush of colorful growth.
Coast Leucothoe 3-4’x5’ Shade to Part Sun
What a great plant! This is the perfect for that shady spot where nothing will grow. It is drought tolerant as well. In the spring white flowers emerge, followed by a flush of red new growth. In the fall the foliage turns scarlet red and holds that color all winter. Deer resistant as well!
Early Amethyst Beautyberry 6’x6’ Full Sun
This plant is truly a traffic stopper in the fall! The stems are showered with purple berries that last into the winter months. Pink flowers in spring. Attracts birds. Great for large borders and mass plantings.
Spilled Wine Weiglea 30’’x30’’ Full Sun
The first thing you will see is its deep wine colored foliage, followed by fuchsia pink flowers. It is a perfect contrast plant for any full sun garden.It is perfect for small borders and container plantings.
Ruby Slippers Oakleaf Hydrangea 4’x4’ Full Sun to Shade
This oakleaf is a true must have! Its foliage is second to none followed by stunning pink conical flowers. In the fall you are treated to great leave color…shades of red and purple. Its cinnamon brown flaky bark also give it great winter interest. It is truly a four season show stopper!
Lil’ Kim Rose of Sharon 4’x4’ Full Sun to Part Sun
I know what you are going to say…not another Rose of Sharon! Well I must admit I like this plant. It has a very compact dwarf habit which is great for small spaces and even container plantings. Its white flowers with deep reddish-maroon flowers are a show stopper in the summer. PW Selection
Ruby Spice Summersweet 6’x4’
You will be knocked over by the sweet scent of its spire-like pink flowers in late spring-early summer. It has and upright form that is great for natural borders. In the fall the foliage turns a perfect shade of yellow. It is tolerant of wet feet.
Ivory Halo Red Twig Dogwood 4’x4’ Full Sun to Part Sun
The variegated foliage of Ivory Halo is a great contrast of any area. Its compact form makes it suitable for smaller areas as well. In the winter you are treated to bright red stems that are perfect for any winter garden. Great for small borders and mass plantings.
Newport Blue Boxwood 5’x4’ Full Sun to Shade
This boxwood has been around for a long time and there is good reason why. Its blue green foliage is a great contrast to any garden. It is perfect for formal hedges as well as stand-alone plantings. Its slow growth makes it perfect for container plantings as well. It is easily pruned to any shape. Deer resistant.
Center Glow Ninebark 8’x8’ Full Sun
This plant is truly tuff as nails! Foliage emerges yellowish-green turning to deep reddish-purple. In early June, flattened heads of whit with light pink flowers form which gives great contrast against the leaves. Its multicolored peeling bark gives it excellent winter interest. Tolerant of many soil types. Great for borders. American Beauties Selection.
Red Sprite Winterberry 4’x4’ Full Sun to Part Shade
If you have a small yard like I do and want a winterberry for late season color, Red sprite is perfect! Its compact, full form is perfect for small spaces. Small white flowers in spring followed by bright red fruit in fall lasting through the winter. Jim Dandy is the best pollinator. Attracts birds.
Hydrangea Little Quickfire 4’x4’ Full Sun to Part Shade
One of my favorite new panicle hydrangea! Its compact form makes it perfect for any garden. Pure white conical flowers open in summer and last until fall. Fall foliage color is a striking red. Flowers are also good for cutting. Please come see them in one of our many gardens this summer at the garden center. PW Selection.
Pink Microchip Butterfly Bush 24’’x24’’ Full Sun to Part Shade
What a great little plant! Finally a true dwarf to miniature butterfly bush that won’t eat up your entire garden. Fragrant pink flowers last from summer to fall, attracting plenty of butterflies. Its size makes it perfect for containers or small borders of gardens and walkways. PW Selection
Limelight Hydrangea 7’x7’ Part Sun to Sun
Limelight is very true to its name. From summer to fall you will be treated to apple-green flowers that turn to white then a shade of pinkish-red. The flowers are perfect for cutting. Limelight is great for borders and mass plantings. It even holds up well in full sun. PW Selection.
Incrediball Hydrangea 6’X6’ Sun to Part Shade
Incrediball really lives up to its name. You will not believe it when your plant is loaded with white flowers that are up to 15’’ in diameter. What’s even better is your flowers will not be laying on the ground like other large flower types. Incrediball has been breed to have extremely strong stems that can support the massive weight of its huge flowers. Enjoy the show! Proven Winner Selection.
Degroots Spire Arborvitae 8’x2’ Full Sun
The ruffled texture of its foliage make this evergreen a must have! Its tall narrow habit is ideal for screens along tight spaces or planted as a specimen. It is slow growing and requires minimal maintenance. Please keep away from Bambi however.
BoBo Hydrangea 3’X3’ Sun to Part Shade
If you want the long blooming color of a panicle hydrangea but don’t have the space you need BoBo. It is a compact grower that has dense cone shape white flowers all summer long. As the flowers pass they turn an awesome shade of pinkish-red. The flowers are perfect for cutting. This dwarf hydrangea is perfect for small areas as well as container plantings. Proven Winner Selection.
Korean Spice Viburnum 6’X6’ Full Sun
This viburnum is a real classic in the landscape. Whenever I see one I think of the sweet fragrant, white flowers of the plant in my dad’s yard when I was a kid. The flower buds are a light pink opening to white. When it is in full flower the fragrance is fantastic. The foliage has a velvety texture with a dark green color. In the fall you will be treated to awesome color, shades of red, orange and light purple.
Winter Gem Boxwood 3’X3’ Full Sun to Part Shade
This large leaf boxwood is a real winner. Perfect for small hedge rows. It is deer resistant and easy to prune to shape. The best part of Winter Gem is it is truly a “gem “in the winter. It doesn’t take on the harsh winter color that other boxwoods can. Evergreen.
Spirea Double Play Big Bang 3’x4’ Part Sun to Sun
This awesome plant truly gives you extended color throughout the season. In the spring light pink flowers emerge that also reflower throughout the rest of the season. The foliage emerges as a reddish orange then turning to pale yellow. As new growth emerges the tips continue their reddish orange color. It is deer resistant and responds very well to pruning. Proven Winner Selection.
Amy Cotta Rhododendron 3’X3’ Part Sun to Shade
Amy Cotta is a new take on an old favorite, PJM rhododendron. It is a slow growing compact evergreen perfect for smaller areas. It’s small, dark colored foliage is a great contrast against the deep purple flowers. Amy Cotta is one of the heaviest flowering small leafed rhododendrons around. Proven Winner Selection.
Pink Charm Mountain Laurel 5’x5’ Part Sun to Shade
This variety of the Connecticut State Flower is a must have! This awesome plant gives extended color. First you will be treated to dark red-pink flower buds. The buds open to reveal a light pink flower that also attract hummingbirds. It is great in a masses or as a stand-alone shrub. It is the perfect addition to any shade garden. Pink Charm is a wonderful native evergreen that is also deer resistant. American Beauties Selection.
Holger’s Juniper 3’X4’ Full Sun
Holger’s juniper is a great plant for contrast in any sunny garden. Its foliage displays tones of pale yellow as well as blue. It is a compact spreading form so it is great for many applications. It is also evergreen and deer resistant.
Hydrangea Bloomstruck 4’X4’ Part Shade to Shade
If you are tired of not having flowers on your hydrangea’s this is a must have! Bloomstruck is a cross between the Original Endless Summer and Endless Summer Twist & Shout. Due to this you have all the benefits of both plants. The flowers ae that of a traditional mophead and the stems and foliage resemble that of a lace cap hydrangea. This gives you unbelievable contrast. Bloomstruck is also the most cold hardy variety you will find so you are guaranteed to have flowers. Please remember resist the urge to prune them, even though they flower on new wood as well you can still affect the flowering by pruning. The best policy is don’t prune it if you can help it. Bailey Nursery Introduction.
Yuki Cherry Blossom Deutzia 12’’X24’’ Part Sun to Sun
What a cool little plant! This dwarf flowering shrub is perfect as a small groundcover or border planting. The flowers are unique, displaying shades of white and pink. The fall color of the foliage is a deep burgundy. It is very cold hardy so it is also perfect for container plantings. Proven Winner Selection.
Yaku Princess Rhododendron 3’X4’ Part Sun to Shade
Yaku Princess is one of the most cold hardy Japanese rhododendron around. You will never need to worry about cold winters hurting its flower buds. In the spring light pink flowers emerge that progress to a very nice white. The dark green foliage is a great contrast to the flower color. It is a slow grower and stays very compact. One of my favorites!
Miss Kim Lilac 6’X6’ Full Sun
This dwarf, fragrant lilac is a real classic! It is perfect for anyone that wants a lilac but on smaller scale. You will be treated to lovely lavender colored flowers in spring. The fall foliage gives a blast of reddish-orange to purple color as well.
Barberry Mini Salsa 2’X2’ Full Sun
Even if you are not a fan of barberry you will love this compact dwarf little guy. It is slow growing with deep red foliage that brightens in the fall. It is heat and deer resistant as well. The habit of Mini Salsa makes it perfect for small borders and container plantings. It is also quite heat tolerant as well. Proven Winner Selection.
Newport Blue Boxwood 4’X4’ Full Sun to Shade
What a cool plant. Newport Blue truly lives up to its name. The foliage holds blue color throughout the growing season. It is great for hedging or even a stand-alone. It is also adaptable in sun to shade. Did I forget to mention it is deer resistant!
Bloomerang Dark Purple Lilac 5’X5’ Full Sun
If you want a lilac but don’t have the space for the kind your grandmother had this plant is for you. In is a moderate sized grower so it will work well in smaller areas. It has all the features of grandma’s lilac but on a smaller scale. Fragrant dwarf purple flowers in spring then in later summer you are treated to another showing of flowers. The fall foliage color is an attractive reddish purple. Proven Winner Selection
Weiglea My Monet 2’X2’ Full Sun to Part Sun
This little guy packs a lot of punch! It is by far a great contrast plant in the garden. Its variegated foliage gives color all season long coupled with fuchsia colored flowers in Spring. It is great for small borders and also perfect for container gardening. Proven Winner Selection
Rhododendron Percy Wiseman 3’X4’ Part Sun to Shade
This is my favorite dwarf Japanese rhododendron. It is a slow grower that holds its compact shape. It will never get woody like other larger rhododendron. It has real interest from the dark green foliage to the contrast in color of its yellow colored flower buds. The best feature is its flowers. You will be treated to lovely peach to pink large flowers that will brighten up any shade garden. A must have!
Ivory Halo Red Twig Dogwood 3’X3’ Full Sun
Ivory Halo is a great compact grower. Its deep red stems stand out beyond everything in the landscape during the winter and early spring. The foliage is has a lovely variegation that is a great contrast as well. One of its best uses is as a mass planting. The more the better. There is an awesome example of this at a condo complex in my neighborhood. I specially enjoy driving past it this time of year. It is a compact grower so it will look just as great as a single planting in small garden.
Rainbow Leucothoe 3’X5’ Part Sun-Shade
What a plant! It has one the best variegated color patterns to its leaves you’ll find. The green and gold foliage changes to tones of reds in cold weather. Deeper into the spring season, small white bell shaped flowers emerge. This homerun will brighten any shady spot in your garden. It is deer resistant and requires very little care. Last fall we planted a grouping e under our Korean Dogwood. I am eager to watch them grow.
Russian Cypress 1’x6’ Sun-Shade
Russian Cypress is the answer to many of your groundcover questions. It is adaptable to all light conditions. This quality makes it the perfect choice for anyone that wants a juniper-like groundcover but doesn’t have the sunlight. In colder weather the green foliage turns to a bronze-purple color. One of the first shrubs I planted at my house.
Arnold’s Promise Witchhazel 8’x8’ Full Sun-Part Sun
One of our best natives! It is the most floriferous early spring flowering shrub you’ll find. In early to mid-March it explodes bright yellow color. It gives a much needed sign of spring to all us ready to see winter go away. One of its many uses is cutting the colorful stems for indoor flower arrangements.
Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick 8’X8’ Full Sun
What a name! It is derived from its curly corkscrew branches. It is truly at its best in winter and early spring. It makes a perfect specimen as well as a conversation piece. Once leaves emerge they are also twisted and contorted. There is nothing like it.
Spring Heather 2’X8’ Full Sun
One of the first shrubs to show color. Depending on the variety, pink or white flowers emerge as early as mid-February and last until end of April. It is a compact evergreen that is perfect for borders and mass plantings as a groundcover. Great for rock gardens as well. We have a patch planted at the base of an oriental spruce located at our bulk area. When I see it in color I know spring is right around the corner.
Lynwood Gold Forsythia 8’X8’ Full Sun
What a tried and true plant. Bright yellow flowers appear in early spring. It is at its best when left to grow to its natural fountain shaped habit. Great for borders and mass plantings. As our lawn guru Stacey says when you see forsythia in color your need to start thinking about crabgrass prevention.
Gold Splash Euonymus 2-3’x2-3’ Full Sun
Gold Splash is the best euonymus around. Unlike it’s cousins it is a true dwarf and resistant to scale. It is great for small areas and borders. Its golden and green variegated leaves are a real stand out. They turn an awesome shade of reddish pink in cold weather making it great for early spring color. Later in the season small yellow fruit with orange seeds emerge. This dwarf evergreen shrub is a winner anytime of the year. Proven Winner selection.
Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae 3’X3’ Full Sun
Mr. Bowling Ball truly lives up to its name. It maintains its perfect globe shape with little to no pruning at all. It makes a great foundation planting or small border. Its frilly foliage adds excellent texture to any garden. It is easy to grow and tolerant of many locations. Its on my list to plant at my house this spring.
Fukuzumi Japanese White Pine 6’x8’ Full Sun
This selection of Japanese white pine is a knockout. Its steel blue to green twisted needles add great color and contrast to any garden. Its irregular shape gives it awesome character. It is at its best as a specimen. Requires little maintenance. Cones emerge purple then turn to brown. An employee favorite every year.
Mt. Airy Fothergilla 5’X4’ Full Sun
This dense upright shrub has interest all year long. In the early spring it treats you to an abundance of white cone shaped flowers with a mild fragrance. As the leaves emerge you will have a showing of dark blue green color. Excellent for contrast and texture. As fall approaches it displays all the colors of fall. Yellow-Orange-Red! Great for mass plantings or alone. An underutilized plant in my opinion.
Color Guard Yucca 3’x3’ Full Sun
This dense little evergreen is a perfect choice for sunny dry locations. It is as low maintenance as it gets. Its green and gold blades of foliage bring much needed color to all four seasons of the year. In the summer a tall single flower stalk emerges followed by a white flower. If the flower isn’t for you just prune off the flower stalk as it emerges. In colder times of year the foliage also turns pinkish-red. Deer resistant
Blue Chip Juniper 1’x6’ Full Sun
Blue Chip is best known for its steel blue color which turns a reddish blue in the winter holding into the early spring. It is a great groundcover. If you have real estate you need to cover in a hurry this is the plant for you. It is happy sandy soil and is salt tolerant. We planted a grouping last fall at the garden center that is already catching people’s eyes! A favorite of Bill Van Wilgen.
The Blues Blue Spruce 8’x4’ Full Sun
Perfect name for this graceful weeping evergreen. Excellent blue needles give color and contrast to any sunny garden. It is a narrow grower that is great for small locations. Best utilized as a specimen. Deer resistant.
Dorothy Wycoff Andromeda 6’x6’ Part Sun to Shade
By far the best characteristic to this leafy evergreen is its red winter flower bud color. There is nothing comparable! The color lasts until the emergence of light pink flowers in early spring. It makes a great addition to any shade garden. It is one of the most cold hardy types of Andromeda and is very deer resistant.
Creeping Wintergreen 6’’x4’ Full Sun to Part Sun
Perfect evergreen groundcover that stays nice and tidy with minimal effort. The dark green leaves turn reddish in winter and continue to early spring. Red fruit emerges in fall. Wintergreen does not like wet feet so please plant in a well-drained soil.
Templehof Hinoki Cypress 4’x4’ Full Sun
Texture is the name of the game when this sweet evergreen comes to mind. Its dark green fan shaped foliage with a hint of silver to its underside is the reason why! It is slow growing and holds its globe shape well with minimal pruning. This makes it perfect for any small area. I never get tired of walking past the one I have planted along my patio in my backyard.
Fire Chief Arborvitae 2’x2’ Full Sun
Fir Chief gets its name from its deep red foliage color it has in the winter and early spring. It is a tiny dwarf grower great for rock gardens, mass plantings and even containers. It has a tight globe shape and needs little pruning.
Sprinter Boxwood 2'-4'x2'-4' Sun to Full Shade
Pugster Blue Butterfly Bush 36-48"x24-36" Sun
Anna's Magic Ball Arborvitae 10-15"x10-18" Sun to Part Sun
Polar Night Rhododendron 2-3'x5-6' Part Sun to Full Shade
Dark Lord Rhododendron 5-8'x5-8' Part Sun to Part Shade
Miss Ruby Butterfly Bush 48-60"x48-60" Sun
Little Lime Hydrangea 36-60"x36-60" Sun to Part Sun
Laced Up Elderberry Sambucus 72-120"x36-48" Sun to Part Sun
Little Devil Ninebark 3-4'x3-4' Full Sun to Part Sun