Heather’s Garden Goodies – Ninebark

There is very little I love more than spending time in my flower gardens. I love pretty much everything about them – from the planting to the weeding to cutting fresh blooms to brighten someone’s day. It makes me happy!

And it seems like every week the garden highlights something that makes me step back and smile. Whether it is a bunch of bees buzzing around a flowering shrub or a small flower that finally “pops” from a struggling perennial, it catches my eye and gives me pause. It brings me joy and wonder.

I want to share a bit of that wonder via a new monthly post we’re calling “Heather’s Garden Goodies.” These posts will include pictures from our garden and will be about elements that grab my attention. And I’m starting it off with a large, magnificent specimen – the Ninebark.

Garden Goodies - Ninebark

The Diablo Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) is a large growing shrub that provides multi-seasonal interest to any garden that can handle its size. It’s dark, burgundy colored leaves stand out against its green-leafed buddies in the bed. It grows to be 6-10 feet round, which perfectly hides our A/C unit while still allowing air to flow around the unit to prevent damage.

In the winter, this shrub’s branches have exfoliating bark. In the summer, the foliage and size give a dramatic impact to the space. However, it’s the spring flowers that caught my attention recently.

Its flowers start arriving in early May with little bouquets of delicate, white flowers. As the month wore on, they darkened into the most beautiful cranberry-colored flowers. Their bright clusters stand out against the dark leaves, giving this shrub a rich, colorful look in the landscape. It is quite stunning!

Ninebark shrubs enjoy full sun and are adaptable to most any soil condition. They don’t require supplemental waterings except in times of extreme drought, making it a drought tolerant plan.

While you need to leave plenty of room for this shrub to grow into its mature size, the Little Diablo Ninebark is much smaller and may be a better fit in many smaller landscape beds. It shares many of the wonderful qualities of its larger cousin!

Thank you for letting me share a bit of my garden with you! We’ll see what catches my eye next month …