Weigelas are another family of shrubs that come with colorful foliage. “Rubidor” has bright yellow leaves and “Summer Wine” has dark red foliage. Both of these selections have bright pink late spring flowers. There are also several variegated Weigelas on the market with cream and green leaves and these are especially attractive when the pale pink flowers are in bloom.
Other shrubs with distinctive foliage include the lovely dappled willow, Salix “Hakuro Nishiki,” and the variegated red twig dogwoods, such as “Bailhalo” and “Elegantissima.” Although the willow comes in both shrub and tree form, even the bush type can get quite large.
Cape Cod’s favorite shrub, the Hydrangea, is practically a must for those wanting big flower color in the summer. To insure that Hydrangea flowers don’t wilt too early, place these shrubs in a spot with several hours of morning sun, then allow them to rest in afternoon shade. Flowers on Hydrangeas planted in hot afternoon sun will fade and shrivel quickly and will need constant watering just to look presentable.
There are many varieties of Hydrangea available that bloom on new and old growth, and these extend the flowering season as well as making the plant more reliable. “Penny Mac,” “Twist and Shout,” and all Hydrangeas in the “Forever and Ever” series are just a few of the high-performing, repeat-blooming varieties.