Ask Elaine: Trees and Shrubs for Summer Bloom

I have a lovely spring display of blooms with my dogwoods and redbud trees. I have some space for more woody plants. What suggestions do you have for summer flowers?

Thank you.

Dear Judy,

Good for you for your well-planned landscape! A garden with four seasons of interest is a wonderful goal.

May I suggest the following trees and shrubs for summer color in your garden, and where you can observe them at Laurelwood Arboretum?

Sun trees (at least 6-8 hours/day)

[su_row][su_column size=”1/2″]Crape myrtle (along Fairway)
Golden rain tree – Koelreuteria
Japanese pagoda tree – Sophora[/su_column]
[su_column size=”1/2″]Katsura – Cercidiphyllum
Linden – Tilia[/su_column][/su_row]

Sun shrubs

[su_row][su_column size=”1/2″]


Azalea (swamp) – Rhododendron viscosum (the latest azalea to bloom in the area)

Bayberry – Myrica

Beautyberry – Callicarpa (located in the Native Plant Demonstration Garden)

Bluebeard – Caryopteris

Butterfly plant – Buddleia (on Hickory Hill)

Buttonbush – Cephalanthus (on Brook Road, near the stream and the Fairy Tree)

Clerodendron (see and smell them along Fairway)

Clethra (in the Native Plant Demonstration Garden)

[su_column size=”1/2″]

Hydrangea (in a few areas of Laurelwood, namely Hickory Hill and Cedar Hill)

Itea (in the Native Plant Demonstration Garden)

New Jersey tea (in front of the KCE building)

Rhododendron (rosebay) – Rhododendron maximum (the latest rhododendron to bloom in the area)

Rose of Sharon – Hibiscus (along Brook Road)

Roses – many types — it is our national flower

Smokebush – Cotinus

Snowberry – Symphoricarpos (in the garden along Dorothy’s Way)


Vitex (in the Sensory Garden)


Shade tolerant

Laurel – Kalmia (in the Native Plant Demonstration Garden)

Best of luck. Happy Summer.
Elaine Fogerty, Executive Director

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