Adding Summer Color to Your Landscape with Crape Myrtles & Hydrangeas

Adding Summer Color to Your Landscape with Crape Myrtles & Hydrangeas

Jun 27, 2024

Summer is a time when gardens can truly shine with vibrant colors and lush foliage. Two standout choices for adding summer color to your landscape are crape myrtles and hydrangeas.

Both offer an array of stunning varieties that can transform your garden into a vivid, dynamic space. This article will explore ten popular varieties of each and provide tips on incorporating them into your landscape using proven design principles.

Vibrant Pink Crape Myrtle Blooms

Crape Myrtles: Vibrant Blooms and Hardy Growth

The crape myrtle is a remarkable addition to any landscape, celebrated for its stunning array of vibrant summer blooms that range from rich reds and pinks to pure whites and deep purples.

Beyond its captivating flowers, the crape myrtle offers year-round interest with its beautifully peeling bark, revealing smooth, cinnamon-hued underlayers that add texture and visual appeal even in winter. Its adaptability to various soil types and excellent drought and heat tolerance make it a resilient choice for gardeners in diverse climates.

Additionally, the crape myrtle's versatility in size and form—from compact shrubs to majestic trees—allows it to fit seamlessly into any garden design, whether as a focal point, a border plant, or a striking specimen tree. Its long blooming season, extending from late spring to early fall, ensures a continuous display of color, making the crape myrtle a true garden superstar. Here are ten popular varieties:

  1. Natchez - White flowers and cinnamon bark, growing up to 30 feet tall.
  2. Tuscarora - Coral-pink blooms with a medium height of around 20 feet.
  3. Red Rocket - Bright red flowers reaching up to 30 feet tall.
  4. Muskogee - Lavender flowers with a spreading habit, reaching 20-25 feet.
  5. Dynamite - Vivid red blooms and a height of 20 feet.
  6. Tuscarora - Coral-Pink flowers are highly resistant to powdery mildew!
  7. Ebony Glow - Pale pink blooms and black leaves on a tree 10-12 feet tall.
  8. Plum Magic - Fuchsia flowers in a smaller shrub form, 6 to 10 feet tall.
  9. Catawba - Vivid Purple blooms with a height of 10-15 feet, perfect for smaller spaces.
  10. Pocomoke - Dark foliage with pink flowers on a compact form of 3 feet tall.
purple and pink endless summer hydrangea blooms

Hydrangeas: Lush Blooms and Versatile Beauty

Hydrangeas are a beloved treasure in the gardening world, known for their lush, voluminous blooms that come in an enchanting array of colors, from classic blues and pinks to vibrant greens and creamy whites.

These versatile shrubs can adapt to various garden settings, thriving in the sun and partial shade and adding elegance to any landscape. Hydrangeas also provide multi-seasonal interest, with their large, textured leaves creating a beautiful backdrop for their spectacular flowers and some varieties showcasing brilliant fall foliage.

Whether used as foundation plantings, striking focal points, or in elegant container arrangements, hydrangeas bring a sense of timeless beauty and sophistication to gardens, making them a cherished choice for gardeners seeking to create stunning, colorful displays throughout the growing season.. Here are ten popular varieties:

  1. Endless Summer - Blue or pink blooms, depending on soil pH, reblooms throughout the summer.
  2. Bobo - White, cone-shaped flowers on sturdy stems that only reach 3 feet tall.
  3. Limelight - Green to white flowers turning pink in fall on a robust, upright plant.
  4. Strawberry Sundae - Large white panicles that fade to pink and can be trained as a tree or shrub.
  5. Nikko Blue - Classic blue mophead flowers, turning pink in more alkaline soils.
  6. Oakleaf - White flowers, deeply lobed leaves, turning reddish-purple in fall. Great for shaded areas.
  7. Pinky Winky - White flowers turning pink as they age, with a unique two-tone appearance.
  8. Little Lime - A dwarf version of Limelight, reaching 3-5 feet with lime green blooms.
  9. Twist-n-Shout - Lacecap blooms that are pink or blue, part of the Endless Summer series.
  10. Invincibelle Spirit II - Pink flowers on a hardy, reliable plant inspired by the Annabelle variety.

Incorporating Crape Myrtles and Hydrangeas into Your Landscape

Incorporating hydrangeas and crape myrtles into your landscape requires thoughtful planning to maximize their visual impact and ensure their health and vitality. Start by considering the layout of your garden and identifying key areas where these plants can serve as focal points.

AI generated landscapes with crape myrtles and hydrangeas

Using Height To Your Advantage

Crape myrtles, with their tall, tree-like structure and vibrant blooms, are ideal for creating vertical interest. Plant them as standalone specimens in open lawns or as anchor points at the corners of your garden beds.

Their striking summer flowers and attractive winter bark will provide year-round beauty. On the other hand, hydrangeas, with their lush, rounded blooms, work beautifully as foundation plantings around your home or as border plants along pathways and garden edges.

Color Coordination

Think about color coordination and seasonal interest to create a harmonious and cohesive look—pair crape myrtles with hydrangeas that complement or contrast their flower colors. For instance, the bright red blooms of ‘Dynamite’ crape myrtle can be stunningly offset by the cool blue flowers of ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangea.

Consider the changing colors throughout the seasons as well. Crape myrtles can provide vibrant summer blooms and striking winter bark, while hydrangeas offer lush summer flowers and, in some varieties, beautiful autumn foliage. This ensures that your garden remains visually engaging from spring through winter.

Layering In The Landscape

Layering and height variation are crucial design principles when incorporating these plants. Place taller crape myrtles at the back of garden beds or as stand-alone features while using shorter hydrangea varieties in the foreground.

This layering effect not only adds depth and dimension to your landscape but also ensures that each plant has the space and light it needs to thrive. For example, planting a tall ‘Natchez crape myrtle behind a row of ‘Annabelle’ hydrangeas can create a stunning tiered effect that draws the eye upwards and creates a sense of fullness and abundance.

Practicality In The Garden

Finally, consider the practical aspects of your garden design. Both crape myrtles and hydrangeas can be used to define different garden zones or create natural screens. A row of crape myrtles can line a driveway or form a beautiful boundary, while a cluster of hydrangeas can create a lush, flowering hedge around a seating area or patio.

Additionally, these plants can be integrated into container gardens for patios and decks, providing flexibility and mobility in your garden design. By thoughtfully incorporating hydrangeas and crape myrtles, you can create a dynamic and colorful landscape that enhances the beauty and enjoyment of your outdoor space.

Shop Summer Interest Plants Online Today

By thoughtfully incorporating crape myrtles and hydrangeas into your landscape, you can enjoy a dynamic, colorful garden that thrives throughout the summer and beyond. Whether you prefer the towering presence of crape myrtles or the lush blooms of hydrangeas, these plants offer endless possibilities for creating a stunning outdoor space.

Shop our wide range of Crape Myrtles, Hydrangeas & more online today and enjoy shipment directly to your doorstep!