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If you are looking for a low maintenance shrub, try planting vibernums. They will tolerate windswept conditions, fluctuating temperatures, full sun, shade cast by buildings, and even your own inability or unwillingness to care for them properly. They should have a moist, fertile, well drained soil to grow in and most will become well established in either sun or shade. Generally they are disease and pest free.
Some viburnums exhibit handsome branches in the winter after their leaves drop. Double File Viburnum (V.plicatum tomentosum) has horizontal branching and is quite showy. Arrowwood (V.dentatum) has many slender stems resembling arrows which form a pleasing spray of arching branches.
If you would like a viburnum whose berries will last through the winter, try planting the European Cranberry Bush (V.opulus). This shrub has red fruit that birds consider unpalatable; therefore the berries last through most of the winter season.
Tamarisk is an interesting shrub that can grow up to 9 feet and is very salt tolerant, so it would make a good choice for planting close to a road, even growing best in poor soils. This shrub would suit a new subdivision property. The finely divided leaves have an almost fern-like appearance and feathery pink flowers open in July (in mid zones) for several weeks, at a time when few shrubs are in flower.
Viburnums do prefer wet ground and they do best when this preference is respected. If you do forget to water your viburnums for a long while, they will wilt drastically, get brown and look ghastly, yet, once you resume watering, these resilient shrubs will quickly recover and put out new leaves within a month.
The Lily of the Valley shrub (pieris japonica)
is an outstanding ornamental shrub with a dense habit of growth. It will give you a spectacular late springtime display of white flowers, resembling lilies of the valley, and is a popular broad-leaved evergeen for shaded areas. It will grow to 8 feet.
Russian Olive (elaeagnus angustifolia is a good shrub for planting in poor soils or roadside planting. This large shrub grows to almost 5 metres at maturity, and, if grown on a single stem, it can be formed into a small tree. The sivery leaves contrast well with the green of other shrubs and yellow flowers open in early summer which are quite fragrant. Olive-like fruits, which give the common name, ripen in late summer and have a sweet flavor but a dryish texture.
Many shrubs have a bonus of sweet scented flowers, so you may want to plant a shrub beneath or around your windows. They will also add a great deal to the pleasure of your terrace, patio or pool area. Lilac, sweet mock orange, many azaleas, the honeysuckles, star magnolia, abelia, daphne, deutzia, Korean spice or fragrant viburnum, Burkwood viburnum, and other viburnums, as well as a number of other shrubs are fragrant in varying degrees. In the South, the gardenia or Cape-jasmine and, also, the common white Jasmine are the most fragrant.