Best Evergreen and Flowering Shrubs for Southeastern PA, Top Performers for  Landscaping in Philadelphia, Delaware County, Chester County & Montgomery County and PA Main Line.

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Robert J. Kleinberg
Landscape Design & Construction

114 Ashley Road
Newtown Square, PA  19073
Phone: (610) 325-2313  Cell: 484-225-0614
 PA HIC License #:  PA29966
RJK@Kleinberg.com

"Patios & Gardens
Since 1986"

 

Making your yard a joy to come home to.

  • Plantings to help bring color and beauty to your yard most months of the year. - See the links above for many examples and photos of Trees, shrubs, and flowers that we use in our designs and plantings.
  • Ponds waterfalls, fountains, and other water features to give you a reason to go outside.
  • Night lighting for safety and to highlight some of the best views of your property at night
  • Construction of patios and walks to help you enjoy your yard.
  • Construction of walls and steps for beauty and utility - to make your yard more usable, and give you better drainage.
  • Scroll down on this page where there are brief descriptions and photos of different varieties of  top flowering and evergreen shrubs and bushes that we plant, and consider the best performers in this area.
  • We use many other shrubs and bushes not shown here, and if you have a favorite shrub it usually can be used in our designs.
  • There also are over 70 pages on our site with more detailed information, and where you can view over 1,000 photos of the many phases of our services.
  • Scroll down to the plant links below or click on the links on the left of this page for more information and to see photos of what we can do for your property.

Landscape Design
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Seasonal Plantings 

Bed Construction
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Perennials

Landscaping

Flowering Trees
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Please check out our new Outstanding Plants of the Month Photos now on Facebook.  It has been updated with over 40 photos of outstanding plants in January & February, over 60 photos of plants that flower in March with descriptions, over 80 photos of plants that look great in April, and over 160 photos of plants that look great in May.  Later in the year as we add additional months we will also feature plants not included on this page.  Click on the "like" button at the top of the facebook page and you will get notices when there are new photos added.

Many different considerations and ideas must go into a Landscape Design.

  • How the property will be used?  Children (and ages) or no children?  A lot of entertaining, or mostly just the family?

  • What features -patio, walls, ponds, lighting, etc. - are important to you as a homeowner for you to get the greatest enjoyment and use out of your yard?

  • What are your priorities and goals for your property?

  • What views are most important and from where will they be viewed?  (inside looking out, or outside the property looking towards the house.)

  • Are there areas that need to be screened and hidden from view?

  • Are there safety concerns that need to be addressed with a fence or lighting?

  • Everyone wants low maintenance, but do you enjoy working in your garden?

  • Will you be doing the maintenance, or hiring someone else to do it?

  • There are also often drainage problems that have to be addressed, and the local zoning ordinances can affect what can be done in a design.

Only after these questions are answered do we consider the plantings - which is often the first thing that many homeowners wants to discuss.  When designing the plantings, again many different considerations and ideas must go into a Landscape Design.

  • Proper placement of trees and shrubs is our first step.

  • Plants are spaced to allow for future growth without overcrowding.

  • Good landscape design provides the framework to build on with seasonal color from perennials, annuals and bulbs. 

  • Which seasons are most important to the owner?  Do you go away for many weeks in the summer or any other time?

  • Many other factors are considered such as favorite plants and favorite colors, leaf and flower color, fragrance, berries, texture and more.

This is why it pays to hire a professional.   Please see the examples below and on our  Landscape Design Page, and on many other pages throughout this website.

If you are interested in any of Robert J. Kleinberg Landscape Design & Construction services,  please fill out the contact form below with your question or request for an estimate.
You can also contact us at (610)-325-2313 or email us at RJK@kleinberg.com

*The photos below were taken at various locations in the area as good examples of evergreen, deciduous and flowering shrubs and do not necessarily have any connection to Robert J. Kleinberg Landscape Design and Construction.


Evergreen Shrubs

Arborvitae:  Many varieties of mostly large shrubs or small trees.  Upright evergreens on the narrow side, commonly used as a screen along the property line.  Could also be used near corners to frame a house.  "Green Giant and 'Elegantissima' grow taller and can usually be found as single stemmed plants.  'Emerald Green' is shorter and 'Nigra' a medium grower are harder to find as single stemmed plants.  Single stem plants hold up better long term.  While multi-stemmed plants are easier to grow to sellable size, they can split apart as they get older.  It may take 15 or more years before it becomes a problem, but we try to select the best plant for long term growth.  Smaller shrubby types can be nice filler plants but they can also have splitting problems.  They will grow nice in the sun and they do ok in some shade.

'Elegantissima' - Upright grower that usually has a nice form.  Yellow tips on ends of the branches

'Green Giant' - Tallest and fastest grower.  A nice variety becoming more popular as a tall screening plant.  A good substitute for Leyland Cypress with a somewhat more natural color.

'Nigra' - A very popular variety for screening.  Medium height and width with a nice green color.  We look to plant single-stemmed plants, which can be harder to find, for long term health of the plant.

'Emerald Green' - A lower, narrower, darker green variety.  Good for a shrub border, but doesn't get as tall as the previously mentioned varieties so I don't feel it is as good a plant for screening.  Single stemmed plants again are better for long term health.  Notice the three tops on the plant on the left.  That could lead to future problems.

There are also many types of lower growing shrubby types.  They are ok as short term solutions but they commonly have splitting problems as they age

   

Hinoki Cypress: Originally a forest evergreen but now there are some varieties that only get 2-ft. tall.  Many different varieties. Some grow faster and taller than others.
‘Gricillus’: a narrow upright form of Hinoki Cypress that can grow to 12 or more feet.  Could be used at the corner of a house to help frame the house.

dwarf hinoki cypress.jpg (78873 bytes)Dwarf Hinoki  Cypress – Slow growing interesting evergreen.  Foliage grows in a little of bunching way and that gives the plant an interesting growth habit.  Dwarf varieties grow slow, so plants can be expensive. Can take some shade but growth will be thinner.

 

Holly:  Besides tree types of hollies there are may types that are used as shrubs.  Like Arborvitae there are many varieties that can be used as small trees or large shrubs.  Many of the female varieties have nice red berries in winter. (They need to be pollinated by male varieties.)  There are nice narrow upright varieties such as Fosteri with narrower than usual leaves, and the even narrower Dragon Lady with shiny dark green pointy leaves.  There are medium growing varieties such as the Meserve or Blue Hollies with very dark green pointy leaves, and the paler green China Boy and China Girl.  The Japanese Hollies have smaller and smooth edged dark green leaves, and the female varieties usually have black berries.  They also come in all shapes and sizes with some varieties such as 'Hoogendorn' and 'Helleri' staying lower than 3-ft. tall.  Hollies like sunny locations but can tolerate a surprising amount of shade.  In the shade they grow a little looser and do not fruit as heavily.

Fosteri Holly with berries.

Medium sized blue holly.

Blue Hollies planted as a hedge.  The center of the hedge is a yellow fruited variety.

Japanese Holly “Hoogendorn” – Dense low-spreading mounding habit 2˝-ft tall by 4-ft. wide

Japanese Holly “Helleri” – Similar size to "Hoogendorn" with a little more mounding habit

Inkberry Holly or Ilex glabra - Can get leggy on the bottom.  Compact varieties have a better habit and grow to about 4-ft.  Has black berries and can tolerate wetter soil than most shrubs.

nandina.jpg (75319 bytes) Nandina:  also called Heavenly Bamboo.  A multi-stemmed shrub with small evergreen leaves that can turn reddish in fall and winter, and an interesting fine texture.  The can get about 6-ft. tall and wide.  The have small white flowers in late spring and very colorful bunches of red berries during winter (the berries are also long lasting when cut and make nice decorations at Christmas time).  There are also varieties with plum colored foliage and dwarf varieties that are nice, but these varieties don’t seem to get berries.

Nandina in shade

Full sized Nandina on sides of front door with berries

Nandina ‘Gulf Stream’:  A good dwarf variety that develops a nice red leaf in winter.  Grows to about 3-ft. high and wide.  I have not seen good berry production on this plant.

 


 

Pieris Evergreen with leaves arranged around the stem and drooping a little, sort of like an umbrella.  New foliage on some varieties is reddish in spring.  Small usually white but sometimes light pink flowers in thin clusters in early spring.  Often can have problems with lacebug in this area.  Shrubs can get over 8-feet; many varieties are more typically 5 to 6 feet, and dwarf varieties might only grow a couple of feet tall.

Pieris - Pink flowering variety
Pieris - New leaves come out red on some varieties before changing to green.

 

Abelia   Semi-evergreen shrub about 5 to 6-ft.  Small white to pink flowers all summer.

 


Mahonia:  also called Grape Holly.  This plant has very pointy dark green holly-like leaves.  The leaves are larger than Holly leaves giving it an interesting course texture.  It can take a lot of shade, and it is usually a multi-stemmed shrub that could grow to about 6-ft. slowly and can be easily kept at a lower height.  It is open enough to not give the feeling of a complete screen.   It has small yellow fragrant flowers in late winter and blue berries in early summer that are quickly eaten by the birds.

 

 

 

 

Mahonia 'Winter Sun" - Said to grow a little taller than Mahonia beali and Mahonia media and have larger flowers in late winter/ early spring.  Flowers though larger are said to be not as fragrant. 



Evergreen Viburnums:  Similar in texture to a Rhododendron, but a faster growing evergreen.  Good as a screening shrub to hide or separate.  Can get berries with proper pollination.
Other deciduous Viburnums can be seen below.


Leather Leaf Viburnum .

Leather Leaf Viburnum in spring  with flowers.

Close-up of Leaves and flowers

Azalea

Azaleas are shrubs (usually low growing - 2 to 4-ft.) that bloom in mid spring.  Azalea are very colorful plants that bloom for about 2 weeks.  Some varieties have attractive evergreen foliage that looks nice year round.  Azaleas come with flowers in  white, pink, red, and purple.  Deciduous varieties also come in orange and yellow.  Azaleas like acid, well drained soil.  Soil near house foundations often are heavy clays that hold water and  can cause azalea roots to rot. 


 

 

 

Flowering Deciduous Shrubs


Deciduous Azaleas

Deciduous Azaleas come in some different colors than the evergreen azaleas.  Some varieties are very fragrant and can bloom for over 3 weeks.  They generally are more upright than other azaleas.  They loose there leaves in winter, but some varieties get nice fall color.

 

 

 

 


Very fragrant 'Northern Lights'

Fall Color

Lilac  – Upright shrub, old fashion favorite - can be leggy, very fragrant flowers in spring.  Other varieties with different habits and flower types are available.  White, blue, purple, and maroon.


 
Close-up of flowers - common lilac


 

 

 


Viburnum carlesii  – Very fragrant deciduous shrub with white flowers in May.  One of the best of any plant for fragrance.  Other Viburnums are available with different main attributes such as colorful berries, evergreen leaves, and larger flowers.

 

Viburnums for berries:  There are a few different types that have great berries in the fall.  The flowers are interesting but not as showy as some of the other Viburnums.


Viburnum dilatatum in fall with berries.

Viburnum dilatatum in spring  with flowers.

Viburnum in fall - I believe this is a Tea Viburnum.


Clethra – Fragrant flowers in summer.  Bushy plants 6-ft. tall.



 

Hydrangea  – Flowers in summer. Pink, blue, or white.  Different types available.  Can bloom for a couple of months in early summer - longer than other most other flowering shrubs.  Takes a little shade.  Flowers blue with acid soil, pink in alkaline soil, also comes in white varieties.  Grows about 3-ft. high and wide.



 

crapemyrtleinbloom2_small.jpg Crape Myrtle - Blooms for a long period in Summer when not much else is in bloom. Flowers come in White, pink, purple and red. Flower in summer when most other trees are just green.  Very colorful plants with the ends of the braches holding large bunches of flowers that come in pink, red, purple, and white.  Habit of the plants can vary from narrow small trees to wide shrubs with multiple stems.  There are also dwarf shrubs available. Newer varieties are much better suited to our winters. Older varieties would sometimes die back from very cold temperatures. Great bark in winter and nice foliage in summer. Habit varies, it is sometimes grown as a bushy shrub or a small multi-trunked tree. Generally gets as wide as tall but some trees have a narrower habit. Grows 15 to 25-ft. tall in our area.

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Crabapple blooms
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Crape Myrtle Bark in Winter
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Crape Myrtle Bark in Winter

 


Shrub Roses - Bloom all summer off and on.  Bushy plants about 4-ft. tall.  Flowers in white, pink, red, yellow, and more
Click here to see more on shrub roses.

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Please view various examples of shrubs on this page and examples of trees and perennials by clicking on the links below:

Flowering Trees
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Shrubs
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Perennials

 

Shrubs

Please view recommended shrubs on this page.  You can also view various landscaping examples by clicking on the links below.  See the difference proper landscaping can make.

Landscape Design

Seasonal Plantings 

Bed Construction

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   Click here to see close-ups of seasonal plants. tulips2.jpg (34234 bytes)

Click here for a list of recommended perennials with descriptions

Please view additional examples of landscaping by clicking on the links below:

Landscape Design
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Seasonal Plantings

Bed Construction
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If you are interested in any of Robert J. Kleinberg Landscape Design & Construction services,  please fill out the form below with your question or request for an estimate, you can also contact us at (610)325-2313,  cell 484-225-0614 or email us at RJK@kleinberg.com

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