Splendid Shrubs
Perfect plants to ground your garden and plant now.

Just like a house, every garden needs a good foundation – plantings of larger, long-lived, hardy, evergreen (or mostly evergreen) perennials that give your garden a solid presence even during seasonal transition times when your spring or summer annuals might have started to fade. Shrubs and small trees make terrific foundation plants. And fall is the best time to plant them so that they can leverage the upcoming cooler temperatures and rains to establish themselves. Planted now they’ll be all the healthier, bigger and bloomier come spring! Shrubs are also great for providing all-season benefits to pollinators, birds and other wildlife, be it from nectar, seed, berries or shelter. Choose native shrubs and get the added bonus that many are already well adapted to being heat tolerant and water wise. There are great options for every garden style, shape and almost any color your heart may desire. Happy Fall Planting!

Buddleja davidii
‘Hot Raspberry’

NEW! This compact butterfly bush features vivid fuchsia-pink flowers on 10” long arching cones that bloom early summer to late fall, making a great focal point in your garden! Sweetly scented flowers are a magnet for bees, butterflies & hummingbirds. Compact at 3-4' H&W, it can hold its own in a garden bed or is easily grown in a container. Use wherever you wish to make a bold statement or to anchor a pollinator garden. Flower cones make wonderful cut flowers. Very drought tolerant once established. Deadhead to prolong blooming. Plant in full sun in fertile, well-drained soil. Prune to desired shape. Deer resistant.

Perennial Shrub USDA Zones 5-11

‘Grand Cascade’

NEW! Sporting possibly the largest flowering panicles of any Butterfly bush, Grand Cascade is simply stunning when in full bloom. This variety has pronounced arching branches, so heavy when in bloom that they nearly touch the ground. Panicles are 12-14” long and a hefty 4” wide, giving hummers and butterflies an endless supply of yummy nectar. Add in the intense fragrance of the light purple flowers and you have quite possibly the showiest flowering shrub you will ever grow. Make sure to plant this where all can see the late summer and fall display.

Perennial Shrub USDA Zones 5-11

Clianthus puniceus
'Pink Flamingo'

Such a beautiful and shall we say “provocative” variant of Clianthus puniceus. This exotic, erotic member of the pea family grows quickly into a densely branched evergreen 4’ x 4’ shrub with lush, arching branches and amazing 3” long two-toned pink and magenta flowers displayed 8-10 per cluster. Blooms spring into summer. Now, you may think that exotic = difficult, but not in this case! It’s FAST, EASY and a prolific bloomer grown in rich, compost-improved soil with an annual 1” side-dress of compost in early Spring.

Perennial Shrub USDA zones 8-11

Clianthus puniceus
“Parrot’s Bill”

THE plant everyone goes nuts over in our nursery each spring. This evergreen, multi-branching shrub, a, New Zealand native (now extinct in the wild) resembles a short tree fern with its long, handsome, arching branches. To 4' x 4', with loads of radiant, rosey-red, 3” long “parrot-beak” bloom clusters that light up the branches in spring. Easy and fast – do provide rich well drained soil and side-dress with compost annually. Totally neat-o in a half barrel. Attracts birds and can be espaliered. Hardy to 13° F.

Perennial Shrub USDA zones 8-11

'Blue Jeans'

One of the prettiest of all California lilacs, with an abundance of intense bluish-purple flowers from June to October. Reaching 4-6’ HxW, with attractive, shiny, holly-like leaves, it is an ideal addition to gardens both large and small. Very hardy, needs almost no water once established, deer-proof, long blooming, attractive to pollinators and its seeds provide valuable food for birds. Can handle every type of soil, even clay, though it appreciates good drainage. Once established, don’t water during the summer months as this may weaken the roots and lead to problems.

Perennial USDA Zones 7-10

‘Julia Phelps’

Yes, THIS is the “California Lilac” variety that creates such a mind-bending textural cloud of rich indigo-purple bloom in spring. To 6-8’ tall and wide, it’s incredibly gorgeous and also fragrant in and out of bloom. Dense, glossy, evergreen foliage provides seed and shelter for the birds and flowers serve up nectar for the bees and butterflies. Unsurpassed for native, xeric and fire resistant landscaping where soil is infertile, drainage is fine (slopes especially) and summer water is very low to non-existent. Hardy to 12-15 degrees F. Deer resistant.

CA Native Perennial Shrub USDA Zones 7b-10

Clerodendrum ugandense
"Blue Butterfly Bush"

LOADED with captivating two-toned blue and lavender-blue 1.5” flowers that can only be described as “butterflies”, complete with antennae, this quick-to-establish, low-maintenance shrub easily reaches 4-5’ tall and wide its first year. It blooms late spring to late fall and is a show-stopping focal point and a bee magnet! Can reach 8’ tall but takes happily to shearing for a compact form. Root hardy to zone 8 and 9a. Evergreen to deciduous in USDA zones 10a-9b.

Perennial Shrub USDA Zones 8-10

Psoralea pinnata
“Kool-Aid Bush”

Bursting into a traffic-stopping display of bloom from early to late summer, this evergreen South African small tree is a wonderful choice for a small yard or mixed border. It’ll reach 5-8’ in year one and max out at 12’ tall. Dense, soft needle like foliage and large 4-5” clusters hold exquisite bi-colored Sweet Pea like flowers, richly scented of grape Kool-Aid! Easy to prune into any shape you like. Do provide well-drained soil, summer water and a top dressing of compost once a year for bloomiest show.

Shrub/Tree USDA Zones 9-10


A wonderful small tree/large shrub for mostly sun to part shade gardens! This tough, CLAY and DROUGHT tolerant fast-grower, provides non-stop year-round bloom! Naturally multi-trunked with a nice spreading branch pattern, it’s loaded with beautiful clusters of flaring plummy-pink 3.5” blooms. A cinch to grow, it will reach 10’ tall its first year and is great for low maintenance side yards, The hummingbirds go nuts! Annual side-dress of compost. Can easily be pruned to any size.

Perennial Shrub/Tree USDA Zones 9b-11

Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum
‘Plum Delight’

This fantastic Chinese fringe flower is noteworthy for the deep burgundy color of its leaves that unlike many other varieties do not fade to dark green. Clusters of pink, finger-like flowers appear early spring to mid-summer. Grows to 4-5' tall with arching branches that can spread to 7'. This evergreen Loropetalum is a popular choice for providing a dark contrast to other woodland greenery. It requires little upkeep beyond shaping and makes an ideal focal point. Often left alone by deer.

Perennial Shrub USDA Zones 7-11

Tibouchina urvilliana
"Princess Flower"

This evergreen shrub is a Bay Area MUST-HAVE thanks to its sheer beauty and ability to easily embody a variety of garden themes - from cottage garden chic to tropical elegance. A multitude of 2-3” rich purple blooms erupt from vibrant pink buds spring thru fall. Usually kept pruned to 6’–10’ for a bushy habit, it can also be trained as an ornamental tree, which has the advantage of showing off the beautiful bark and delicate branches. Prefers rich, loamy soil. Side-dress with 2” of compost twice a year for health and beauty.

Perennial Shrub USDA Zones 9-11

Rhamnus californica
‘Eve Case’

This evergreen California native shrub features elliptical and leathery green leaves and matures at 6' tall and wide. In late spring, clusters of small, yellow-green flowers appear and attract an array of pollinators. The berries that follow are attractive to birds and small mammals, and also act as a larval food source for the pale swallowtail butterfly. Shade tolerant, it’s also valuable as an understory planting. Plant in fertile, well-drained soil and give a bit of regular water. Though it is called Coffeeberry, the berries are not edible by humans. Deer resistant.

CA Native Perennial Shrub USDA Zones 7b-11


Learn how to prune like a pro with certified arborist Ellyn Shea (owner, Garden Guidance LLC)! Ellyn is also a garden coach with a background in horticulture, urban forestry and garden education. She’ll cover basic tree biology and growth, best pruning practices (including how to know when to stop pruning) for perennials and shrubs, plus proper use and care of pruning tools.


Making wine from flowers (no grapes) is an ancient art that is being revived by Aaliyah Nitoto, owner of Free Range Flower Winery in Livermore. Join her for a fascinating presentation about flower wine making and how she has parlayed her knowledge of flowers and plants, and background in biology, herbalism and nutrition education, into the science and art of winemaking, using California-grown lavender, marigold, hibiscus and rose.

Note: this will be a discussion only. Due to local regulations there will not be any tastings available. However, FRFW wines may be purchased directly from their website.

More Upcoming Talks & Food Pop-Ups

Fall Pruning with Certified Arborist - Ellyn Shea Sat, September 10 11 am - 12 pm
Aaliyah Nitoto of Free Range Flower Winery: Winemaking with Flowers Sun, September 18 10 am - 12 pm
Oh Yami Yami - Pate de fruits and other confections Sun, September 18 10 am - 12 pm
Gardening in the SF Bay Area - What to Plant When with Golden Gate Gardening Book Author Pam Peirce Sat, September 24 10 am - 11 am


It’s full of even more new plants that will make your summer gardens spectacular!

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Annie's Annuals & Perennials
Nursery: 740 Market Ave. Richmond, CA 94801
Business Office: 801 Chesley Ave. Richmond, CA, 94801
(888) 266-4370