Looking at this shrub in spring or summer, you can admire its sweet fragrance and lovely cascading blooms against fresh green foliage, but you might wonder why on earth it has "garnet" in its name. Not until the cool weather of autumn arrives and every leaf turns a sizzling shade of rosy-pink to red will you realize that while you've been enjoying the beauty of this shrub for months, you've actually been seeing it "offseason"! Now that's multi-season appeal!
Just a few feet high and never more than 6 feet wide, 'Henry's Garnet' is a dense, mounded little shrub with appealing green foliage right down to the ground. Its white bottlebrush blooms begin appearing in late spring on long, dramatically dangling 6-inch stems that cover the shrub, opening their flowers from the base to the tip. Very sweetly scented, these blooms attract butterflies and bees to your sunny garden, and even hummingbirds have been known to pay their respects.
The flowers continue into summer, sharing their delicious aroma with the entire garden. A few weeks after they pass, the cooler weather of autumn begins, and soon the entire shrub is a flaming shade of rosy-red. (Move over, Burning Bush!) This is as unexpected as it is lovely, and captures the focus of any visitor to the garden. What a delightful late-season flush of color!
'Henry's Garnet' thrives in moist, well-drained soils, but also puts up with a certain degree of damp or even wet texture. It loves sunshine but can tolerate some dappled shade. And it basks in the heat and humidity of southern and southwestern summers, provided the soil remains moist. Such an easy, adaptable, interesting little shrub! Find a place for it this season. Zones 5-9.