When Leaves Come First

There are few pleasures that gardeners look forward to more than the first flowers of spring. After the bloom fades, all that's left is the foliage. However, the foliage can come in an endless array of colors.

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Shrubs are generally versatile and easy to grow, and weigelas are among the most reliable in the garden. A familiar standby is W. florida 'Variegata', with broad yellow leaf margins and pale pink flowers in spring. 'My Monet' offers a striking mix of pink, green and cream foliage and bright pink flowers in spring. This dwarf beauty (12 to 18 inches tall and 24 inches wide) is effective in mass plantings, at the edge of a border or in a container.