|Before photo taken in April 2010, when we toured the house.|
We have recently been adding elderberry shrubs but they're mostly too small to see them in photos. Last month we added a Sambucus nigra 'Purpurea' (black elderberry) in the rain garden behind the house ultimately to replace the ninebark. I have not been happy with how the ninebark looks in the garden and while it is a native, it is not terribly useful to birds and bees. According to my research, the elderberries will have more value for the birds and bees and I prefer the way they look once they're grown. (I realize that ninebarks are supposed to be good for bees, but I really paid attention this year. I went outside several times a day and I virtually never saw any bees on its flowers.)
Then today, we planted two new shrubs under the red oak, a Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace' (black elderberry) and a Ribes nigrum 'Black September' (black currant). I obviously have a weakness for burgundy shrubs.