I've got a new favorite shrub. It's the not-so-common, lowly hardy hibiscus. This wonderful shrub makes a lovely, tropical-looking plant that has HUGE blooms from early summer till frost. The blooms can be the size of a plate and come in many different colors. It's only weakness is that is can't take drought, so don't plant it in a place where you can't water it. It doesn't need rich soil or much pampering. It will die back to the ground each winter, then come up in the spring (it can come later than most other plants, so don't give up on it too early!) It can be grown as far north as zone 5. Above is a picture of mine that is a pink blend known as Luna Swirl. You should see my sister Susie's plum-colored one.