Colorful Shrub???

I'm looking for a shrub for the middle of the lawn to replace a young Japanese Maple that a late frost killed.
The ideal would: (1) Be suitable for the borderline of Zones 6 and 7. (2) Be as colorful as possible for as lomg as possible. (3) Full sun location with good drainage. (4) As hearty as reasonably possible in regards to disease/insects and water needs. (5) Full height at maturity of at least 4 feet with no upper limit on height.
Your ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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Kerria japonica. Look for the single white flower.
http://www.fairweathergardens.com/pages/search_results.php
A place to start.
Middle of the lawn throws me. I think a nook would be the way to go.
Have fun!
Bill
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Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA
ICAO = KMIV Millville Weather
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Look at some of the landscape and shrub roses, especially some of the Rugosa roses http://www.heirloomroses.com/cgi/browse.cgi?page t&cat=Buck+Roses http://www.heirloomroses.com/cgi/browse.cgi?page t&cat=Rugosa+Roses http://www.heirloomroses.com/cgi/browse.cgi?page t&cat=Shrub+Roses
These are just a few of the many roses that would meet your criteria.
If you go with a rugosa, you cannot fuss with it. No fertilizers, no pesticides, just good soil and water.
Kay
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Check out a shrub called Ninebark "Diablo" with dark burgundy leaves.

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Look at the lorapetalum. They are totally beautiful. Jackie

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The suggestions have all been worth considering but a favorite of mine was suggested by Linda, the Diablo ninebark. it can take a couple years to get mature and impressive, but once established, it goes through the most remarkable seasonal changes, and has what feels like an extended bloom because the seeds that follow the flowers are the brightest crimson and last so long. The leaves have wonderful color changes for spring (mahogony) summer (black) and autumn (purple) and when mature the twigs look lovely in winter with their peeling bar revealed.
Kay's suggestion of rugosas is fine at first blush. I have several and have gotten a great deal of joy out of them and their bright orange to red hips cling to branches through winter for extended decorative strength. But they can become rampant without constant control of the runners and of course they're horrifyingly spiky so can't be placed anywhere where it is difficult to work around them to control the runners or to trim them back every couple years with a lot of pain-giving trimmings that don't compost well cuz just too thorny.
Bill recommended the white single kerria. That's a gorgeous shrub and the twigs are colorful in winter. I prefer the look of either white or yellow singles over the doubles, but the one fault of the singles is they don't have an extended bloom. The doubles being infertile last and last in flower.
The recommendation of lorapetalum or Chinese witchhazel is very iffy for zone 6/7. They take a long time to establish and can be suddenly killed by one good winter freeze. In areas that can kill a Jpanese maple, likely also to kill this particular shrub. Plus there are so many inferior cultivars on the market, it can be a burden to get a poor variety by accident. If one does thrive, though, it can be shockingly beautiful with purple leaves, flourescent pink strappy little flowers, and antic seasonal changes.
There are fifty, a hundred others that could be recommended, but the first one that came to my mind was the shadblow serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis). The western serviceberry is also nice but apt to get too big. The shadblow establishes rapidly, thereafter never needs any attention. It's twiggy inverted pyramid shape is generally very beautiful in leafless winter with very occasional shaping. The tiny white flowers of spring precede the leaves and make an impressive showing, followed by VERY tasty berries that depending on your bird population could get eaten before you get any but in some regions the birds don't expect them and let them cling to branches a long time. The leafy shrub in summer has rustic appeal but not fancy, then in autumn it has the most amazing colors.
If four feet is really sufficient then you'd also be pleased with a fothergilla which has big dangly bottlebrush flowers and the best autumn leaf color of any native shrub.
Some of the greatest garden shrubs anywhere on earth are the hybridized Hamamelis intermedia cultivars (Asian witchhazels). They're TERRIBLY slow growing so you'd have to invest in an expensive mature shrub to have a good sized one right away. But they're hardy as the devil and for color, unbeatable. Varieties like "Jelena" have fiery bright autumn leaves, then bright orange spider-flowers for January and February (some varieties a bit sooner), before green leaves return. Naked winter branches even before the bright winter flowers appear have gnarly beauty. Their only "fault" is they lack the beautiful perfume of the American witchhazel, so the American shrub is very recommendable for winter perfume and hardiness, but its yellow flowers are only about a third the size of the garden hybrids and the autumn leaves a more ordinary yellow.
-paghat the ratgirl
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On Feb 18, 6:40pm, snipped-for-privacy@paghat.com (paghat) wrote:

Thank you for this wonderful information!
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