Four Flowering Shrubs

This winter and next spring, I’m going to be landscaping my backyard. So far I have a Japanese privet and a fig tree back there. There’s room for at least two shrubs and another tree.
The backyard has a lot of shade, but enough sun for me to put in a large sun lover or two. Here are several flowering shrubs I’m considering.
Snowball Bush

Not to be confused with hydrangeas, these are large flowering plants that produce round clusters of white balls that look like snowballs. The plants can get quite big, 8-20 feet tall, depending on the variety.
Pros: They produce copious amounts of gorgeous flowers, they make great cutting plants, they grow well in my area, and seem to need minimal care once they are established.
Cons: They drop tons of flower petals on the ground (I don’t mind this), they may need more sun than the backyard can offer, you have to prune them to keep them from getting leggy, and they may need acid soil, which would mean I have to amend the soil to grow them.

One of the most beautiful flowering plants, for some reason lilacs have a reputation of being difficult to grow. I’m not sure why. Like the snowball bush, they can eventually get up to 20 feet tall, so it’s important to give them space.
Pros: Gorgeous, great cutting flowers, and will attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
Cons: They apparently need a lot of sun, so may not like my backyard.

A hydrangea is a natural choice for my backyard. There is a lot of partial shade back there, which they tend to like.
Pros: Showy blooms, grow great in this area, good for partial shade, and a pretty overall plant.
Cons: The plant will most likely be deciduous (i.e. lose its leaves) in winter, which can look ugly. I also don’t like how hydrangeas look as the blossom starts to age, which means I would have to prune the old blossoms fairly often to keep it looking nice. I think hydrangeas thrive better in cooler climates.

With their dark green leaves, these plants look great all year long. They are related to the tea plant, which I’m also considering growing.
Pros: They produce a gorgeous gardenia-like flower, do great in the shade, bloom in winter for a change, and don’t need much watering once they are established.
Cons: It sounds like they are a little tricky to get established, mostly because they want a particular soil situation: acidic soil with good drainage. I can handle that.
What’s your favorite flowering bush?

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