Bring on the Blossoms

TOP TEN Picks for Flowering Shrubs

Start the season with a beautiful display of spring-flowering shrubs. Flowering Shrubs not only bring beautiful blossoms to your garden in the spring, but they carry on giving well into the Fall season and beyond. Blossoming shrubs offer the full package: attractive foliage, garden structure, and beautiful blooms draw you in without needing a lot of maintenance in return. Here are ten choices with outstanding spring and summer blooms.

1. Rhododendron: These flowers have long been mainstays of late spring because of their spectacular clusters of showy blooms, plus their large green leaves that often stay green throughout winter.  Tubular, or bell-shaped flowers- and often fragrant. These shrubs prefer climates with adequate rainfall and moist summers.

2. Rose: America’s official Floral Emblem comes in many forms, sizes and flower colors, with some being very disease-resistant as well. Selections can be found to grow in almost every climate!

3. Hydrangea: With their cotton candy-colored blooms and ability to take the shade, hydrangeas are one of the most beautiful summer-flowering shrubs. Hydrangeas, which come in types that can flourish in sun or shade, offer huge bouquets of clustered flowers, in various arrangements from mop-head to lacecap from summer through fall.

4. Forsythia: The forsythia is a fast-growing, hardy shrub that blooms early—providing a sunny sight before the rest of the landscape greens up. Forsythias make an excellent choice for those wanting a fast-growing flowering hedge.

5. Flowering Quine: Flowering quince is often the first shrub to bloom in early spring, with its apple-blossom-like flowers that attract hummingbirds standing out among bare branches like a beacon of the season.

6. Bridal Wreath Spiraea: In full bloom a bridal wreath spirea looks like a fountain, pouring clusters of white flowers all the way down its arching canes in spring, often before the leaves appear. When cut, those canes can easily be shaped into bridal headdresses, explaining their name.

7. Common Lilac: With a delicious, heady fragrance that attracts birds and butterflies, and abundant panicles of white or purple flowers, lilacs are one of the most popular flowering shrubs for good reason. Size varies by variety, but most are upright-growing to at least 10 feet tall by 6 feet wide.

8. Deutzia: Tiny but powerful white or pink blossoms light up the spring. They are used as garden shrubs, and the smaller varieties can be grown as ground covers or in containers. You’ll plant it for spring blooms, but will be thrilled by its red fall color.

9. Weigela: This old-fashioned shrub has attracted new fans in recent years with recent breeding of unusual leaf colors or variegation. Trumpet-shape spring blooms, usually in some shade of pink, white, or red, just add to the excitement.

10. Viburnum: These shrubs are diverse in shape and foliage, but all have something special to contribute to the landscape, whether with awesome autumn color, fragrant blooms, or clusters of colorful fruits that beckon flocks of overwintering birds.