Show-stopping Spring Shrubs

Azalea Karen

Why do we like Spring? The flowers!

 

Hydrangea ‘Nantucket Blue’ (Hydrangea macrophylla): Showy clusters of sky-blue* blossoms will add a feeling of elegance to your garden or containers.

Light: Dappled sunlight or afternoon shade; Best planted on east or north side of home.

Soil: Moist, well drained

Blooms: Blue blossoms in acidic soil and pink flowers in alkaline soil*.

*Even in our alkaline soils, we are able to enjoy heavenly blue, hydrangea blooms. To keep those flowers blue, you have to increase the acidity of our alkaline soil with aluminum sulfate such as Espoma’s Organic Soil Acidifier.

Size: Shrubs mature from 4-6’ wide and tall.

Why we like it: Gorgeous blue flowers bloom from early summer into early fall.

  • Blooms repeatedly on new growth throughout the growing season,
  • Beautiful in mass plantings and as hedges… reminiscent of the homes and gardens on Nantucket Island.
  • Flowers remain until frost.
  • Pollinator-friendly

 

Azalea ‘Karen’ (Rhododendron x ‘Karen’) Pictured: Azaleas light up a landscape like no other spring-blooming shrub! Pinky purple flowers cover the bright green evergreen foliage when in full bloom. Thrives in a woodland setting under a canopy of trees.

Light: Partial shade

Water: Medium moisture

Soil: Needs fast draining acidic soil.

Blooms: Early spring

Size: 3-5’ wide x 2-4’ tall when mature

Why we like it:

  • Stunning color in the landscape as a single plant or in groupings
  • Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.
  • A cold hardy and dependable azalea in our zone 5.

 

Korean Spice Viburnum (Viburnum carlesii): A must-have spring-flowering shrub! You’ll fall for its incredible springtime scent, as well as the pink buds that turn into three-inch ‘snowballs.’ After blooming, the dark green leaves will add a lush appearance to your landscape… an easy to grow shrub that looks good in every season.

Light: Full sun, partial shade

Soil: Adapts to many types of soil with moderate moisture

Blooms: In spring when spring bulbs are blooming.

Size: 5 ft. spread

Why we like it:

  • Heavenly fragrance
  • Small red buds open to form light pink flower clusters
  • Spicy scent attracts hummingbirds and butterflies
  • Fall color with spicy red and purple foliage.

 

Dwarf Fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii): Fragrant, creamy-white bottlebrush-like flowers cover this compact ornamental shrub in spring. Blue-green foliage follow the spring flowers while brilliant red, yellow and orange leaves provide a spectacular finale in autumn. 

Light: Full sun, Partial sun

Soil: Water regularly to maintain evenly moist soil—weekly or more in summer.

Blooms: Fragrant, fuzzy, creamy-white flower spikes in spring.

Size: Slow growing. Matures to 2-3’ tall and 3-4’ wide. Use as single specimen or mix in with evergreen shrubs to add color in spring.

Why we like it: Fragrant, showy and very unique flowers in spring and brilliant fall foliage. 

  • Perfect for shade gardens or in wooded settings
  • Slow growth rate
  • Lovely planted with evergreens and hardwoods in a wooded setting.
  • Tolerates wet areas
  • Birds love it!

 

Dwarf Korean Lilac (Syringa meyeri ‘Palabin’): Extreme flower power! This petite lilac shrub is covered with fragrant flowers on every branch… a heavy bloomer in spring with a light rebloom in late summer.

Light: Full Sun

Soil: Well-drained soil with moderate moisture

Size: Grows up from 4-6’ tall and 5-8’ wide.

Blooms: The flower bud color is darker purple and opens to a lighter lavender color. This lilac blooms in May… a bit later than the larger French hybrid lilacs and will extend the entire lilac season.

Why we like it:

  • Compact, mounded habit with full-size fragrant flowers.
  • Multiple options! Use as an interesting choice for foundation planting, low hedges or single specimen in containers.
  • Low maintenance shrub with minimal pruning. Prune the tips as needed.
  • Pollinator-friendly
  • Cut flowers for vases