Spring’s symphony of color begins in March and ends June 1st. In late spring, you can count on the following small trees and shrubs to catch your eye as you stroll along or drive around your neighborhood.
Covered with dainty, hot pink flowers for about 2 weeks in May, Redbud flowers bloom directly on the trunk and branches of the tree before heart-shaped leaves emerge. In the fall, the leaves turn a vibrant yellow. It grows to about 25 feet tall and wide. Full sun-partial shade.
This is a tough and adaptable tree that bears a reliable profusion of flowers each spring, followed by red fruit each fall. It’s available in many kinds, tree or clump form, from the 5-foot dwarf “Tina” to the 15-20-foot “Royal Raindrops” which also has interesting purple foliage. Full sun.
Kousa Dogwood has a lot going for it: delicate, distinctive four-petaled flowers and leaves in late spring, followed by round spiny fruit eaten by birds in summer, reddish-purple foliage in fall. and mottled, exfoliating bark that’s attractive in winter. Its resistance to Dogwood Anthracnose and adaptability make it an ideal small ornamental tree that only grows to about 20 feet tall. Full to part sun.
Weeping and vase-shaped, short and tall, there’s a Japanese Maple for every garden with partial shade conditions. Fully leafed out, green-leaved and red-leaved versions simply sparkle in a front yard. Foliage color intensifies in fall. Depending on the type, average sizes run from 6 feet to 15 feet tall. Part shade.
Karen’s Azalea (foreground) and Korean Azalea (background)
Three of the most reliable and ravishing azaleas that catch your eye in a front yard are Cascade (white flowers), Korean (pale lavender flowers), and Karen’s (fuchsia pink flowers). Karen’s Azalea had red fall color, and both Cascade & Karen’s are evergreen. All grow about 3-4 feet tall in part shade.
Common lilac is a long-lived, old-fashioned garden favorite, with a heady scent perfect for cutting and enjoying indoors. These grow about 12 feet tall and can be rejuvenated by cutting back 1/3 of the plant after flowering. Dwarf Meyeri Lilac only grows to 3-4 feet tall and therefore can offer mixed uses. Full sun.
This is a small, 3-4 foot tall shrub that’s perfect for a woodland or naturalistic setting. Its loose appearance is reminiscent of clump bamboo, with fern-like foliage that emerges a dazzling pink-red-orange and bright green, remaining a bright green throughout summer and fall. Part sun.