Spring is here, and our nursery is filling up with blooms and blossoms! Here are some plants that are soon to be in bloom.
The yellow flowers on Corneliancherry Dogwood (Cornus mas), emerge before the foliage in late March/early April. They bloom in small clusters along the stems making for a showy display. Red edible berries resemble and taste similar to a sour cherry, and they last from July to November, but they’re a bit sour. This tree is available in a single stem or clump, growing to about 20 feet tall and wide, and is best in full sun to partial shade.
Royal Raindrops Crabapple (Malus ‘Royal Raindrops’), is a showstopping tree. The foliage is purple in the spring and summer and turns orange red in fall. Spring flowers are bright pink and cover the tree. Birds love the maroon fruit when it matures in the fall. This is a great specimen or parkway tree since it only grows to about 15 to 20 feet, thriving in full sun.
Royal Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata), is another tree that flowers before the leaves emerge. The white flowers are almost daisy-like in shape and are showy and fragrant. It flowers best in full sun but can tolerate part shade. The dense, low branching makes the tree almost shrub-like. The tree typically grows 15 to 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide, best in full sun to partial shade.
The flowers on Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis), never seem to last long enough. The multi-stem or single stem tree is covered with spectacular yet dainty, lavender flowers for about 2 weeks in early May before the heart-shaped leaves emerge. The flowers bloom directly on the trunk and branches of the tree which makes it a spectacular sight. In the fall, the leaves turn vibrant yellow. It grows to about 30 feet tall and wide, and thrives in full sun to partial shade.
A tree with multiple season interest is the Autumn Brilliance Apple Serviceberry, Amelanchier x grandiflora. In April, the white flowers cover the plant. In June, dark purple edible berries emerge. No need to worry about a mess on the sidewalk because the birds will eat them up. In the fall, the leaves turn a bright orange and red. This can be a multi-stem or single-stem tree, growing from 20 to 25 feet.
If you’re looking for showy spring flowers, you’ll find them on Karen’s Azalea (Rhododendron ‘Karen’s’). The lavender-pink flowers cover the entire plant in April and May. It can be planted as a specimen or planted in mass. Both allow for a stunning floral display. It prefers acidic soil and will grow in a mounded form to 3 feet tall and wide, best in a full sun to part shade location.
Spring Sensation Deutzia (Deutzia ‘Kolmaspri’) is a white-flowering shrub with blooms on arching stems. If you live a little closer to the city, or have a busy parkway that needs a facelift, it may be a good choice for you. Deutzia tolerates both rural and urban settings because it is tolerant of a wide range of soil pH. It is a medium sized shrub, growing to about 4 feet, and thrives in in full sun to part shade.
You know that spring has arrived when Show-Off Forsythia (Forsythia intermedia ‘Mindor’) begins to bloom. Forsythia is known as the harbinger of spring since it is usually one of the first shrubs to bloom its bright yellow flowers. Once it is finished blooming, its green foliage is perfect for a hedge or a foundation plant in your garden. It grows 5 to 6 feet tall and wide. There are also smaller varieties such as Show-Off Sugar Baby (F. ‘NIMBUS’) which only reaches 2 feet tall. Best in full sun to part shade.
Judd Viburnum (Viburnum x juddii) blooms from late April through early May. The pink buds open to white flowers. They are very fragrant and have a spicy-sweet smell, as it is a hybrid of Koreanspice Viburnum (V. carlesii). This shrub is perfect near the front stoop or close to an open window so that the fragrance can be enjoyed. In the fall, the leaves turn a brilliant wine-red. It will grow 6-8′ feet tall and 5 feet wide. For a smaller Koreanspice Viburnum hybrid, select Cayuga Viburnum (V. x ‘Cayuga’), also with the same scented flowers, but orange-red fall color. 4-6 ft. tall and just as wide. Both selections are best in full sun to partial shade.
Brunnera (Brunnera macruphylla) is a spring bloomer with rough-textured, heart-shaped leaves. In spring, they bloom with airy wafts of bright blue flowers that resemble forget-me-nots. This perennial prefers dry shade. 12-18″ tall.
Keep an eye out for Pink Frost Hellebore (Helleborus x ballardiae ‘HGC Pink Frost’). The flowers are a beautiful array of white, pink, and dark pink, and they emerge in early spring, sometimes as early as February. It is another shade perennial that grows about 18 inches tall. The leaves on Lenten Rose do not fall off in the winter, making this perennial an evergreen.
Woodland Phlox (Phlox divaricata), is a shade-loving spring ephemeral with soft lavender flowers emerging in April. Hummingbirds and butterflies love this perennial. It is typically an understory plant in the forest, and it grows best in moist and rich soil. It will grow to 12 inches. Ideal in shade to part shade.