Flowering shrubs can form the backbone of a garden. Once planted they will bloom regularly and should last for many years. The fourteen shrubs described in the article quoted below are arranged on a month-by-month basis which demonstrates how by careful selection it is possible to have color in the garden throughout the season. The article is by Anne Balogh and comes from the Garden Design Magazine.
Flowering shrubs are the most versatile inhabitants of the garden, providing color and structure in a compact form adaptable to almost any purpose or location, from groundcovers and hedge plants to eye-catching focal points. With a bit of planning, you can fill your yard with shrubs that bloom from early spring through late fall and even into winter, providing interest all season long. Some shrubs are at their peak bloom for only a few weeks, while others continue putting on a display for months. As a bonus, the dried blooms of certain shrubs, such as hydrangeas, will even endure through fall and winter. In addition to their floral beauty, many flowering shrubs perfume the air with their own signature fragrance, announcing their glorious re-emergence. Here?s our guide to the best flowering shrubs for year-round appeal.
Mature size: Up to 10 feet depending on the cultivar and species
Bloom time: Early to mid April
Why we love it: The vibrant canary-yellow flowers of the forsythia are like the first ray of sunshine after the dark days of winter, covering each arching branch with a profusion of blooms lasting one to two weeks. The welcome explosion of yellow flowers makes this shrub well worth planting, despite the short bloom time.
Where to plant it: Forsythia are best suited for borders or as background accent plants where their relaxed, arching branches won?t look untidy. For small spaces, dwarf varieties such as Gold Tide (Forsythia ‘Courtasol’) grow to only 20 inches tall and maintain a compact, spreading shape.
Growing tips: To encourage new growth, prune forsythia branches immediately after the flowers fade. The next spring, blooms will appear on one-year or older wood. Plant in an area that receives at least six hours of sun each day to ensure prolific flowering.
Go to the next page to see more flowering shrubs that produce their blooms in April each year.