8 best ornamental shrubs blooming in spring
In the middle lane, April is the time when the first flowering of plants begins in gardens and parks. The unchanging soloists of the spring that has come into its own are bulbous primroses. But even among the ornamental shrubs you can find those that will delight with fragrant flowers that revive the yet inconspicuous garden. The main riot of flowering shrubs occurs in May, and most of them, as a rule, bloom in mid-May. But at the beginning of the last month of spring, some species and varieties also open buds.
Our article will help you better navigate the timing of flowering of popular spring bushes. If you wish, even before the onset of summer, you can admire at least several flowering bushes in the garden. And they will gradually replace each other on the way to multi-color June.
Each nation has its own plant, symbolizing the onset of spring. For the middle band, these turned out to be blue spills, often called snowdrops. But among shrubs, the "primrose" can be called a cheerful solar forzition.
The flowering of this original plant begins after the snow melts, with the onset of relatively warm days. Depending on weather conditions, flowers may begin to bloom from the beginning or from the middle of April (and in a friendly and warm spring - even at the end of March).
The duration of the period in bloom may also vary from year to year. On average, Forsythia pleases with its sunny flowers for about two weeks. The flowering intensity may also vary, because the number of flower buds directly depends on the conditions of wintering and the vagaries of the weather, and also varies depending on the species and variety.
In any case, charming bright flowers cannot but please the eye in early spring after a long contemplation of monochrome landscapes. Flowering of this shrub begins before the leaves bloom right on the bare branches.
Forsythia flowers have a drooping bell-shaped and bright yellow color, they sit so densely on the branches on their short pedicels that the bushes from afar look as if cast from gold. Cheerful flowers not only delight the eye, but also have a pleasant aroma with hints of almond, which attracts a large number of insects awakened in the spring. Sometimes gardeners want to linger on their own and longer to “warm up” near these sunny flowers.
After flowering, the yellow bells crumble on their own, and foliage begins to intensively develop on the branches, so the plant always looks neat and does not require trimming of faded inflorescences.
The leaves of most varieties of Forsythia are not particularly noticeable, they have a solid shape and jagged edges, but thanks to the dense dense crown the shrub can successfully serve as a green wings. This property also makes it popular to use Forsythia to create a sheared or free-growing hedge. At the same time, it is important to keep in mind that intensive cutting reduces flowering and can often even nullify it.
The best types and varieties of Forsythia
To make Forsythia's everyday foliage attractive, breeders worked intensively on breeding variegated varieties. Today, among Forsythia, you can find options that have bordered foliage (Forsythia green Citrus Swizzle) or bright golden streaks on an emerald background (Forsythia Korean "Kumson").
Variegated Forsythia belong to zone 5 of frost resistance and may freeze slightly in winter. Some green-leafed species of forsythia can also have low winter hardiness, so when choosing a plant, it is better to consider the most stable varieties Forsythia oval (ovoid) and Forsythia Siebold.
Read more about the types of forsythia in the article Six types of forsythia.
Forsythia is a very unpretentious shrub that will require minimal maintenance. The plant can grow well both in the sun and in light partial shade. The soil should be moderately fertile and well permeable.
For several decades, middle-level gardeners with various results have been trying to grow magnolia on the site. And the success of this obviously risky enterprise depends not only on the microclimate on the site, but also on what kind of exotic magnolia belongs to. After all, the winter hardiness of its various species varies significantly.
Good frost resistance in the middle lane was shown by such species as Magnolia Sulange, magnolia cobus, pointed magnolia, Lebner magnolia, triple-magnolia. And here Star magnolia (Magnolia stellata), planting material of which (of European origin) can most often be found in garden departments in large supermarkets, will grow very slowly and suffer greatly from frost.
Many types of magnolias bloom before the leaves bloom in early spring (in April), their goblet-shaped flowers are a bit like a water lily (halfway). Coloring, depending on the variety, can be white, cream, pink and purple. Some species have a pleasant lemon smell, while others lack aroma. In any case, this tree has an unforgettable exotic look, its large flowers sitting on bare branches look really fantastic.
When growing magnolia, you need to choose the sunniest place, protected from the winds. These plants prefer slightly acidic soil, but they will grow well on ordinary loam without additional acidification, the main thing is that the soil is not calcareous. Magnolias love moderately moist areas, but without stagnation of water.
Surprisingly, in general, this luxurious southerner is unpretentious in leaving and practically does not get sick, and is not even particularly attractive to pests. Shelter of winter-hardy species for the winter is not required, but for reliability in autumn you can well mulch the near-trunk circle of young plants with a layer of 20-30 centimeters. In summer, during dry periods of magnolia, it is necessary to water it.
Magnolia can be grown from seeds. Find out how - read the article How I Grow Magnolias from Seeds.
In the middle – end of April, a very interesting shrub, known as "daphne" or "Wolf berries" — daphne. The plant bears a similar name thanks to the elegant, but very poisonous fruits of bright red color that appear on the plant in early autumn.
In mid-spring, they are preceded by charming flowers in pink and purple tones (or white in some varieties and species). Daphne blooms so abundantly that its branches are literally completely covered with flowers. This shrub is also valued for its pleasant aroma, which is well felt even at a distance. The flowering period in a cool spring can last up to a month, but usually it lasts for two weeks.
The best types and varieties of Daphne
Depending on the species, daphne can be a small shrub that is well suited for rock gardens, or a large bush of two meters in height. Evergreen and deciduous species are found in daphne, while in the middle band it is better to give preference to the latter.
The greatest stability in the gardens of the middle strip showed Burkwood Hybrid Daphne, and Daphne Borovaya. These species have varieties with white and pink flowers.
Occurs in our forests daphne deadly (Daphne mezereum), which can also be successfully grown in the garden. Garden forms of deadly daphne can have purple or white flowers, and in white-flowered shrubs the color of the berries will not be red, but yellow.
In the wild, daphne can grow in the mountains or under a forest canopy, depending on this, a place for daphne in the garden is selected, focusing on the origin of a particular species. Mountain varieties of Daphne prefer the sun and calcareous soil, and forest species prefer penumbra and neutral fertile soil. All types of daphne do not tolerate waterlogging and need well-drained soils.
Under the name "almonds" in decorative gardening there are at least two different plants: almond steppe (louisania) and lobed almonds (bobovnik).
Almond steppe is a medium-sized shrub up to 1.5 meters high. In late April, its thin branches are covered with small bright pink flowers, consisting of five delicate petals. In shape, they slightly resemble the flowers of an apple tree, pear, and other rosaceae, but they are not located in the hands, but sit closely on a branch.
Due to this arrangement and the abundance of inflorescences from afar, almond bushes resemble a magical pink haze. The delicate aroma of flowers attracts bees and other pollinator insects to the garden. Depending on weather conditions, flowering can last from one to three weeks. In the fall, fruits can start to grow on the bushes, but it is better not to eat them, as this can harm the body.
Bobovnik is a very unpretentious winter-hardy and drought-tolerant shrub that prefers to grow in open sunny places. The plant tolerates a haircut, which contributes to a more magnificent flowering.
In late April and early May, another plant, also called almonds, blooms louisania lobed. In appearance, this shrub from the Rosaceae family is similar to the famous Japanese sakura. Its large terry flowers consist of many pink petals hiding numerous fluffy stamens.
The bloom of louisania is so plentiful that its branches are literally strewn with charming flowers, and you can admire the northern sakura for 2 to 2.5 weeks. Unlike the almonds of steppe louisiana, it is less hardy and freezes regularly in winter, so you can use a light shelter when growing it.
The shrub is photophilous and moderately drought tolerant; the soil prefers medium fertility; it is also possible to grow it on sandy soils. Louisiana is not recommended to be planted in lowlands with a high level of groundwater, as this contributes to the development of the main scourge of this shrub - the fungal disease moniliosis.
Numerous varieties of dazzling evergreen rhododendrons annually captivate the hearts of gardeners, but their cultivation is fraught with a number of difficulties, in particular, related to the need to provide winter shelter. But in the ranks of rhododendrons there are also deciduous species that are more suitable for cultivation in the conditions of the Middle Band.
One of the most unpretentious and early flowering deciduous rhododendrons - rhododendron daursky, also known as rosemary. Blooming rosemary resembles a pink haze, its flowers are smaller and not as exotic as that of varietal rhododendrons, but still its delicate beauty is a welcome decoration for the garden in spring.
Since this shrub is a natural species growing in a rather cool climate (in Russia it can be found in Eastern Siberia and the Far East), it will not cause any problems to the gardener and will not require special care and shelter for the winter (rosemary wood tolerates frosts to -45 degrees).
Nevertheless, when growing rosemary, it is important to remember one unpleasant property of the plant - the sharp camphor smell of rosemary flowers has a negative effect on humans, in particular, causes headaches, dizziness and weakness. In addition, all parts of the plant are poisonous.
In this regard, it is not recommended to plant a bush near recreational areas, as well as grow it in the form of arrays, but a small bush in the far corner of the garden will do no harm to anyone.
Daurian rhododendron blooms very early, its flowering can begin even during a long thaw at the end of winter or in March, but most often the flowering of this shrub occurs in April. The flowering time is highly dependent on weather conditions and can range from 10 days to a month.
Daurian rhododendron does not grow fast, but at the age of 20 it can reach two meters in height. The key to success in growing rhododendron is planting in the right soil. Like all rhododendrons, rosemary needs acidic soils, so if your site has a neutral and especially alkaline soil reaction, then for the plant you definitely need to prepare landing pits.
It is recommended to remove all soil from the prepared seat and replace it with acid peat mixed with sand, pine needles and leafy soil, or purchase special soil for heather crops.
Rhododendron daursky is a moisture-loving plant, so it will grow well on the shore of a reservoir or in areas prone to spring flooding. In summer, in dry periods, rosemary must be watered.
Another kind of deciduous rhododendron azalea japanese. The flowers of this plant are not inferior in size, beauty and richness of colors to the evergreen rhododendron, since many varieties of Japanese rhododendron are currently bred, among which you can choose the most winter-hardy.
The winter species in the middle lane will best survive the natural look of Japanese azalea, which blooms with large flowers of various shades of orange, and sometimes yellow-colored varieties are also found.
Japanese rhododendron blooms in late May, occasionally in a cool spring, buds can only begin to blossom in early June.
You can learn more about the types and varieties of rhododendrons by reading our article All shades of rhododendrons. Blurry landing.
In May, the relay passes to another charming shrub - weigel. The earliest varieties of Weigela (e.g. Debussy) begin to bloom at the beginning of May, but the bulk of the varieties bloom closer to the end of the calendar spring.
Weigela is a shrub with a height of 50 cm to 3 meters, depending on the species and variety. During flowering, the plant is densely covered with small bright bells in pink and raspberry colors, and certain species and varieties, for example, Weigela Middendorffbloom yellow or white flowers. The flowering period, on average, lasts about a month.
After flowering, many varieties of weigels continue to look decorative, as they have brightly colored foliage. In such varieties as Olympiade and Aurea - a leaf blade of sunny bright yellow color. But most varieties of foliage are purple in varying degrees of intensity. Hybrid Weigela leaf darkest Minor Black and Naomi Campbell.
Weigela variegata is distinguished by white-edged foliage resembling leaves of deren. Variegate color can be found in varieties "Monet", "Costeriana Variegata", The Magic Rainbow and others.
In August-September, weigel sometimes can start re-blooming with single flowers.
Weigela develops well in the sun and in light partial shade. Regarding the soil, the plant is undemanding, and grows well on almost any garden soil. When choosing a place, it is very important to avoid planting in a place where meltwater may stagnate in spring. Stagnant water is the main danger for Weigela, leading to imminent death. But it tolerates a slight drought more persistently.
The winter hardiness of weigels cannot be called very high, so every winter on the bushes you can observe the frozen tips of the shoots. But such freezing, as a rule, is not critical, after sanitary pruning, the plant is fully restored and blooms profusely on the shoots of the current year. To reduce the negative impact of frost, it is better to plant a wigel in a protected place without strong winds, and bend young seedlings to the ground in the first years.
Read more about weigel in our material Weigel - species and cultivation.
Gradually complete the spring parade and lead us into the summer divine aroma of mock-ups, blooming in the very end of May and beginning of June. Already very few of the flower growers call him “jasmine” in the old fashioned way, calling this fragrant shrub his correct name - mock-up.
It is necessary to choose the varieties of mock up especially thoughtfully, as there are several pitfalls here. For example, some varieties of mock orange (most often terry) may not have the same jasmine aroma for which the summer resident often decides to plant a bush.
Also remember that some dwarf varieties of mock marsh (for example, "Gnome") practically do not bloom. Another difficulty is associated with low winter hardiness of certain species of this shrub. In particular, numerous varieties are often sold in garden departments. mockery Lemoine, which regularly freezes from the middle lane, and in some harsh winters can even freeze completely.
The best varieties of mock up
Therefore, for reliability, it is better to give preference to the old varieties of Soviet selection, bred by the breeder Vekhov, which do not lose their relevance to this day. Among those, we can distinguish: "Unusual", "Ballet of the Moths", "Moonlight", "Airborne landing" other.
Some hybrid chubushniki have a completely unusual aroma, for example, a variety "Ripe apples" famous for the characteristic apple aroma of flowers, and the mock Strawberry flowers smell not of jasmine, but of real strawberries.
Also noteworthy variegated varieties of mock orange: ‘Innocence’ with white fringed leaves and ‘Aureus’ with golden foliage.
For more information about the types and varieties of marshmallow, and about the peculiarities of its cultivation, see the article Chubushnik - the king of unpretentious shrubs.
Speaking of spring bushes, one can not help but recall the lilac, which has a huge number of varieties. They differ in different periods of being in color, which allows you to stretch the lilac flowering period for a long time.
Early flowering varieties of lilacs bloom in early to mid-May. Mid-flowering flowers begin to bloom in mid-May or early June, and late-flowering flowers only open their flowers in the summer of June-July.
At the same time, there is a pattern that varieties with inflorescences of light colors (soft pink, white-pink and white) bloom earlier. Whereas varieties of lilacs of more intense violet and lilac tones bloom later.
One panicle of lilac is in bloom for 15-20 days, and the flowering period of a whole bush is 30-40 days. Having picked varieties with different flowering periods, you can feel the continuous fragrance of lilac in your garden from early May to mid-summer.
Read more about the types and varieties of lilacs in our article Varieties and types of lilacs.
Toward the end of May, another beautifully flowering shrub blooms - actionnoteworthy gardeners. For a plentiful snow-white outfit at the time of flowering, it is sometimes called the "bride in the garden."
Read about the cultivation of action in our article Deutzia, a snow-white beauty.
May is also notable for the snow-white “foam” of spring-flowering species. spirea.
Dear readers! And what shrubs, blooming in spring, grow on your site? Tell us about them in the comments to the article.