Monday, May 30, 2011

Spring Blooms III - Beyond Azaleas


Azaleas and Rhododendrons certainly
light up the spring garden.
For some, they may be a bit too electric.
If you're looking for spring flowering shrubs
with a more subtle show,
check out these options.


The airy white flowers of Slender Deutzia (Deutzia gracilis) are
effective for a number of weeks. 
Deutzia gracilis 'Nikko' is a dwarf variety which
maintains a height of about 2 feet with a spread of 2-5 feet.
Deutzia can be grown in full sun to part shade.

Slender Deutzia close-up.

White flower spikes cover the evergreen
Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus 'Otto Luyken').
Plant Cherry Laurel in full sun to part shade.


Variegated Weigela (Weigela florida var.)
branches, laden with flowers,
arch gently toward the ground.
For best flowering, site Weigela in full sun.


Weigela 'Wine and Roses' has purplish foliage .

It's easy to see where
Bridalwreath Spirea (Spiraea x vanhouttei) got its common name -
pristine white flowers trace arching brances
to create quite a spring show.

Bridalwreath Spirea flower clusters.
Best in full sun, Bridalwreath Spirea tolerates light shade.

Dwarf Fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii) has moderately effective spring flowers.
They're an added bonus to its spectacular fall foliage - see it here and here).
Dwarf Fothergilla grows in full sun to part shade.

Feathery Dwarf Fothergilla blooms.

The vibrant yellow-orange flowers of
seemt to glow on the casual-looking,
Japanese Kerria (Kerria japonica 'Pleniflora') shrub.
Grow Japanese Kerria in part shade to shade.

Sunny Japanese Kerria flowers.

If you want fragrant Lilac flowers,
but are short on space, consider
Miss Kim Korean Lilac (Syringa pubescens subsp. patula 'Miss Kim').
Miss Kim is a compact variety with good mildew resistance. 
Lilacs bloom best in full sun, but tolerate light shade.

Showy white flowers perched along horizontal branches
create a splendid display on 
Doublefile Viburnum (Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum). 

Doublefile Viburnum grows in sun to part shade.
Doublefile Viburnum flowers

For more spring flowering plants, see


Shyrlene said...

Chris - excellent choices, great post. I'm a sucker for Rhododendrons (and finally grew one successfully), but just planted 2 "Wine & Roses" Weigela. I can't wait to see them grow.

Sheila said...

I love the feathery blooms of fothergilla - it's one of my favorite native shrubs. Not only is it attractive, but it does well with almost no supplemental care. Japanese kerria is another favorite for its cheery blooms, but I prefer the single-flower variety ...

Thanks for some good ideas - I'm thinking deutzia may have a future spot in my garden ...

HolleyGarden said...

I love all these - great pics! Thanks for showing shrubs as well as just the flowers. I have a new weigela, just trying to decide where to plant it! Good post.

NellJean said...

Great shrubs in this post.

I never tire of Azaleas. Ours bloom in March just in time to brighten the dreariness of late winter. Adding to the brightness are Loropetalums whose bright blossoms start ahead of Azaleas and last longer plus they have dark foliage except for the lesser-used white Loropetalums. Beyond zone 7 they may be deciduous shrubs.

Chris said...

Shyrlene: Rhododendrons are stunning in bloom. It's great to round out the garden with some other shrubs as well.
Sheila: They are some great choices. Deutzia would be a nice addition - I love it's fine textured flowers.
HollyGarden: It's so easy to be enticed by new plants, isn't it? Good luck in finding just the right spot for your Weigela.
NellJean: Azaleas are very popular here in PA - their bright flowers are a sure sign of spring. Loropetalum isn't hardy here in zone 6, but looks like a nice addition with it's Witchhazel style flowers.

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens said...

You have chosen so many of my favorites--lovely photos.

tina said...

Such beauty!

Chris said...

Carolyn: Thanks! I always enjoy seeing the plants you highlight!
Tina: Yes, the beauty of flowers is a wonderful blessing!

Donna said...

Wonderful choices for flowering shrubs in the garden...I have many and love them...the azaleas and rhododendrons though I actually have very few due to my soil...

Chris said...

Donna: It's sometimes tempting to push the limits, but you're wise to choose plants that suit your soil conditions.

Alistair said...

Hi Chris, I have to say I like the loud Azaleas. On the other hand, you have shown us some beautiful shrubs on your post today, I particularly like the (Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum)

Chris said...

Alistair: I like Azaleas also. This post isn't meant to be a rant against them. Just a look at some of the other beautiful spring flowering shrubs as well.

Ramona said...

All of these beautiful plants are spring "show stoppers." Just beautiful! It is so fun to garden in the spring!

Charlotte said...

Some great ideas here and wonderful pix! Charlotte

Chris said...

Ramona: What glorious beauty spring brings! We have only to appreciate it.
Charlotte: Thanks so much for visiting and your encouraging words! It's a joy to be able to enjoy the beauty of spring blooms.

Theodora said...

I'm getting new soil and a choice of 3 plants as my contractor RUINED my garden. Decisions, decisions but I love the Rhododendrons

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...