Spring flowering shrubs bring such a lot of colour into the garden early in the year, and some of the best displays come from Rhododendrons and Azalea. These come in all sizes and many colours, and are easy to grow, provided you have acid soil, they need little or no attention and have great showy blooms as illustrated above right.
The centre image is Camellia Japonica, also lovely shrub, but not so easy to grow. It too likes acid soil, but is much more fussy about its growing conditions - more info. When planting a Camellia it is definitely a case of "right place right plant". One problem with Camellias is that especially when planted in the wrong spot the blooms are easily browned by frost and the foliage may not be as glossy green as illustrated. There is more information on the Growing Camillia page, including advice on where to plant Camellia for the best results.
One the best spring flowering shrubs is Philadelphus, a lovely creamy white shrub with scented blooms illustrated above left. There are some great spring flowering shrubs and sometimes it seems that the most of the attractive flowering shrubs, with the showiest blooms, are often deciduous. This means in winter the deciduous shrubs will be bare, which is why it can be a good idea to plant a mix of evergreens and deciduous shrubs to create all round interest.
The shrubs below are hardy in most gardens, although some may need a more sheltered spot. Most of these shrubs are easy to grow and once established will flower reliably year after year, and for this reason form the mainstay of an easy to maintain garden.
If you have a shrub or plant in your garden and don't know what it is or how to look after it, why not e-mail a photo to the Sunday Gardener for help