Spring flowering shrubs bring such a lot of colour into the garden early in the year. There are some great spring flowering shrubs and some of the most 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.
Popular spring shrubs are are Rhododendrons and Azalea. These are easy to grow, provided you have acid soil, they need little or no attention and have great showy blooms as illustrated above right.
Also, as shown in the centre image, Camellia Japonica, another lovely shrub, but not so easy to grow. It too likes acid soil, but Camellias are fussy about growing conditions - more info. When planting a Camellia it is definitely a case of "right place right plant". One problem with Camellias if are 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 of the best spring flowering shrubs is Philadelphus, a lovely creamy white shrub with scented blooms illustrated above left.
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