Spring is in the air. A colourful garden can be such a joy, but it is important to pick the right plants to keep maintenance to a minimum.
If you’re looking to spruce up your garden, flowering shrubs can be an attractive, low maintenance and sometimes fragrant way to add value and interest to your landscape. Here are a couple of great choices for our climate:
Common Lilac (Syringa vulgaris) Common Lilac
This plant has a heady fragrance that will attract birds and butterflies. The common variety has abundant panicles of white or purple flowers and assorted sizes depending on the variety. Most of these shrubs can grow to 10’ tall by 6’ wide. It works well as a screen along a driveway or at the back of your garden. If you mix up the varieties, you can expect flowers from late April through to early June. They are very hardy, can withstand our colder temperatures, enjoy full sun, but will tolerate part shade and need a fair bit of water in the case of extreme heat.
Korean Spice Viburnum (Viburnum carlesii) Korean Spice Viburnum
This plant grows into large branching shrubs that are covered in attractive gray-green leaves and offer a spectacular spring bloom. The clusters of intensely fragrant flowers attract butterflies. They’re great planted at the back of a border, beneath windows or around seating areas where you can enjoy the fragrance. They have moderate watering requirements and will thrive in part to full sun. At maturity, they can grow 4-8 tall and wide.
Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) Oakleaf Hydrangea
This shrub features blooms that are more panicle-like than the ‘ball type’ blooms of the classic hydrangea (H. macrophylla.) They emerge as 8-inch long clusters of pale green buds in late spring and open to show star-shaped white or pink flowers. They are more drought tolerant than other species and can thrive with moderately low water once their root system is established. They are also available in dwarf varieties and only require partial sun.