If you ask someone what their favorite tree is, there’s good chance that they will name a spring-flowering beauty. And of those spring bloomers, flowering dogwood is a classic crowd-pleaser. With its snowy white or soft pink blossoms, flowering dogwood stands as a sign that spring has fully arrived at last.
Fragrant sumac is an adaptable, low-maintenance shrub perfect for even the toughest situations. It thrives even planted in clay, surrounded by asphalt, and battered and dried by full sun. It spreads to form colonies that retain slopes and block out weeds. As long as you don’t plant it in a bog, it will hold the line and even bring some spring and fall surprises just about anywhere.
This month's featured plant is one of my favorite perennials. Epimedium is a adaptable, four season, shade loving, drought tolerant spreading perennial that makes a great bed edge or groundcover. Did I mention that it has almost no pest and disease problems, and that deer and rabbits leave it alone? And it has unique spring flowers. It deserves a spot in any landscape with shade, and it's truly a shame it isn't more widely known in Indiana.
Our favorite spring-blooming tree here at 317Grow is probably Serviceberry. The white flowers are a crowd-pleaser, the dark red berries are delicious, the fall color is unbeatable, and it's a native species for Indiana. It's hard to get much better than that. There are a few different species of Serviceberry growing in North America. The Canadian Serviceberry sticks closer to the east coast, while the Allegheny Serviceberry extends inland all the way to Minnesota and Iowa.
Flowering Quince starts blooming in shades of pink, salmon, white, and red in March before the leaves emerge. The flowers continue to shine as the foliage comes in, and then they develop into small, edible fruits with a tart taste. The shrub develops into a low, relaxed shape as it ages with an airy structure. Flowering Quince is a gorgeous addition to the spring landscape, but it is not for the low-maintenance garden. Root suckers need to be pruned back, leaf fungus can be a problem in wet seasons, and plants should be checked for fire blight from time to time.
Few things bring a smile to my face in late winter like the sight of a clump of snowdrops popping out of the ground! They're a welcome reminder that warmer weather is just around the corner. These harbingers of spring are excellent for naturalizing in flower beds and they naturally spread by bulbs underground. Since their leaves die back to the ground by mid spring, it's easy to plant over them with summer blooming plants to keep your flower beds exciting all year long.
Huge, perfume-scented blooms in all shades of white, pink, and red open during May on garden peonies. This old-fashioned favorite that has held onto some of its popularity in today's gardens, and with good reason. It is a long-lived, sturdy shrub-like perennial with a show-stopping late spring floral display. There are countless varieties of peonies, but they can be divided into four main categories based on the structure of the flowers: single, semi-double, double, and double bomb.
April's plant of the month is dwarf fothergilla, one of my all-time favorite shrubs. Its fragrant puff-ball flowers emerge in April before the leaves unfold, and the blossoms remain until May. I could have chosen dwarf fothergilla for many different months. The leaves have a unique scalloped shape and retain a lovely green with a pale underside through the summer. In the fall, the shrub practically bursts into flame with a range of yellows, oranges, and reds that changes with sun exposure.
Korean Spice Viburnum is a slow-growing, medium sized viburnum bearing fragrant spring flowers in showy clusters that appear pink when the buds are closed but fade to white when in full bloom. The strong spicy-sweet smell is noticeable from several feet away even in a wide open space. Korean Spice Viburnum (sometimes written as Koreanspice instead of two separate words) is a member of the large and popular viburnum family.