“Oh to be in England now that spring is here!” The poet Robert Browning certainly knew what he was talking about when he wrote these few immortal words. There is nothing quite like a warm sunny spring day to suddenly bring our gardens back to life. The drab days of winter disappear in an instance as the abundance of spring flowering shrubs burst into a kaleidoscope of yellows, reds, pink and white.
One of the earliest flowering shrubs is the flowering or ornamental currant Ribes. From it stark bare branches little pinnacles of delicate pink flowers appear before the leaf. It is quick growing and tolerates most aspects. The forsythia, or if you prefer its rather charming common name, Golden Bells, is another early spring shrub with its wonderful clusters of the brightest yellow flowers.
Another popular early spring shrub is the Spirea, especially the variety ‘Bridal Wreath’, which bears clouds of tiny white flowers that appear after the lime coloured leaves have burst their buds. Be careful not to mix up the spring and summer varieties, with the general rule of thumb being the spring shrubs are white and the summer shrubs pink.
One little tip for spring flowering shrubs, if you need to do any pruning this has to be done as soon after flowering as possible to ensure the shrub has plenty of time to grow, as flowering the following spring is on the new growth.