Spring bulbs are the sight most looked forward to, after a long, dreary winter. But for my money, you can’t beat spring flowering shrubs. I’ve always envied pretty much every spring flowering tree I see. I just don’t have room for them all and I don’t think I could handle all the shade they’d create, even if I could squeeze them in. But shrubs… well there’s always room for one more shrub, isn’t there?
I’ve been really blessed that, as a member of the Garden Writers Association, I get lots of exquisite plants and shrubs sent to me, to try out. Nice perk, no? I think most of the ones in this round up are from Proven Winners… and they have turned out to be.
They aren’t the most exotic of shrubs, but they are lovely varieties. I’m always amazed how they pass through so many colors, in the spring. One of the flashiest… and one of my favorites… is Kolkwitzia amabilis ‘Dream Catcher’™, above. Beauty bush is an apt description. It has yellow and red spring foliage that turns completely yellow against its pale pink flowers. By fall, it screams in orange. It’s a huge, weeping plant, about 8 ft. tall and 6 ft. wide., but I squeeze it in.
I’ve written before about how many plants have reddish leaves in the spring. The color serves as a defense mechanism against insects. I guess if they camouflage themselves as red, insects won’t know they’ve landed on a plant? It also provides some sun screen, for those tender new shoots.
How about this lively orange, above, that one of my spireas starts off? (‘Glow Girl’, maybe? I’ve lost the tag.) Proven Winners has a new one out called Double Play® Candy Corn™. The new growth continually comes out orange, against the existing yellow leaves. Mine fades to yellow, eventually. I think the pink flowers would be lost on the plant, if it didn’t.
Pink and yellow seems to be a theme. Here’s a Weigela called ‘Eye Catcher’ The flowers are fading, but that foliage will keep going all season.
It took me awhile to like yellow leaves. At first I thought they looked sickly. But they work, in the spring. I’m very happy to have them.