Early Spring Color and Blooms For Your Yard: Shrub Edition

Early Spring Color and Blooms For Your Yard: Shrub Edition

Mar 20, 2022

While trees in the landscape are often used as a vertical component and are thought of as the focal points or walls of our outdoor spaces, shrubs are the true foundation of the garden and work give the landscape structure. More than any other plant group, shrubs help to establish a landscape’s overall feel and aesthetic.

When it comes to shrubs that provide your yard with early spring color, there are SO many to choose from. But the Garden Goods Direct team has decided to shine a light on a few of our favorite shrubs to bring that color and life that so many of us are often seeking at the start of the season.

Lilac Shrubs

Lilac blooms in early spring

First on our list of spring shrubs that bring early color is the Lilac Shrub. As 2022 has been crowned the ‘Year of The Lilac,’ we felt it was more than necessary to highlight this stunning early flowering shrub in our list of favorites.

Hands down one of the most fragrant shrubs available today, the Lilac will not only captivate you with its calming purple hues, but also entice you with its aroma.  When in bloom, your entire yard will be filled with the heady fragrance of the Lilac.

The Lilac sports a subtle green foliage that provides for little distraction from the conical clusters of lilac blooms. Lilacs have earned their place at the top of the list of early spring blooming shrubs, not only for their beauty and fragrance, but also for the wide variety of shades they offer the garden. From the classic pinkish-white blossom of the Beauty of Moscow to the intense purple blooms of Lilac Sensation, Lilac shrubs come in all shapes and colors.

These shrubs are often planted in small groups or clusters of three or more, and look stunning in use of garden borders, mass plantings and container gardens alike.

Azalea Shrubs

Azalea Shrubs blooming early spring

As you make your way through the garden from early to mid spring, you may notice large and dramatic swaths of color painting the landscape. Sometimes bold and vivid, sometimes soft and subtle. The azalea is a classic and treasured garden shrub loved for its wide range of colors, textures, and sizes.

If short bloom times have you worrying that Azaleas aren’t worth the trouble, think again, because with many Azalea shrubs in the Encore family, you can enjoy blooms up to three times per year! If that wasn’t enough to convince you that these are a top tier flowering shrub, wait till you see the multitude of pollinators they attract to your yard!

Stunning for use in mixed borders and container gardens, these evergreen shrubs are at the top of our list when it comes to providing gorgeous early spring color to a yard.

Forsythia Shrubs

Forsythia Shrubs blooming in early spring

Next on our list of stunning Spring shrubs that will ignite life back into your yard early on in the season is Forsythia Shrubs. Rising from their winter slumber about a month or so before the Lilac in the earliest part of spring, the Forsythia make their debut.

Known for their distinct shape and wide-spreading branches radiating out like rays of the sun, the Forsythia Shrub will surely provide you with joy and warmth after a cold winter season. The most popular Forsythia shrubs grow vibrant yellow or stark white blossoms that entirely cover the branch.

The stark contrast of the Forsythia’s flame yellow and delicate white flowers against a dormant garden instantly warms the senses and assures you that milder weather is not too far away. Add forsythia branches to your flower arrangements indoors, the Forsythia blooms will add cheer and brighten any room. A few of our favorite Forsythia include the Proven Winners® Color Choice® Show Off Starlet® Forsythia and the Lynwood Gold Forsythia.

Rhododendron Shrubs

Rhododendron Shrubs blooming in early spring

When in full bloom, Rhododendrons can look like a fireworks show in your garden. Make a statement in your garden this planting season with the flamboyant and easy-to-care for Rhododendron shrubs.

Clusters of bell-shaped flowers stand out in contrast to the dark green glossy foliage, and colorful blooms will constantly catch your gaze and take your breath away. Rhododendrons offer a tremendous color burst and can look beautiful when planted alone as a specimen shrub, or used in mass as large color drifts.

These early spring flowering garden plants are particularly low maintenance and have a strong tolerance to both high and low temperatures making them suitable for most any environment. Not to mention these fabulous flower-packed bushes are sure to be loved by your local pollinators!

Some stunning Rhododendron that provide a grand pop of color include the Nova Zembla and the Purple Gem Rhododendron.

You might notice the many similarities it shares with Azalea shrubs, but just remember that Rhododendrons are larger in size, so plan accordingly on where it should be placed in your landscape.

Spring Blooming Camellias

Camellia Shrubs blooming in early spring

Last but not least on our list of shrubs to bring early color to your spring garden is the ever-so fabulous Spring Blooming Camellia. Botanically referred to as Camellia Japonica, these easy-to-grow evergreen, flowering shrubs exude delicate beauty and regal elegance. We truly can not get enough of the fluffy layered petals that Camellia put out.

There aren't too many other shrubs that can boast all of those wonderful traits, but the Camelia truly does it all. The Camellia will flower from the earliest parts of spring and the blooms can last all the way through late May. Camellia can be single or multi-colored as well as single or double-flowered.

Some camellia flowers are very fragrant and can also be brought indoors as cut flowers for arrangements. These spring shrubs are extremely attractive when used as garden focal points, as well as in mixed borders and mass plantings.

 It’s hard to pick a favorite with this shrub, but some pretty stunning options include the Camellia April Dawn, Camellia Professor Sargent, and the Pink Perfection Camellia Japonica.

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Whether you decide to go bold and colorful with exuberant Azalea, or classic and elegant with the encapsulating Spring Blooming Camellia, or even if you go with a little bit of everything…it's safe to say your yard will be a masterpiece of color when you shop Garden Goods Direct this season.

With a wide variety of early spring flowering shrubs, your yard will be bursting with life and color before you know it! Be sure to check back for our next blog on our favorite early blooming perennials to make that early spring garden complete!