Shrubs and trees that flower in the early spring often tower over late-bloomers and the remains of those plants that thrive during winter, bringing a vibrant array of colors to a landscape. This color is what gives spring its vibrant character, contrasting with the previous cold, dull winter months. In addition to attractive flowers, these trees and shrubs feature pleasant fragrances and a stunning transition in color as summer fades into fall. Consider the following trees and shrubs for your Bergen County, NJ, landscaping clients this year.
Eastern Redbud bears long-lasting flowers midway through spring and can contribute a lovely array of pink and purple shades to a thriving green landscape. These bright flowers draw plenty of attention, and are nestled between stunning heart-shaped leaves and smooth grey branches. Eastern Redbud grows best in sunny spots with moist but well-drained soil.
The White Fringetree is a late-bloomer, rewarding patient clients with stunning, narrow-petaled flowers that serve as an elegant ending to spring’s parade of color. The female plants perform an encore in late summer by bearing blue olive-like fruits. These fruits are strikingly unique and can energize any softscape. The White Fringetree proves to be a worthy focal point when concentrated in small clusters or planted individually.
In mid-spring, Pagoda Dogwood displays a romantic arrangement of fragrant, cream-colored flowers in small clusters. The clusters stand tall upon tiers of horizontal branches, resulting in a distinct pagoda-like shape. Similarly to the White Fringetree, these flowering trees don’t lose their value in the summer. Instead, they bear indigo-blue fruits that sit on bright red pedicels and attract plenty of birdlife. In fall, their foliage turns yellow, red, and purple before falling to the ground in elegant cascades of color. Pagoda Dogwood is quite hardy and can grow in full sun or heavy shade, but thrives in moist soil that is slightly acidic.
Japanese andromeda, or Pieris japonica, is known for flowering very early in spring. Their lovely pink and white flowers provide relief after a long winter and create a blushing softscape. These shrubs are also renowned for the fragrance of their blooms. Allow your client to experience the scent first-hand before planting, however, as some people may find it overpowering.
Kerria japonica, better known as Japanese rose, holds a cheerful display of sunny yellow flowers when in bloom. Fortunately, its contribution to the color palette of your client’s landscape won’t end there. During winter, its bark features intense shades of green that capture the attention and can enliven a colorless softscape.
Winter Heath bears beautiful pale pink blossoms in spring, but it starts to bloom in the late fall, flowering all through winter and continuing to thrive well into spring. These flowers act as a bridge in the gap between two flowering seasons, and can completely transform a dull winter landscape.
Forsythia is renowned for the bold appearance of its bright yellow blossoms. These shrubs are impossible to miss, and serve as excellent focal points. They require plenty of sun and well-drained soil in order to thrive.