Garden & Landscape Tips

The flowers of the dwarf fothergilla have a faint, honey-like scent.
The flowers of the dwarf fothergilla have a faint, honey-like scent.
Photo courtesy Newfields
Snip a few branches the fragrant burkwood viburnum for indoor enjoyment.
Snip a few branches the fragrant burkwood viburnum for indoor enjoyment.
Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp
Show Off Sugar Baby forsythia is a good option for smaller landscapes.
Show Off Sugar Baby forsythia – at 30 inches tall and wide – is a good option for smaller landscapes.
Photo courtesy Proven Winners/ColorChoice Plants

Shrubs help define the start of the spring season when they burst into bloom. Shrubs form the bones of the garden, often adding structure for perennials or serving as seasonal color in the landscape. Here are three beautiful and easy-to-grow flowering shrubs to consider when wanting to add seasonal color and texture to your landscape:

Dwarf fothergilla

Fothergilla is a fantastic shrub, native to the eastern US, that beautifies the landscape spring through fall. White, slightly honey-scented, bottlebrush-like flowers emerge in mid spring before the shrub leafs out.

Dwarf fothergilla does well in a sunny location or one that is partly shady.

No pruning is necessary if it’s mature 2 to 3 foot height and wide range is taken into account when planting. Once done blooming, fothergilla is green with a slightly bluish tone and looks good all summer. In the fall, it then turns a stunning reddish orange. Another bonus is that it’s deer resistant.

Burkwood viburnum

This is a terrific viburnum for scented, pinkish spring flowers and golden or wine-red fall color. The leaves are glossy green in summer, with very few problems with insect or disease.

A bonus for this shrub is that burkwood viburnum is semi-evergreen, frequently holding on to its foliage well into winter. Its natural size is about 6- to 8 feet tall and wide – making this a good choice as a screening plant or as an ornamental focal point in the landscape. Burkwood viburnum is mildly resistant to deer damage.


The bright yellow flowers of forsythia are one of the earliest signals that spring has arrived. For years, this shrub only came in one size – big – but in recent years, smaller ones have been introduced. These smaller varieties, such as Gold Tide and Show Off Sugar Baby are worth considering for urban landscapes.

This plant comes with two bonuses - It’s deer resistant. And, it’s a great visual signal that it’s time to apply a pre-emergent weed control in both your garden and lawn areas.


  • If spring-flowering shrubs need to be pruned, do so about a month after they have stopped blooming. Pruning later in the season removes the buds for flowers for next year.
  • Apply a slow-release fertilizer, such as Natural Start All Purpose Plant Food in spring as shrubs’ leaf and flower buds start to swell.
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