Episode 135: Spring Flowering Dwarf Bushes

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Dwarf, spring-flowering shrubs are the answer if you want to add some height to the spring garden, but don’t want to overwhelm the gentle bulbs or ephemeral perennials. These little powerhouses are quick to make new appearances in the early part of the season and often sport soft colors that compliment the pastel colors that dominate in May and June. Today’s requirements are simple: the shrubs mentioned must be 3 to 4 feet tall and wide and must flower before the summer solstice. You might think that’s a tall order to fill any plant (Peter certainly thinks so) but there are a surprising number of candidates who are up for the challenge.

Expert Guest: Julie Lynn Gay is a garden designer and gardening writer based in British Columbia, Canada.

Daniel’s plants

Yuki Cherry Blossom ® deutzia (Credit: Proven Winners Color Choice)
Yuki Cherry Blossom ® deutzia (Credit: Proven Winners Color Choice)

Yuki Cherry Blossom ® Deutzia (Deutzia ‘NCDX2’, Zones 5-8)

Baby Kim® lilac
Baby Kim® lilac

Baby Kim® lilac (Siringa ‘SMNSDTP’, zones 3-8).

'Cora Louise' Itoh peony
‘Cora Louise’ Itoh peony

‘Cora Louise’ Itoh peony (Paeonia (‘Cora Louise’, Zones 4-9)

'Jim's pride' Daphne
‘Jim’s pride’ Daphne

‘Jim’s Pride’ Daphne (Daphnee × Transatlantica (‘Jim’s Pride’, Zones 5-9)

Carroll plants

Perpetua® Blueberry
Perpetua® Blueberry

Perpetua® Blueberry (Vaccinium ‘ORUS-61-1’, zones 4-8).

Dwarf red-leaved sand cherry
Dwarf red-leaved sand cherry

Dwarf red-leaved sand cherry (Provence x cistenazones 2-8).

Sugar Baby® Forsythia (Credit: Proven Winner Color Selection)
Sugar Baby® Forsythia (Credit: Proven Winner Color Selection)

Sugar Baby® Forsythia (Forsythia x Intermedia ‘Nimbus’, zones 5–8).

Double Play® Candy Corn® Spirea (Credit: Proven Winners Color Choice)
Double Play® Candy Corn® Spirea (Credit: Proven Winners Color Choice)

Double Play® Candy Corn® Spirea (Credit: Proven Winners Color Choice)
Double Play® Candy Corn® Spirea (Credit: Proven Winners Color Choice)

Double Play® Candy Corn® Spirea (Spiraea japonica ‘NCSX1’, Zones 4-8)

Specialist plants

Dwarf sweet box (Sarcococcus hokeriana var. humilis, zones 6-9)
Dwarf sweet box (Sarcococcus hokeriana var. humilis, zones 6-9)
Dwarf sweet box (Sarcococcus hokeriana var. humilis, zones 6-9)
Dwarf sweet box (Sarcococcus hokeriana var. humilis, zones 6-9)

Dwarf sweet box (Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis(zones 6-9)

Eternal Fragrance ® Daphne
Eternal Fragrance ® Daphne

Eternal Fragrance ® daphne (Daphne × transatlantica ‘Blafra’, Zones 5-9)

'Wabi-Sabi' dwarf viburnum (Credit: Color Selection of Proven Winners)
‘Wabi-Sabi’ dwarf viburnum (Credit: Color Selection of Proven Winners)

‘Wabi-Sabi’ Dwarf Viburnum (Viburnum plicatum f Tomentosum ‘Wabi-Sabi’, Zones 5-8)

Link to article by expert Julie Lane Gay on dwarf shrubs:

Surprising Shrubs for Small Spaces

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