Shrubs provide the ideal backbone for mixed borders and can also create an eye-catching focal point. By planting shrubs that flower at different times, you can add interest to the garden right through the year.
Discover five of the best shrubs flowering in March, for spring colour and scent, below.
Few spring flowers can match the flaming orange blooms of the Japanese quince (Chaenomeles japonica) that adorn the branches from March to May. While the flowers look elegant and delicate, this is a robust and easy to grow shrub. Pink, white, peach, red and yellow-flowered cultivars are also available.
Camellias are particularly versatile plants because they combine well with different styles of planting, whether the vision is the classic ‘English’ garden or a woodland-style scheme, where it can be paired with other shrubs like rhododendrons. Plus, many cultivars, such as ‘Water Lily’, have scented flowers.
Forsythias are in bloom from around January to April, so by March the display should be in full swing. The bright yellow blooms are unmissable and there are many varieties to grow, including the vigorous ‘Spectabilis’ and the reliable ‘Weekend’.
These attractive, evergreen shrubs produce dense clusters of white, fragranced flowers from December to April. Viburnum tinus can be grown as hedging or as a specimen shrub in borders or alone. Varieties to grow include ‘Lucidum’ and ‘Gwenllian’. Watch out for viburnum beetle.
The rich, spicily scented flowers of the golden or buffalo currant, Ribes odoratum, are the perfect partner to spring-flowering bulbs and spring-flowering perennials, including daffodils and pulmonarias. In autumn the foliage turns a handsome red-purple colour. Fully hardy, this lovely shrub prefers full sun, in any well-drained soil.
The right soil for camellias
Camellias like an acid (ericaceous) soil. If you don’t have these conditions in you garden, grow them in containers using ericaceous compost.