Nothing lifts the spirits like waking up to an explosion of color outside! When the trees and shrubs in your yard burst into bloom almost overnight, it suddenly transforms your space into a picturesque landscape straight out of a painting. Though they may only last for a few weeks, the scenery is absolutely breathtaking, so if you’d like to enjoy some fragrant blossoms at home during the loveliest time of year, consider adding in some of these sweet blooming shrubs and trees.
Our Favorite Flowering Trees
There’s just something so serene and romantic about walking under a canopy of flowering trees, as tiny little blooms flutter to the ground in the spring breeze. The sights and smells of spring blossoming trees are incomparable. Here are some of our favorite picks for this season:
Saucer Magnolia: The white and purple petals of this hardy magnolia tree are some of the most beautiful you’ll ever see here in Illinois, and they smell pretty incredible, too. They require little-to-no maintenance after the first year you’ve planted them, so make sure you water your magnolia tree generously for that first growing season after transplanting, but in the years that follow, only water during extended dry periods. It should grow steadily at about 1-2 feet per year, reaching a maximum of 30 feet at maturity.
Venus Dogwood: This fast-growing ornamental tree with white flowers and deep green foliage makes it an incredibly striking addition to your home landscape. It likes its water, so weekly watering will work wonders— just make sure the soil has good drainage, so the roots don’t end up soaking in stagnant water. Applying a layer of mulch to protect the roots during the hot summer with help to maintain good moisture levels so they won’t dry out as fast. It grows to about 10-20 feet tall, so it’s a nice option if you don’t have a ton of extra space, or you want something smaller and delicate to place in the front yard.
Higan Cherry: This lovely tree with pink flowers is quite cold-tolerant and heat-tolerant, making it a fantastic option for the ever-changing temperatures of Illinois. If you have a particularly warm autumn, you might even be greeted with a second set of blooms before winter approaches. They’re pretty resistant to many of the pests or diseases that tend to go after other cherry trees, so it’s a nice worry-free option requiring little maintenance.
Spring Flowering Shrubs
Lush, fragrant shrubs add so much beauty and drama to your landscape and can be strategically placed throughout the yard to section off areas of the space, or line fences and borders. These hardy spring shrubs will be lovely accompaniments for your outdoor scenery.
Lilac: The smell of fresh lilacs in May is one of those nostalgic spring scents that brings back happy memories of playing in the park. These bushy clusters of tiny blossoms come in magenta, white, or delicate periwinkle. Common lilac bushes grow up to 20 feet, but there are many smaller more compact varieties like the Manchurian Lilac, which reaches about 6 feet and boasts beautiful foliage that changes to a deep red tone in autumn. A little bit of pruning after the blooms disappear will help to maintain a nice balanced shape.
Rhododendron: We love the vibrancy of the bright pink flowers this spring blooming shrub produces. It requires acidic soil with excellent drainage, so if a pH test shows that your soil is a bit too alkaline, it might not hurt to add a little bit of sulfur or lots of compost to readjust the pH balance. Aim for a pH of 6 or less. Water it well after planting, then apply a layer of mulch across the surrounding soil, being careful not to pile up any mulch around the base.
Hydrangea: The spherical clusters of blooms on these colorful flowering bushes have really spiked in popularity over the last few years. We love the multi-tonal blue variety, but the white, pink and purple hydrangeas are equally lovely. The pH of your soil will actually affect the color of your blossoms, so if it’s alkaline soil above 7 you’ll see rosier pink blossoms, whereas a pH under 7 will produce cooler toned bluish-purple flowers. They do best in an east-facing area of the yard, so they’ll get lots of morning sun and a bit of afternoon shade.
Beautiful blooming landscapes don’t just belong in paintings and storybooks— you can achieve that dreamy floral scenery in your own backyard by planting some enchanting spring flowering shrubs and trees. Visit the Moline Garden Centre and explore our collection of blossoming beauties to add to your outdoor landscape.