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Spring flowering trees and shrubs

Trees and shrubs add wonderful permanence and structure to gardens, as well as shade and privacy. Spring is when many trees and shrubs are covered in masses of beautiful blooms, adding a colourful or sometimes fragrant dimension to outdoor spaces. If you have room for a spring flowering tree at your place, here are some ideas.

Crab apples

Crab apples (Malus spp.) are a frenzy of bee-attracting flowers in early spring and come in a range of beautiful colours including deep pink, white, scarlet red and pastel pink. Different varieties range from 3 to 6m tall and some have attractive autumn foliage or small edible fruit. Crab apples are ideal for small to medium-sized gardens in cool and temperate climates, providing summer shade and being deciduous, allowing in winter sun. You can make delicious jelly from the fruit.


Jacarandas (Jacaranda mimosifolia) are at their spectacular flowering best in mid to late October and November, creating a haze of purple in many places across the country. Not only are jacarandas gorgeous when in flower, they are fabulous shade trees for large gardens, growing up to 15m tall. The leaves fall in mid spring followed by their glorious floral display. Jacarandas grow best in temperate and tropical climates, however, in cooler areas will tolerate light frosts

once established.


Blueberry ash (Elaeocarpus reticulatus) is an Australian native evergreen rainforest tree that grows up to 5m tall. They produce frilled pink flowers in spring and then bird-attracting colourful blue berries. Blueberry ash makes a great screening or hedge tree and will tolerate light shade.

For smaller spaces, consider these spectacular spring flowering shrubs.

plum gorgeous

Loropetalum ‘Plum Gorgeous’ has year-round deep purple foliage and intriguing pink tasselled flowers in spring and autumn. Growing to around 1.5m tall and 2m wide, it maintains a naturally dense domed habit and can be used in mixed garden beds, grown as an informal hedge or makes a stunning feature plant in full or part shade.

Port wine magnolia (Magnolia figo) is a large dense evergreen shrub, growing to around 3m tall, that has divinely scented mauve and cream cup-shaped flowers in spring. They smell like bubblegum! It’s an ideal screening plant or to grow near a window and allow the fragrance to waft inside.

Azaleas range from petite bushes to large shrubs and come in almost every colour from white through to bright pink and also yellow and salmon as well as two-toned and double flowers. Happiest in a garden bed or pot that receives morning sun and afternoon shade, they’ll bring beautiful colour into the garden.

Courtesy of Yates