From earliest spring azaleas and rhododendrons put on jaw-dropping displays of colour. The deciduous azaleas are particular drama queens. These sizeable shrubs flaunt fragrant bouquets of gold, orange and rosy pink. If you prefer a more demure colour scheme, look to the perfume- packed deciduous viburnums or lilacs (Syringa) for an equally floriferous performance. If space is limited consider hebes, lavenders, ericas and evergreen azaleas, these compact shrubs punch way above their weight with the colour they produce on their small tidy frames.
ABOVE: Pink dogwood, Cornus florida ‘Rubra’ is a small deciduous tree. FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Lilac (Syringa), Laburnum, Rhododendron.