Ah Spring. The most hopeful time of the year. All around is new growth and renewal. Birds are raising chicks, bulbs are emerging from the earth and each day is longer than the next.
Perhaps the most iconic image of spring is that of blossoming trees! Bare branches covered in delicate blooms, pink, white and purple. Sweetly perfumed, they are dazzling against clear blue skies.
Blossoming trees are the gardeners’ reward for having patience throughout the long cold winter. They are often the first sign of warmer days ahead, and completely transform our gardens and city. Living in Melbourne, we think that a Spring blossoming tree is a must for gardens of every size.
In a small courtyard, a single specimen tree in flower is a marvel to behold at close quarters. In a larger garden, planting multiple of the same variety gives the landscape a sense of magic.
In this blog we show you our favourite Spring flowering trees that are just perfect for a Melbourne garden!
The Cercis family is quickly becoming some of our all time favourite trees. They perfectly combine delicate Spring blossom with large, heart shaped foliage in Summer and Autumn.
The Forest Pansy has a delicate display of mauve flowers, with rich burgundy foliage in Summer, turning crimson and copper in Autumn.
Cercis Chain of Hearts has equally sweet pink flowers, followed by bright green foliage.
The bright pink flowers of Cercis Avondale grow so densely, the branches look almost like coral in late winter.
Happy in full sun, Cercis varieties do best with protection from strong winds which can tear the leaves.
These compact trees will add old world charm to a sunny spot in the garden.
Some of the last to put on their spring show, Crabapples are wonderful for extending the flowering season. Masses of flowers appear after the first flush of foliage, in tones of rich pink through to soft white. The small apples that appear in late summer, are called crabs are hand like small christmas baubles from the branches. Versatile and tough, they can be pruned into espaliers and trained as a standard. Malus floribunda varieties have fine fluttering foliage, while Malus ioensis has sweetly scalloped leaves. And then there’s Malus Royal Raindrops with rich burgundy foliage, a great alternative for the Forest Pansy in a windy location.
There is nothing as elegant as a graceful weeping tree covered in soft Spring blossom. The long swaying branches covered in pink and white blooms look akin to billowing fountains.
Weeping Prunus varieties are compact in size, making them perfect for smaller gardens and being in the centre of garden beds with a lush underplanting. They work in all manner of garden styles, from the super formal with lots of box hedging, florific cottage gardens overflowing with lavender, salvia and roses or tranquil gardens where they are grown next to a stream or large pond. They also take on bright jewel-like colours in Autumn for extra seasonal appeal. Weeping Apricots flower early, in late winter, with soft pink blooms. The blossom of the weeping Peach has large blooms in a gorgeous deep pink, and Cherries range from pink to white.
We often think of small compact trees when it comes to Spring blooms, but there are some lovely shade trees that also put on a show of the most delightful flowers. Perhaps the most lovely is the glowing beauty of Robinia Frisia.
The bright golden foliage of Spring is luminous in the sunshine anc as it fills out it fades to the softest green. Amongst the feathery foliage, large hanging clusters of white blooms fil the air with sweet perfume. The clusters of flowers are similar to that of Wisteria and are beautifully elegant.
Robinias do require a little space, but they are certainly one of the most magical trees that you could include in a garden.