After a deceptively mild December, winter showed up with a vengeance in January. Freezing cold, plenty of snow, and some ice mixed in for good measure. When you’re not thinking about how much you don’t want to shovel yet again you’re likely thinking about the promise of spring. You know what that means: a trip to the garden center.

After all, shopping for the spring garden is a lot more fun than shopping for spring clothes. Unlike

swimsuit shopping, you don’t go out to the patio container to find that it doesn’t fit anymore. Take a

break from making snow angels to finalize your plans for spring flowering shrubs:

Forsythia. It’s not really spring until the forsythia bloom. If you’re going to have a one-hit wonder in

your yard (and after this January you deserve some forsythia cheer) do it right. Show Off® has the best

bloom display of any forsythia on the market. Available in regular, portion-control and bite sized


Chaenomeles. Quince are another traditional herald of spring. The candy-colored flowers are just what

we need after a grey winter. Double Take™ quinces have huge, doubled flowers for extra impact and are thornless. That makes them especially good for those of us who can’t wait for warm weather and want to cut some for forcing indoors.

Exochorda. Yet another old-timey plant that has been reinvented for modern gardens. Snow Day® pearl-bush varieties were selected for their improved flower display. They leave ‘The Bride’ waiting at the altar…

Deutzia. You want spring flowers. A plant that will stay small without pruning would be nice, too. And even if you don’t want to think about it now, you would like some colorful foliage this fall.

Yuki Cherry Blossom™ and Yuki Snowflake™ deutzias have all that and more: they’re deer-resistant, too. You’re welcome.

Viburnum. There are viburnums with summer flowers, and viburnums with fall color. But right now I’m

talking about a viburnum with fragrant spring flowers: Spice Girl®. Her spicy sweet flowers are hard to

resist. I deserve this plant, and so do you. It’s our reward for the pre-swimsuit season diets we will be

starting tomorrow.

You can find out more about these and other spring stars at the Proven Winners® website. Get that want list together and ask your favorite garden center to order those plants for you. Because if you wait until spring, well, you know what nurseries are like in spring. Call them now, while they’re snowed in!