Best Flowering Shrubs for New Hampshire Landscapes

If you are looking for an amazing selection of flowering shrubs in New Hampshire, June is your go-to month.

Mountain laurel blooms
Mountain Laurel ‘Minuet’

Shortly after Mother’s Day is over, yards throughout the area start to burst with just about every color in the rainbow, including rhododendrons, azaleas, lilacs, flowering trees and a huge variety of spring bulbs. During this time of year, garden centers take full advantage of this “flower frenzy” by offering as many different types of flowering plants as possible.

With such a wide variety of colorful plants to choose from, you might be wondering which flowering shrubs are the best for New Hampshire landscapes. To borrow a phrase from the real estate industry, it all comes down to “location, location, location.”

A Rhododendron may look great as a “filler” plant when it is small, but it will continue to grow over the years and before long it will crowd the surrounding landscape plants. We often recommend flowering evergreens like Rhododendrons and Azaleas for foundation plantings in front of a house, provided they have ample room to spread.

When it comes to deciduous shrubs, they do especially well when planted in places that are exposed to a lot of sun and wind. Also, because they tend to grow very quickly, deciduous shrubs are ideal for filling in bare borders and as privacy screens for backyard patio areas.

Another way to choose the best flowering shrubs for New Hampshire is by consulting the USDA plant hardiness zone map. The zones determine a plant’s tolerance to cold. New Hampshire is a zone 4 or 5, but the extreme northern parts of the state are a zone 3, and along the seacoast some zone 6 plants can survive.

If you spot a flowering shrub at a local garden center, be sure to check its hardiness zone before purchasing it, and – if it’s higher than zone 6 – leave it at the store. For example, we have found that there are only about a half-dozen varieties of evergreen azaleas that will stand up to our cold winters; even those labeled zone 5 can be hard to grow successfully.

At Groundhog Landscaping, we are always happy to speak with our clients about the best flowering shrubs for their yard. Here are a few of our picks for the best flowering shrubs. If you would like to know what any of the following plants look like, just copy and paste their names into Google images:

Foundation Plants (under 5 feet tall)

  • Azalea -Delaware Valley White
  • Azalea – Blaauw’s Pink
  • Azalea -Delaware Valley White
  • Brouwer’s Beauty Andromeda
  • Japanese Andromeda ‘Mountain Fire’
  • Rhododendron PJM
  • Rhododendron Purple Gem
  • Snowball Viburnum

Shrub Border (tall, vigorous, deciduous)

  • Bridalwreath Spirea
  • Cranberry Viburnum
  • Exbury Azalea
  • Forsythia
  • Fothergilla (bottle brush)
  • Purple Lilac
  • Spirea ‘Little Princess’
  • Weigela
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