Trees and shrubs that bloom in spring with robust fragrance should be put in the ground the previous fall. This allows the plant time to root before frost hits, a jump-start that’ll show in its future growth.
Scented Flowers Awaken that Springtime Vigor
Burkwood viburnum (Viburnum x burkwoodii) begins blooming as early as March, with white blossoms and a fragrant reminiscent of cloves. With time the flower umbels turn pale pink. You’ll see the opposite color progression in arrowwood (Viburnum carlesii), which blooms pink and becomes white. These have probably the most intense and sweetest scent of the Viburnum genus. It’s size that distinguishes fragrant snowball (Viburnum x carlcephalum); just as its name suggests, it has particularly large flower umbels of a pure white that’s put to best effect as a solitary planting.
Fragrant Violas in February
Another blossom that makes an early spring appearance is white forsythia (Abeliophyllum distichum). It pops up in February and looks very similar to its better-known, yellow-flowered cousin. White forsythia will give off a pleasant smell long before other plants have even begun to emerge from winter slumber.
Don’t Prune Spring Flowers
As a general rule, woody plants that blossom in the spring are not pruned back. This is because the buds for next year form on the twigs and branches that form during the previous growing season. These must be preserved if you want fragrance and flowers next spring.