Admittedly I haven’t planted any plugs or sown any seeds. Having said that, there are a number of spring flowering shrubs that offer an abundance of colour at this time of year.
Forsythia can tolerate partial shade and offer a startling spring show. It can become quite invasive though if left, so as soon as its flowered, cut it back to maintain its shape. Forsythias are fine in partial shade, not particularly drought tolerant – so prefer a moist medium but free draining too.
Camellias can perform in full sun although tolerant of shade. The aspect, however, must be sheltered and coveted from strong winds. The plant is an acid lover so the Ph is important. They’re are not drought tolerant either so in very extreme heat – the camellia will need additional water.
Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ is probably the most commonly used since it’s an evergreen. It does need a little shelter, however, but provides heavily scented flowers from late winter through to spring.
Roses should be have been cut to a third or however much you thought necessary. All dead, diseased and damaged branches need to be removed. The old growth cut back to a bud / leaf node. This avoids branches suffering any dieback.
Deutzia is related to the Hydrangea as another spring flowering shrub. Deutzia is scented, Hydrangea is not. Hydrangeas have an insatiable thirst, Deutzias do not and if anything prefer well drained soil in full sun.
Virburnums too prefer a well drained location and are heavily scented. The shrub can flower from late winter to spring so may have already done so. Virburnums are relatively robust and withstand an exposed area. Virburnums prefer full sun but will tolerate partial shade. It’s an informal shrub and not meant to look trim.
Azaeleas are acidic loving and flower in the spring. The shrub is not drought tolerant though and will require sufficient moisture. The soil needs to be as water retentive as possible so organic matter needs adding to give it substance.