When the seasons change in New England, and winter finally fades into spring, it’s time to think about beautifying your yard. A visit to the local nursery can be overwhelming, with so many trees and shrubs to choose. Gardening expert and CBS Boston contributor Mark Saidnawey of Pemberton Farms in Cambridge weighed in with his top recommendations.

Read Also: Best Flowers For Your New England Garden
Read Also: Best Fruits & Veggies For Your New England Garden

Japanese Holly (credit: wallygrom via Flickr Creative Common license)

Ilex (Holly)

It’s not just for Christmas. There are several varieties that serve as the perfect accent to your spring and summer gardens.

Azalea (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Rhododendron & Azalea

In ancient Greek language, Rhododendron means “rose tree.” These blooms are as beautiful as roses, only without the thorns.

The leaves of a Japanese Maple in autumn. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Acer Palmatum (Japanese Maple)

Expect to dig deep into your wallet if you’re going to buy one of these highly-sought-after trees. They’re worth every penny.

Lilac (credit: DanCentury via Flickr Creative Common license)

Syringa (Lilac)

Along the Mediterranean, the lilac symbolizes “love.” You’ll love the way these flowers both look and smell from mid-spring to early summer.

Hydrangea (Photo credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)


In most common varieties of Hydrangea, it’s the soil that matters. If you want blue flowers, the dirt must be acidic in pH. Neutral soils produce a pale cream petal and the alkaline soils will have you seeing pink or purple. Changing the pH can be as simple as adding the correct fertilizer.