Cercis chinensis 'Avondale’, a form of the Chinese redbud, makes a large shrub or small tree, with masses of purple-pink pea flowers on the bare shoots in late March and April. The leaves then unfurl; they are very big, heart-shaped, pale green in colour and turn yellow in autumn. This plant is hardy, happiest in full sun or partial shade, and likes a fertile, moist but well-drained soil.
Halesia carolina is one of the choicest of all spring shrubs (or small trees), having adorable, nodding, pure white snowdrop flowers in late spring, once the plant has a few years on the clock. These are ¾in long, and hang in clusters of three or five on short stalks. These flowers turn into 2in-long, pear-shaped fruit with four wings and a tail. When fully ripe, these are brown, chiming well with the leaves, which yellow in autumn. Halesias like a sheltered spot in sun or part shade in neutral or acid soil.
'Leave the plant looking messy over winter & amp; prune only after growth has restarted. Even then always leave some long straggly bits. When pruning never cut hard to the main stems. Never prune late in the season.'