Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles sp.) is one of the first shrubs to bloom in early spring.
Southern Living recently wrote an article advocating why the Quince blooms, both on the shrub and as cut flowers, are worth the thorns. They even suggest using the thorny bush as an attractive security feature.
Note that most varieties of Quince will grow to fairly tall heights (up to 6' tall), but that pruning can help keep the shrub looking good.
Stop by the garden center to see how Flowering Quince will fit into your landscape plan. We can also suggest other spring-blooming options!