Garden Plants: Shrubs

If you dream about having a successful garden, you should have shrubs. Shrubs give a landscape design its overall structure. With a seemingly endless list of shrubs available to the gardener, choosing the appropriate one for your garden takes a bit of planning. This article covers some common, easy to grow shrubs.

Many deciduous shrubs, those shrubs which lose their leaves in winter, are easy to grow and require very little maintenance. Hydrangea, for example, is a popular deciduous shrub which can thrive for years with only occasional pruning. Hydrangeas are essential to the garden in summer for color and foliage texture. They’re one of the few summer blooming shrubs and no garden is complete without them.

Butterfly bush is an easy care, summer blooming shrub with fragrant flowers. As the name suggests, they’re attractive to butterflies. Some varieties grow up to six feet tall and six feet wide so they’re more suitable to the larger garden.


Viburnums have long been a gardener’s favorite as they’re one the most versatile, adaptable and easy care shrubs available. There are over 120 varieties of Viburnum so there’s one for every garden. Some viburnums, such as the Korean spice or judii varieties are suitable for shrub borders and as specimen plants. Others have a more natural feel, such as the arrowwood or maple-leaf viburnum, which are great for the woodland garden. Most varieties retain colorful berries in the winter.



Many evergreens are easy to grow as well and provide gardens with year-round interest. Rhododendrons, for example, a showy, spring blooming shrub, are ideal for the mixed border and perfect for naturalizing the landscape. Once a rhododendron is planted, it requires little maintenance. Though not necessary, pinching off spend blooms encourage a healthy bloom the following year.

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Azaleas, like rhododendrons, are quite versatile and suitable for a number of garden situations. They’re perfect for the shade gardens as their colorful spring flowers brighten up the landscape. They work as well planted among other shrubs in a foundation planting as they do in the woodland garden or formal garden. Occasional pruning may be needed to keep them at the size which is best suited to your garden.

Hollies are wonderful evergreen shrubs which are perfect as a hedge or as a privacy screen. They’re also suitable for the foundation planting. Hollies require a bit of pruning to retain their shape, but they are worth the effort since they form beautiful red berries in the winter.


Evergreen boxwood shrubs are hardy and, unless you’re your planting a formal garden, require only light pruning once a year. Boxwoods are generally available in mounding and upright varieties. They’re ideal for hedges, the entrance garden or a courtyard.


When designing your garden, its important to determine the site conditions of your garden. Refer to a plant hardiness map to determine what will grow well in your area. Choosing the appropriate plant results in fewer garden problems and less maintenance. Ideal for people with busy schedules, easy care shrubs thrive with little upkeep and remain beautiful for years.

shrub garden-shrubs


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