Shrubs add year-round structure and presence to a landscape. Learn how to use them effectively in your garden no matter what kind of look you're going for. Here are some ways you can add a bit of flair to your yard.

Pair with Annuals

When you think of shrubs, you might envision large woody plants that are just one step down from trees. And some of them fit that description. But others don't. There are many low-growing and dwarf varieties available these days. The big benefit: the shrubs remain even after the annuals have died.

FIND ANNUALS IN-STORE

Grow Beside Perennials

If you like to grow tall perennials, then you know how valuable a few large ornamental grasses can be as a backdrop. Shrubs offer the same benefit — only you won't have to wait until fall for them to peak.

FIND PERENNIALS IN-STORE

Decorate an Outdoor Room

A wall of green wouldn't do much for prettifying your patio. Instead, choose a flowery hydrangea, which, once it reaches its full glory, holding onto its blooms for weeks on end so that visitors can enjoy the spectacle. Even after the blooms fade, they still remain attractive.

FIND HYDRANGEAS IN-STORE

Back up a Garden Structure

A white obelisk might get lost against the house, but putting a bayberry behind the garden structure acts as a backdrop, setting off the garden structure with dramatic flair.

FIND BAYBERRIES IN-STORE

Act as Garden Art

Topiary is one way of turning a shrub into a work of art. It can be something simple, like a globe-shaped boxwood, or something ornate, like you'd find at a botanical centre. Either way, you're creating an instant focal point and conversation starter.

FIND BOXWOODS IN-STORE

Attract Wildlife

Shrubs are invaluable for attracting birds and other wildlife. Evergreens offer year-round shelter and deciduous shrubs often bear fruit, nuts, or seeds for food. And all provide potential material for birds building nests.

FIND EVERGREEN SHRUBS IN-STORE

Provide Privacy

A row (or two) of arborvitae accomplishes more than a wall or stockade fence. It provides privacy, yet it looks as if it's part of the garden. The same could be said of juniper, yew, or any other evergreen used as a screen.

FIND JUNIPERS IN-STORE

Complete a Picture

When creating a landscape mosaic, shrubs complete the picture, helping transition from taller trees to low-growing ground covers and turf grass. While the pines, spruces, and hemlocks are attractive in their own right, they are "grounded" by the dwarf conifers and barberry in front. In effect, they look more at home.

FIND DWARF CONIFERS IN-STORE

Related Articles