Shrub Ideas

Grown in a wide range of colors, sizes and shapes, shrubs are ideal plants to grow in the garden. Many shrubs are evergreen, meaning they keep their color and foliage all year long to provide a burst of color among the winter landscape. Oftentimes, shrubs are drought-tolerant and ideal planted in arid climates where moisture is limited. Nestled along the back of the garden for a striking backdrop or used as a privacy hedge, shrubs create a showy landscape presence.

Flame Azalea

Flame azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum) is deciduous shrub with a slow to moderate growth rate and medium texture. Growing up to 10 feet tall and wide, flame azalea shrubs are ideal lining a garden wall for a bright burst of spring color. Plant the flame azalea shrub in masses along the garden wall or backdrop of the garden. The fragrant puffball-like flowers on flame azalea blooms in fiery colors such as red, orange and yellow to create a striking display. Flame azalea shrubs have green leaves that are oval in shape to contrast with the bright blooms. Showy and long-lasting, flame azaleas prefer full sun to part shade and moist, nutrient-rich soil with an acidic soil ranging in pH from 4.5 to 5.5. Plant the flame azalea in shallow soil, as the plant roots along the surface. The USDA Hardiness zones for planting are 5 to 7.

Wintergreen Barberry

Plant wintergreen barberry (Berberis julianae) along a front flower bed or fence line for a splash of color and texture all season long. Winter barberry shrubs are evergreen shrubs, meaning they retain their foliage and color all season long and are a bright respite to winter's dreary landscape. Growing 4 to 6 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide, winter barberry have a rounded, dense form that opens when mature. Drought-tolerant, wintergreen barberry is the hardiest evergreen barberry variety. The dark green, lustrous leaves grow 2 to 3 inches long to turn a wine color in fall. The small yellow flowers on wintergreen barberry emerge in spring to light up the bush. Wintergreen barberry shrubs prefer full sun to partial shade and a wide range of soil types. The zones for planting are 6 to 8.

Chinese Holly

A tall, commanding shrub is the Chinese holly (Ilex cornuta). Growing 8 to 15 feet tall and 5 to 7 feet wide, the Chinese holly shrub should be planted along a backyard patio or yard for a privacy hedgerow. Grown side-by-side along the landscape, Chinese holly shrubs envelop the garden to create an intimate space. An evergreen with an upright, dense and rounded form, the Chinese holly keeps its foliage and bright green color all year long. In spring, small, white flowers emerge on the Chinese holly to light up the garden. Winter brings their red berries that attract birds to the garden. Drought- and heat-tolerant, Chinese holly shrubs have dark green leaves that grow up to 4 inches long. Chinese holly shrubs prefer full sun to light shade but tolerate a wide range of soil varieties. The zones for planting are 7 to 9.

Keywords: shrub ideas, flame azalea, wintergreen barberry, Chinese holly

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer, designer and photographer in North Carolina. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate your indoor and outdoor living environment. Her articles have appeared in and and her photography has been featured in "Automotive News" magazine and