Shrubs offer maximum versatility in the home landscape for multiple reasons. These plants are either deciduous or evergreen. Evergreen shrubs keep bright green foliage year round to provide continual texture and color in the landscape. Deciduous shrubs add color with foliage during the warm seasons with some varieties producing flowers during a set time each year. Shrubs add dimension as permanent decorative element and can be incorporated into the landscape in a variety of ways to accentuate the property.
Shrubs provide a versatile living fence between properties. Some shrubs such as boxwood can be planted in a staggered row to create a solid wall of foliage. Any type of shrub can provide privacy as long as foliage density accommodates the situation. Plant shrubs to block heating and A/C units or to hide pool equipment from view. Allow a deciduous shrub such as a lilac or barberry to grow naturally to provide screening benefits without the maintenance. Place a series of shrubs spaced at recommended planting intervals and let the plants grow freely. The appeal of a shrub lies in the plant's ability to fill space with natural shapes and color.
Landscapers often use shrubs as the anchor plants in a garden. The wide variety of foliage colors and types of plants allow for great variety in the landscape. Evergreen shrubs come in a range of sizes and retain foliage all year. Creating focal points with tall evergreen shrubs at the house corners draws the eye to the home. Layers of smaller shrubs spaced throughout the garden complement the larger focal point plant. Deciduous shrubs can be used in the shrub garden to create different texture and to add seasonal color during the summer. These shrubs produce blooms once a year for a set period of time. Although deciduous shrubs lose foliage in the fall, they still provide interesting contrast in the garden during the growing season.
Mixed Plant Gardens
Shrubs don't need to stand alone in a garden. In fact, shrubs look best when paired with other plants in a mature landscape. Select a cultivar that suits the sunlight and growing conditions of your garden. Build around this central plant using various flowering perennial and annual plants in colors that complement the foliage of the shrub. Further blend the landscape by choosing plants with flower colors that match the shrub. This type of mixed garden gives the gardener the best of both worlds with easy-to-maintain shrubs and plenty of plants to fuss over. Always provide enough room for a shrub to reach mature growth without impediment.