Ideas for Landscaping with Trees and Shrubs

Using trees and shrubs in your landscape provides splashes of color and height to the outdoor space. Lining the sides of your landscape, such as alongside a road or driveway with trees, shields your home from winds and cool weather. Trees and shrubs also shade areas and cool off patios and backyard spaces in the summer months. Using larger bushes like butterfly bushes and lilacs, which can grow over 10 feet in height, is a fun way to bring in color while providing a long-lasting addition to your space.

Butterfly Bush

Shrubs come in a variety of sizes and shapes and create a vibrant focal point in the landscape and do a great job at filling in unusable yard space. Perennial shrubs like butterfly bushes create a lot of height in a space. They can grow anywhere between 10 to 15 feet in height and have colorful arching blooms. Their sweet nectar attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, making a butterfly bush a gardener's favorite. For a dramatic effect in your garden, plant two butterfly bushes on either side of a walkway or on the edge of a garden wall. Drought-resistant and heat tolerant, the twilight butterfly bush has dark purple blooms and can withstand high heat and less water. Butterfly bushes love full sun, so make sure they receive at least four hours of sunlight throughout the day.


Create an Italian-inspired landscape by planting a row of Italian cypress trees in your yard. Cypress trees can tolerate planting between 5 to 10 feet of each other and can grow over 60 feet in height. This evergreen tree is narrower than most cypress and makes the perfect accent plant in your yard. Use the cypress trees to line your driveway or to create privacy in your backyard. Plant them along the north and south sides of your house as windbreak during the cooler seasons. For small spaces, plant just one cypress in a corner of the yard for a dramatic effect but without taking up a lot of space.


Accent your landscape with a perennial lilac shrub. Lilacs can grow tall and make a beautiful privacy fence, while providing fragrant blooms and bold color in your garden. Beginning in the spring, these shrubs will blossom into the summer months. Plant the lilacs in the middle of a yard to break up the space and create a line of color. Lilacs come in a variety of colors to coordinate with your exciting color scheme and complement your space. The bright green foliage also creates a splash of greenery in your yard and provides stunning bouquets.

Keywords: trees and shrubs, landscaping with lilacs, landscape ideas

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer and photographer in North Carolina. Her work has appeared in Forbes and Automotive News magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.