Common Garden Shrubs

Garden shrubs add texture and color to the landscape with different foliage characteristics and blooming times. Shrubs perform well when mixed with flowering perennials, evergreens and trees to create a balance in the landscape. Some shrubs stand out as mainstays in the home landscape. These hardy plants perform year after year with minimal pruning and maintenance. Gardeners use these popular shrubs in a variety of ways to decorate the exterior of the home with long-lasting foliage and beauty.


The most common garden shrubs are often simple to grow. The azalea fits the bill as an easy-to-grow plant that perfectly suits novice landscapers. Azaleas produce a profusion of blooms surrounded by evergreen foliage that adds texture to the landscape long after the blooms die off. Azalea blooms feature a cup-shaped flower in white, pink, lilac or red. This member of the rhododendron family requires well-drained soil and plenty of room to accommodate the spreading growth pattern of this plant. The azalea family of plants contains hundreds of varieties to suit many hardiness zones.


Home landscapers can literally stick the Japanese barberry into the ground and let it grow. This plant works well in the home landscape as a hedge or privacy screen. Japanese barberry features reddish leaves and produce red berries in the late fall. Barberry also features substantial thorns along the length of each branch, making this plant an excellent barrier plant for the home landscape. Barberry tolerates sun or partial shade locations and grows to a height of 6 feet. Japanese barberry offers the gardener an interesting color variation in shrub foliage. This plant grows best in zones 5 to 8.


Forsythia produces yellow cup-shaped flowers on long, arching branches. This plant grows best in zones 3 to 8 and can grow up to 10 feet in height. As forsythia produces blooms on the previous year's growth, it's best to perform pruning after blooming finishes in late spring. While forsythia will grow in partial shade locations, it produces abundant foliage and flowers when exposed to full sun.

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About this Author

S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various sites, including Helium, eHow and Xomba. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.