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Common Shrubs for Landscaping

By Callie Barber ; Updated September 21, 2017
Barberry shrub berries
barberry image by AGphotographer from Fotolia.com

Landscaping shrubs have the ability to transform a garden into a vibrant and inviting space. Grown in a wide range of sizes and shapes, common landscape shrubs are typically evergreen, meaning they retain their color and foliage throughout the year, including winter. Oftentimes landscape shrubs are drought-tolerant to keep maintenance down to a minimum. Tucked along a garden wall or lining a front walk, landscape shrubs are a garden staple.

Indian Hawthorn

Indian hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis x delacourii) is an evergreen shrub that is drought tolerant with a medium to coarse texture. Popular planted in rows along a porch or patio, Indian hawthorn shrubs have an open, mounded form that is spreading and irregular in shape. Growing 3 to 6 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide, Indian hawthorn have pale pink flowers that grow 2 to 3 inches wide to emerge in spring. The glossy dark green leaves grow 1 to 3 inches long and are oval in shape. Indian hawthorn requires full sun to part shade and moist, well-drained soil. Plant Indian hawthorn in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hardiness zones 7 to 10.

Crimson Pygmy Japanese Barberry

Crimson pygmy Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii 'Crimson Pygmy') is a deciduous shrub with slow growth rate and low growing habit, ideal growing along the border of the landscape. Growing 2 to 3 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide, crimson pygmy Japanese barberry has a compact form. The leaves on crimson pygmy Japanese barberry are deep burgundy with a splash of bronze. Growing under 1-inch long, the leaves cast a green tinge when grown in shade. The flowers on crimson pygmy Japanese barberry range from yellow to red to orange all of which light up the bush and garden with brilliant color. Beginning in summer the red berries emerge to last into winter. Crimson pygmy Japanese barberry requires full sun to light shade and tolerates a wide range of soil varieties, excluding overly wet soil. Plant in USDA zones 6 to 8.

Green Gem Boxwood

Green gem boxwood (Buxus 'Green Gem') is a common evergreen landscaping shrub with a slow growth rate and medium texture. Growing 3 to 4 feet tall and wide, the rounded, dense mound of foliage is popular planted throughout the landscape for year-round color. Green gem boxwood does not require much pruning, creating an unfussy shrub variety. The shiny dark green leaves keep the garden with color all year long, an added bonus to the green gem. Beginning in spring, the yellow flowers emerge to light up the landscape with color. Green gem requires full sun to part shade and well-drained, moist soil. Plant in USDA zones 7 to 9.


About the Author


Callie Barber has been writing professionally since 2002. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate indoor and outdoor living environments. Her articles have appeared on Travels.com and GardenGuides.com. Barber holds a Bachelors of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina.