With so many different types of shrubs available, choosing a shrub for your yard takes more than just deciding on a color. You need to take many factors into account, such as climate, soil preference, sunlight, size, shape and surrounding foliage. Some shrubs need lots of sun and some need a well-draining soil. Some shrubs grow very fast and need space between them. Some shrubs produce flowers or berries. Some are evergreen and some are deciduous.
Evergreen shrubs retain their leaves all year. Evergreens are the choice of most landscapers because they make useful hedges that can be trimmed to the desired shape and height, and many are attractive specimen plants as accents. Evergreens do best when planted in climates that are not extremely sunny or windy. Evergreen shrubs include azalea, boxwood, privet, holly, arborvitae and many others.
Dogwood shrubs make good property borders; their dense growth blocks out wind. Dogwoods do best when planted in full sun, but can thrive in partial shade. They have showy and attractive stems and flowers ideal for birds and wildlife to feast on. Dogwoods prefer moist soil and need plenty of water. Varieties include Ivory Halo, Huron, Red Twig and Kelsey.
Hydrangea shrubs have a long blooming period, which makes them popular with gardeners. The plant produces large flower clusters in blue, pink or white. The large oval leaves have a slightly heart-shaped appearance. The lobed leaves resemble an oak leaf. Hydrangeas are deciduous; that is, they lose their leaves in winter. Hydrangea shrubs include Pink Diamond, Princess Beatrix and Nikko Blue.
Juniper shrubs grow low and some make an ideal ground cover. A few varieties produce berries. The leaves vary from dark to light green and blue-green to silver-blue. Be careful not to prick your fingers on the needle-like leaves. Junipers are evergreens that prefer full sun. They are drought tolerant and can be damaged by over-watering. Varieties include Andorra, Bar Harbor, Golden Pfitzer and Blue Rug.