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Low-Lying Bushes for the Front Yard

By Kate Carpenter ; Updated September 21, 2017
Low-growing shrubs are often grown to cover house foundations.

Shrubs that grow low to the ground, never reaching heights over 3 or 4 feet, are useful in front-yard landscapes to fill in bare spots, cover unattractive foundations, or create borders of walkways and property. Low-lying shrubs can be grown in place of groundcover or grass, and are ideal in front yard xeriscapes. Integrating low shrubbery into your front yard design will add visual interest and variety.


One of the easiest low-growing shrubs with year-round fullness and interest are conifer bushes. Most juniper shrubs grow less than 2 feet tall and will spread and fill in space for a nice, thick barrier with foliage from a yellow-green to blue-green color, depending on the species. The dwarf varieties of blue spruce and Norway spruce add a visual textual quality to your landscape while remaining under 3 feet. Conifer shrubs grow well in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 4 to 9, with well-draining soil and at least six hours of sun each day.


Evergreen shrubs differ from conifers because they do not form cones as their seedpod. Low-growing evergreen shrubs often will have leaves that are variegated or colored on the underside, giving your landscape more variety and interest. Many, like dwarf holly varieties, bear bright-colored berries, or fruit, throughout the winter months, along with retaining their leaves. Boxwood, wintercreeper, sawara, euonymous and yew shrubs are frequently used as front-yard landscapes for USDA zones 4 to 9, particularly as foundation shrubs around homes because these plants tolerate partial shade well.


Deciduous low-lying shrubs are generally used in front-yard landscapes to define borders, visually soften areas and add seasonal interest to your yard with flowers, seedpods, fruits, berries, fall color and colorful twigs, stems and bark. Deciduous shrubs can be attractive year-round, even after they have dropped their foliage. Barberry, chokecherry, cotoneaster and broom bushes are visually interesting low- growing shrubs that will add variety to your front landscape.


Flowering shrubs are grown in landscapes simply because the homeowner usually likes the particular blossoms of the plant, no matter how short lived. Most flowering shrubs that bear fragrant, colorful flowers are deciduous and will have attractive foliage during the growing season. Because flower-bearing shrubs are so favored, dwarf varieties have been developed that are more conducive to front yard landscaping. Lilacs, weigela, quince, spirea, cinquefoil and azeala are all available in dwarf versions that grow under 4 feet. Hydrangea shrubs and roses grown in your front-yard landscape are naturally low to the ground and ideal for bright spots of color.