Shrubs are often overlooked in landscapes, usually just adding a bulk of greenery. Typically, added to the landscape as low maintenance fillers around a home’s foundation, provide screening, or as a low walkway edge. Shrubs have the potential to provide so much more interest in your landscape. Here are some landscaping ideas to give you a fresh take on the use of shrubs in your landscaping.


Mix It Up

Shrubs are an important part of a woodland garden or cottage garden. Alongside flowing perennials, shrubs will provide structure to these more natural looking landscape designs.


Colorful Foliage

Shrubs with colorful or variegated foliage can provide contrast to their surroundings, adding interest to the landscape.  Variegate shrubs will give you a splash of white or creamy yellow.  Maroon or light green foliage of many shrubs gives you color in your landscaping throughout the season.


Variegated Shrubs

Ivory Halo Dogwood, Viburnum ‘Variegatum’, or Dabbled Willow; Shrubs with colorful foliage: Wine & Roses Weigela, ‘Nugget’ Ninebark, or Royal Burgundy Barberry.



Use shrubs to create symmetry with perfectly measured out spacing along square or rectangular spaces in your landscaping. Boxwood is a great choice to be able to keep the form and spacing exactly as you intended.


Create Bird Habitats

Creating an environment that birds love will bring excitement to your landscaping. Shrubs allow the birds a place to hide, hunt, and build nests. Many shrubs produce berries that will add attractive color until the birds find them. Shrubs that attract birds: Serviceberry, Gray Dogwood, Common Winterberry, or Elderberry.


Fall Color

As summer fades and geese are heading south, keep the color alive in the landscape with shrubs that have brilliant fall color. Shrubs with great fall color: Smokebush, Witch Hazel, or Serviceberry.


Winter Interest

After flowers are gone and the ground is snow covered, shrubs can provide interest and structure to your landscape during the coldest months of the year. The shrubs don’t always have to be evergreen to provide value.  The Redtwig Dogwood provides a red contrast to the white background producing a picturesque scene in your winter landscape.