Find the Perfect Flowering Shrubs for Your Next Project

Flowering shrubs and flowering bushes are a great way to add variety and color to any landscaping project or garden. They can provide an interesting focal point in an otherwise flat landscaping project and they can even be a great colorful alternative to trees. In fact, some shrubs can even be trained as trees, reaching heights of up to 20 feet. The also require very little maintenance: usually only occasional pruning along with water and fertilizer when needed.

Landscaping with Shrubs

When choosing landscaping shrubs, you will want to consider the way that each shrub will be used for the location it is in. There are a number of ways that shrubs can be used to complement a garden or landscaping project.

One use of shrubs is to provide a border. Property lines, the sides of walkways, driveways, and around porches or decks are all great places to have a border or mixed border of shrubs and other plants. Depending on where the border is will determine the height of the shrubs you will want to use. For example, you wouldn’t want to put a shrub that will grow to 10 feet tall around the border of a patio, as it will exclude the rest of the yard from the patio visually. Be sure to check the dimensions of the fully grown shrubs before planting them to determine proper spacing and height, and that the shrubs you are planting will produce the desired results when they reach their full size.

Shrubs can also be used to create privacy. Garden shrubs could be used to produce a hedge for a nice private area around a fountain or pool, or used on a property line to create a separation between adjacent properties. If you are going to use shrubs for privacy you will definitely want to find a variety that has a natural tendency to grow up and not as far out to reduce the amount of maintenance it will require. You don’t want to have to take a lot of time training a particular variety of flowering shrub to grow higher, as all the shrubs in the hedge will require the same work and will easily take up a lot of time. In addition, a shrub can hide an unsightly object in your yard, such as an electrical box.

Finally, you can use flowering shrubs to bring attention to the focal point of a garden or yard. Landscaping with a mixed border of perennials and shrubs can really complete a feature that you are trying to bring focus to. A small fountain can seem pretty plain in a large back yard, but if you add a mixed border of perennial plants and shrubs you can make that plain fountain a much more interesting feature.  Again, especially in a situation like this you will want to make sure the shrubs you are planting is a variety that will not get too big and dwarf the fountain, or is one that can be maintained with a reasonable amount of care that will not require you to spend every waking hour pruning.

Popular Varieties

While there are many types of shrubs and endless ways to incorporate them into your garden, below are a few popular varieties that are usually easy to find.

Viburnum Shrubs

Viburnum shrubs are usually around three to six feet tall. They make a very good mixed border shrub. These are known for their hardiness and needing very little maintenance.

A white Viburnum shrub in bloom
A white Viburnum shrub in bloom

Forsythia Shrubs

Forsythia shrubs are a taller variety, and can reach eight to twelve feet tall if allowed to grow. They are generally very easy to grow and have beautiful yellow flowers in the spring.

Forsythia produce a dazzling display of yellow flowers in the spring time.
Forsythia produce a dazzling display of yellow flowers in the springtime.

Hydrangea Shrubs

Hydrangea shrubs work great as an ornamental specimen shrub in a front yard. They produce pink or blue flowers depending on the pH of the soil. An acidic soil will produce pink flowers, while an alkaline soil will produce blue flowers.

Different colors of hydrangea flowers, showing the difference between those grown in acidic soil (pink flowers) and those grown in  alkaline soil (blue flowers).
Different colors of hydrangea flowers, showing the difference between those grown in acidic soil (pink flowers) and those grown in alkaline soil (blue flowers).

Lilac Shrubs

Lilac shrubs are very hardy and produce a range of flower colors, including blue, pink, white, and red. They are also a great for attracting butterflies. They do not do well in heavy clay soils, so make sure to add plenty of organic matter and sand if your soil requires it.

Lilac shrubs can be used to make a natural and beautiful fence.
Lilac shrubs can be used to make a natural and beautiful fence.

Hibiscus Shrubs

Hibiscus shrubs also have a wide variety of flower colors and can produce great mixed border results. Like lilac shrubs, hibiscus shrubs need a well drained soil.

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