Shrub gardens

Shrubs add structure to your garden design

Try some of these shrubs to add structure to your garden and create all season interest.

Planting shrubs is the best way to fill in space quickly with minimal work.

Consider the shrub’s full size before buying and planting it. Selecting the right shrubs will keep gardens looking balanced and prevent time–consuming pruning work.

Add 5 centimetres (2 inches) of organic material (e.g. manure, compost, leaf mold) every two years to create rich, nutritious soil, and remove the need to fertilize.

For the first few weeks, keep the top 2.5 centimetres (1 inch) of soil moist. After that, water once a week until plants are established (one to two seasons).

Adding 5 to 10 centimetres (2 to 4 inches) of mulch every few years to reduce watering needs, prevent weeds and increase plant survival and growth.

Shrub garden design—full sun

At least six hours of direct sunlight a day

Shrubs for full sun

Spring interest

  • Amelanchier species, serviceberry
  • Cercis canadensis, eastern redbud
  • Viburnum trilobum, highbush cranberry

Summer interest

  • Caryopteris species, bluebeard
  • Physocarpus species, ninebark
  • Sambucus species, Elderberry

Fall interest

  • Buddleia species, butterfly bush
    • *Butterfly bush is extremely invasive in many parts of the world, each plant’s hundreds of thousands of dust-like seeds are borne on the wind and smother native plant communities. Please do no use it, and instead choose a native shrub, or a non-invasive shrub.
  • Hamamelis virginiana, witch hazel
  • Hypericum species, St. Johns wort
  • Weigela species., Wiegela

Winter interest

  • Cornus sericea, red osier dogwood
  • Ilex verticillata, winterberry
  • Juniperus horizontalis, creeping juniper

Printer-friendly: Sun – shrub garden