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Kyle Simmons
Realtor®, LHC, MRP, RSPS, PSA
301-265-5979

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Guide to landscaping: Bushes & shrubs

by Kyle Simmons 05/11/2022

When it comes to landscaping, bushes and shrubs are essential to a great design. Not only do they add dimension and aesthetic interest to an outdoor space, they are useful for creating natural barriers and highlighting other features.

If you’re interested in beginning your landscaping journey but not sure where to start with bushes and shrubs, here is a basic guide to some of the most popular choices:

Arborvitae

Arborvitae is a needled, evergreen shrub that’s extremely common in landscaping. Different cultivars can grow to different heights, some as tall as 60 feet. One of the most popular uses for arborvitae in landscaping design is to create hedge walls for privacy, either along the edges of properties or even as living fences.

Boxwood

Boxwood is a broadleaf evergreen shrub that’s perfect for formal hedges. Its small leaves and dense growth habit make it easy to trim and sculpt into specific shapes. Boxwood bushes are an excellent option for low-growing landscaping shrubs, and can thrive in full sun to part shade. However, they are a slow-growing shrub, making mature plants somewhat pricey as a result.

Rose bushes

Various types of rose bushes have been favorites in gardening and landscaping design for centuries. Deciduous rather than evergreen, rose bushes boast beautiful and fragrant blooms during the growing season. However, roses can be difficult to grow even for experienced gardeners, requiring full sun and slightly acidic soil to survive.

Lilac

Another deciduous shrub is the fragrant lilac bush. While it’s not the best choice for year-round interest, from early spring into summer the intoxicating scent of lilac flowers is a major draw for gardeners all over. Lilacs shrubs bloom in dense, purple clusters and their strong, woody stems make for strong plants that bounce back every year to put on another show.

Rhododendron

Rhododendron is an evergreen flowering shrub with broad, leathery green foliage. Their spring flowers come in a rainbow of colors depending on the cultivar, including pink, red, white, coral and yellow.

As landscaping shrubs, rhododendrons are often planted as a specimen focal point, or grouped together in woodland gardens. While they can grow very large, their growth habit doesn’t lend itself well to forming dense hedges.

When it comes to landscaping shrubs, the possibilities can seem endless. However, starting with these suggestions should put you on the right track to finding the best possible shrubs and bushes for your every landscaping need.

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