Knock Out Roses
If the thought of maintaining rose bushes seems intimidating, then you should try Knock Out Roses. This forgiving variety grows like a shrub, and takes the guesswork out of rose care. Knock Out Roses bloom profusely all season, and you can prune them at will—or not—without damaging the plant.
There are many varieties of laurel to choose from, and they are all landscaping work horses. This hardy, evergreen shrub, can be grown as a single landscaping accent, or in a group to form a hedge. Skip laurel bushes are particularly fast-growing, and will provide your yard with good privacy in short order.
There are about 50 species of privet (ligustrum), a shrub commonly used as a living privacy screen. Privet quickly grows to reach heights of 10–15 feet, and blooms with pretty, white, fragrant flowers. This shrub is a great choice for beginner gardeners, as it thrives in many soil types, and is drought-tolerant once established.
Burning bush (euonymus alatus) is probably best known for its ultra-showy fall foliage, which turns from green to fiery red. It grows quickly, and is low maintenance, which is what puts it on the short list of landscaping must-haves for many gardeners.
Related: 30 Ways to Color Your Yard This Fall
Firethorn (pyracantha) is an easy-to-grow evergreen that puts on a show with its bright orange-red berries in fall. It’s well suited for a hedge, and will attract birds and other wildlife to your property. These shrubs will fill out quickly, and can grow up to 2 feet per year.
Red Twig Dogwood
Red twig dogwood (cornus alba) produces showy white flowers in summer, but its real star power comes out in autumn and winter when the leaves drop and bright red branches bring color to the chilly landscape. This hardy, drought-tolerant shrub is one you won’t be sorry you planted.
Virburnums are an incredibly versatile group of shrubs. They have appealing foliage, and pretty flowers—some of which are beautifully scented. Many species produce berries that attract birds and other wildlife. With more than 150 species, many native to North America, you’re sure to find one that fits the bill for your yard.
One of the most welcome sights in early spring is the emergence of blazing yellow blooms from forsythia. This low-maintenance shrub is wonderful as an accent, or grown as a hedge. Not only is it beautiful is spring, but it has colorful fall foliage as well. In summer, it provides a lush green background for any landscape.
Although their show-stopping blooms might look high maintenance, hydrangeas are relatively easy to grow. They are happy in full to part sun, and thrive in a variety of soil types. With so many varieties to choose from—including the traditional “snowball” variety, oakleaf, bigleaf, and panicle—you should be able to find one to suit your climate and landscaping needs.
Spirea shrubs are hardy, quick-growing, require relatively little care. Cascading with flowers in late spring or summer, they come in a range of whites, yellows, pinks, and reds. Many varieties also have colorful fall foliage. Native to North America, spirea has been used by gardeners for hundreds of years.
The springtime emergence of branches full of fuzzy catkins is a delight for both kids and kids at heart. These shrubs thrive in moist soils, and can be an asset in a yard with poor drainage. They are easily propagated by sticking a fresh cutting straight into the ground. So, find a neighbor or friend with a pussy willow and ask them to share!
Related: 17 Ideas for Lazy Landscaping
Elderberry is native to North America, and grows easily in zones 3–10. Happy in both full sun and part shade, it blooms profusely with white flowers in summer. Its black fruit, the elderberries, follow in late summer, providing a feast for birds. This shrub is perfectly versatile, and widely available in nurseries.
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