Info Articles > Categories > Home and Garden > Choosing Ornamental Shrubs and Flowers for your Garden > Garden Shrub landscaping

Garden Shrub landscaping


Shrubs of the latitude of New York fall into three classes in regard to height: First, low dwarf shrubs in full development growing seldom over 2.5 feet high. These should be planted about 2 feet apart. In this class are the holly leaved barberry, dwarf deutzia, Japanese barberry, coral berry and spiraea Anthony waterer. For this class of shrubs where especial refinement is desired, hardy perennials are often substituted. Those suitable for such substitution are German iris, phlox paniculata, peonies, funkia or day lilies, spirsea Jap, or Astilbe Japonica and Adam's needle or Yucca.

The second or medium height shrubs are those which at full development attain approximately 5 to 6 feet and are usually planted about 3 to 4 feet apart. This class includes the Weigela roseum, purple leaved barberry, mock orange, golden bell, yellow flowering currant, Japan quince, sweet shrub, Deutzia pride of Rochester, Regal's privet, Van Houtte's spireas, Japanese spirea, bridal wreath, snowberry, tall bush cranberry, Japanese snowball, single Japan snowball, withe rod, Ramanan's rose (Jap.), groundsel-tree and sweet pepper bush.

The list of shrubs just mentioned is usually mixed with and backed up by the third classification, which are those plants which when full grown are taller than 6 or 7 feet; but which do not reach the proportion or character of small trees. In the list we have the lilac, large flowering mock orange, five fingered aralia, common barberry, witch hazel, strawberry tree, Amoor's privet, buckthorn, red and black elderberries, smoke tree, arrow wood, wayfaring tree, sheepberry, arbor vitae (evergreen), red twigged dogwood and hazel.

Small ornamental trees which may be placed singly or in groups of three about 8 feet apart among the shrubs in the border plantation are the red bud, flowering dogwood, staghorn sumac, white birch, maidenhair tree and the smooth sumac.

Certain shrubs are of such a type that they should be used singly, as specimen plants. They are usually set a little out from the main mass of shrubbery into the border which serves as a background to set off the specimen to best advantage. Of such shrubs we have the hardy hydrangea, rose of sharon, spindle tree, white fringe, flowering almond, and hawthorn.