Consult this list of shrubs before you shop at the nursery. My "Top 10" list describes popular specimens for the yard, as well as some bushes with which novices may be less familiar. Other bushes, of course, could easily have been included in this list, such as the ever-popular azaleas
. But the kinds of shrubs presented in this listing are a good place to start, especially if year-round color
in the landscape is your goal.
The first 9 bushes on my must-have list of shrubs all merit inclusion based on the color they bring to the yard during a particular season (although some offer multi-season interest). I've placed witch hazel at the beginning of this list of shrubs, because it ushers in the growing season -- at least in my own zone 5
landscape, where it is the earliest plant to bloom. Flowering as it does in March, my witch hazel gives me the jump on everyone else in the neighborhood, in terms of having something in bloom in the yard.
The 'Elegantissima' cultivar of red twig dogwood outdoes even oakleaf hydrangea (above). A titan of four-season landscaping
, this plant offers year-round visual interest. But despite bearing spring blossoms, variegated leaves in summer, and berries from summer to fall, clearly this plant's common name explains the main reason people grow it: namely, the bush's red twigs, which are brightest in winter.