According to House Beautiful gardening experts, shrubs can be the stars of any garden because the plants do it all–attract pollinators, create screening and privacy, and offer brilliant splashes of color.
Best of all, most shrubs thrive for years without requiring much work on your part! Just be sure the shrub type is suited to your area, plant it where it gets the full sun or partial shade it requires, and water regularly for the first couple of seasons to help it get established.
If you’re looking to improve your home’s curb appeal, House Beautiful notes five of the best shrubs to consider for hardiness and color:
Forsythia. Best for early blooms. Nothing says spring like that first bright pop of canary-yellow forsythia. The newer varieties are more compact for small gardens.
Lilac. Best for fragrance. Ranging from pale pink to deep purple, the spikey blooms of this old-fashioned spring bloomer are sweetly fragrant and make a great hedge or accent. Bonus: They attract butterflies and rebloom throughout the season.
Azalea. Best for shade and a low profile. This attractive shrub boasts glossy leaves and spring flowers that come in nearly every shade, including red, pink, purple and orange. There are evergreen and deciduous types, so read the plant description before buying. They can make a lovely low hedge.
Rose of Sharon. Best for full sun. This plant comes alive in late summer when many other flowering shrubs have lost their steam, and it boasts pink, white, lavender or blue flowers that bloom well into fall.
Butterfly bush. Best for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. Aptly named because its fragrant blooms of white, pink or purple typically attract butterflies and hummingbirds, this sturdy shrub is compact and non-invasive, so it plays well with other perennials in mixed border spaces.