Using Bushes in Your Landscaping

Most people think of bushes as things which are just there.

And that’s actually the furthest thing from the truth.

In reality, bushes can play a big part of your landscape design plans and can provide a sense of order and structure to your outdoor living space.

Whether you’re planning your landscaping around existing bushes, or are looking to incorporate new shrubs into your garden, bushes have a variety of uses and functions.

boxwood borderLine a walkway or your swimming pool

Small shrubs or bushes – spaced evenly apart – can provide a nice border to surround a walkway and front entrance or even a swimming pool or pond.

For a swimming pool, bushes can also create extra security, privacy and intimacy.

boxwoodCreate a shrub garden

Wait, gardens are for plants and flowers, right?

Yes they are. But they can also be used for other things – including shrubs and bushes.

If you have a small space in your backyard you want to full, a small shrub garden is the perfect option.

Some tiny – but lovely – bushes include:

  • Boxwood
  • Wintercreeper
  • Hebes
  • Junipers

As a central focal point

A bush or shrub strategically located can be a central focal point for your backyard landscaping or outdoor living space.

From here, you can surround it with:

training branchesEspalier with it

Espalier (as a verb) means to train a shrub so that it can grow up against a flat wall.

Now, this isn’t something that can be done in a few weeks. To espalier properly, it may take up to two years with ongoing care and maintenance.

Here are the basics on how to espalier:

  1. Plan a pattern: This could be something as simple as a star, or something more complex and custom
  1. Choose a location: A solid wall with enough light and room to plant should suffice
  1. Select the plant: A shrub that features naturally spreading branches will work best
  1. Prepare the support: Branches will naturally try to grow towards the sun, so you’ll need to install wires in the design you want that can withstand the branches’ pull towards the sun
  1. Plant the shrub: Plant it about one foot in front of the wall support you’ve built
  1. Train the branches: Remove all but two shoots on each branch and attach the remaining shoots to the wire support with soft ties

It takes time and patience to properly espalier a shrub.

But the results are simply spectacular.

Do more with your bushes

Bushes don’t have to be an afterthought when it comes to your garden. With proper planning and care, they can have a starring role.

If you’re ready to take your yard from blah to bliss, we’d love to help!

Download our our backyard design checklist and start planning the backyard of your dreams! 

Still looking for some inspiration? We’ve got you covered with a free lookbook.

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