38 Clever Backyard Shrub Garden Ideas

Shrubs always make a garden look fuller and can double as an amazing substitute for fencing. Find amazing projects with our 38 stunning shrub garden ideas.
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38 Clever Backyard Shrub Garden Ideas

Welcome to our gallery showcasing the world of shrub gardens!

There are many kinds of shrubs that can serve a large number of purposes. Many people like to have them around their property to create a barrier and act as substitute fencing. Though there are plenty of shrubs that can also be placed in stunning arrangements in shub gardens.

Shrubs come in many different textures and consistencies. Some shrubs even have wonderful flowers and interesting colors. A full and lush shrub garden may be perfect to accent your home or landscape with its appealing textures.

What are the pros and cons of curating a shrub garden?

Pros

  1. Disease resistant – Some shrubs are very resistant to disease. You won’t likely have to worry about illness wiping out your shrubbery. (Source: Home Guides)
  2. Flexible – Shrubs come in all shapes and sizes. There have been shrubs bred to fit nearly any space and application.
  3. Natural barrier – Some common uses of shrubbery include as a windblock and as a privacy hedge. Using shrubs for these functions can provide a more natural look than a fence can. Many people prefer the verdant and lively look of shrubs to that of fences. A shrub barrier can also act as a noise and dust dampener, keeping your space lest dusty and quieter.
  4. Shapeable – With trimming and maintenance you can shape your shrubs to your liking. Some shrubs can be shaped in very intricate and interesting shapes.
  5. Easy to work with – When building barriers and shaping your landscaping, it is much easier to mold and shape plants around curves and difficult terrain than it is to make rigid building materials like wood work.

Cons

  1. Animals – Some types of shrubs attract specific animals. Deer are drawn in by certain shrubs. They like to eat it and can smell it from far away. Once they are in your area they may then be attracted to your other plants. Be careful of which shrubs you pick and be aware of what animals you may attract to your yard by planting them. (Source: Home Guides)
  2. Environmentally sensitive – Shrubs can be sensitive to weather and environmental conditions. If there is too much salt, wind, or heat you may have to give the shrubs a bit of extra attention. (Source: Home Guides)
  3. Maintenance – Depending on your choice of shrubbery you may need to provide continued upkeep. Shrubs can grow pretty wildly, and if you want a neat and manicured lawn you will have to tend to them on a regular basis.

There are many types of shrubs. Depending on your area, what is native, and what is available, you may be looking at a wide range of costs for shrubbery. Inexpensive shrubs may be priced at a few dollars, upward toward $10 in some cases. If you decide on getting expensive shrubbery you may end up spending nearly $80 per plant.

That may not be where the cost ends though. Shrubs can grow pretty wild and may need some maintenance care. If you are willing to work on the shrubs yourself the only additional costs will be the sweat equity you are willing to put in. If you choose to have professionals do the work you may be looking at a bill of around $70. If your shrubs grow tall enough you may need specialized help; these services can end up costing around $300. (Source: Red Beacon)

Find more backyard ideas in our definitive guide to backyards!

Shrub gardens have a tendency to be very full. If you gather a number of shrubs and let them grow your shrub garden will be a very interesting mix of textures and colors.

Shrub gardens have a tendency to be very full. If you gather a number of shrubs and let them grow your shrub garden will be a very interesting mix of textures and colors.

Not all shrubs are large. A few well placed small shrubs can accentuate rock features or other flowers. Using them as a backdrop for other features is a great idea.

Not all shrubs are large. A few well placed small shrubs can accentuate rock features or other flowers. Using them as a backdrop for other features is a great idea.

Large shrubs can block off areas and give a fuller silhouette to your space. Your stream can seemingly come from a dense wood with the proper arrangements of large luscious shrubs.

Large shrubs can block off areas and give a fuller silhouette to your space. Your stream can seemingly come from a dense wood with the proper arrangements of large luscious shrubs. Source: Andrea_44 / Flickr

Using shrubs and hedges as fences is a very popular use for them. You can have them outlining paths or even act as divider walls around separate areas. This divides up your space while keeping the theme natural and verdant.

Using shrubs and hedges as fences is a very popular use for them. You can have them outlining paths or even act as divider walls around separate areas. This divides up your space while keeping the theme natural and verdant.

Here we see a wide variety of wonderful shrubs around a yard. These shrubs serve multiple purposes. The taller shrubs wind around the perimeter to create a natural barrier to the space. There are also smaller shrubs around the footpaths and some in the garden to provide color and texture.

Here we see a wide variety of wonderful shrubs around a yard. These shrubs serve multiple purposes. The taller shrubs wind around the perimeter to create a natural barrier to the space. There are also smaller shrubs around the footpaths and some in the garden to provide color and texture. Source: Zillow Digs™

These flowering shrubs act as a colorful and visually appealing fence to this backyard. They are short so you can see over them but still divide the space. The slight variation in the colors add the depth and dynamic nature of this shrub garden.

These flowering shrubs act as a colorful and visually appealing fence to this backyard. They are short so  you can see over them but still divide the space. The slight variation in the colors add the depth and dynamic nature of this shrub garden.

This statue area is surrounded by a wild variety of shrubs. Highlighting manmade features with the natural texture of shrubs can bring that contrast to attention. If you let the shrubs grow wild as well you can create an aged and almost mystical feel.


This statue area is surrounded by a wild variety of shrubs. Highlighting manmade features with the natural texture of shrubs can bring that contrast to attention. If you let the shrubs grow wild as well you can create an aged and almost mystical feel. Source: Dave Catchpole / Flickr

Large green shrubs are a fantastic backdrop for smaller flowering shrubs. It creates a depth and contrast that is visually appealing and interesting.

Large green shrubs are a fantastic backdrop for smaller flowering shrubs. It creates a depth and contrast that is visually appealing and interesting.

Shrubs are a great accent to other features. This landscape has a rock and flower garden accentuated with a variety of shrubs. Mixing and matching shrubs is a wonderful way to build a more natural and dynamic look.

Shrubs are a great accent to other features. This landscape has a rock and flower garden accentuated with a variety of shrubs. Mixing and matching shrubs is a wonderful way to build a more natural and dynamic look.

These shrubs are lining a footpath to the backyard. This is a way to spice up a walkway so that traveling from a front yard to a backyard still holds interesting appeal.

These shrubs are lining a footpath to the backyard. This is a way to spice up a walkway so that traveling from a front yard to a backyard still holds interesting appeal. Source: Zillow Digs™

Shrubs and vines are perfect for outlining features such as lamp posts. It takes a potentially out of place feature and integrates it into the rest of the landscaping.


Shrubs and vines are perfect for outlining features such as lamp posts. It takes a potentially out of place feature and integrates it into the rest of the landscaping.

Some shrubs can have wonderful displays of colors and flowers. Because shrubs are larger, they can cover more area in these glorious colors. If you need lots of color covering a large area a flowering shrub may be your friend.

Some shrubs can have wonderful displays of colors and flowers. Because shrubs are larger, they can cover more area in these glorious colors. If you need lots of color covering a large area a flowering shrub may be your friend.

Shrubs don't have to have colorful flowers to have a variety in color and texture. This group of shrubs has a wide variation of colors that draws the eye. This a dynamic and interesting shrub garden.

Shrubs don’t have to have colorful flowers to have a variety in color and texture. This group of shrubs has a wide variation of colors that draws the eye. This a dynamic and interesting shrub garden. Source: Micolo JFlickr

A shrub garden does not need to divide spaces or act as a barrier. Here are some shrubs that are in the center of a yard making a large and full garden area. The arrangement of the shrubs is pretty enough to be a feature in and of itself.

A shrub garden does not need to divide spaces or act as a barrier. Here are some shrubs that are in the center of a yard making a large and full garden area. The arrangement of the shrubs is pretty enough to be a feature in and of itself.

Here are some flowering shrubs lining a long path. This is a way to not only keep people on the correct path but to make the trip beautiful as well. It is a valid and appealing alternative to a fence.

Here are some flowering shrubs lining a long path. This is a way to not only keep people on the correct path but to make the trip beautiful as well. It is a valid and appealing alternative to a fence.


When you have big rocks why not pair them with big shrubs? Here is a way to make your yard feel full and active. The rocks and shrubs work together to make a natural but landscaped feel that brings nature to you.

When you have big rocks why not pair them with big shrubs? Here is a way to make your yard feel full and active. The rocks and shrubs work together to make a natural but landscaped feel that brings nature to you. Source: Zillow Digs™

Little shrubs can be paired with simple flowers to bring more green to the garden. Every garden can always use more green.

Little shrubs can be paired with simple flowers to bring more green to the garden. Every garden can always use more green.

Large manicured shrubs are often associated with elegantly landscaped yards. Well kept shrubs present elegance and can elevate your outdoor space to another level.

Large manicured shrubs are often associated with elegantly landscaped yards. Well kept shrubs present elegance and can elevate your outdoor space to another level. Source: Dave Catchpole  / Flickr

If your property is near a wooded area you can use shrubs to create a transition from your manicured lawn into the wilds of the woods. This landscaping choice can make it appear as though the woods taper off into your well kept and organized space.

If your property is near a wooded area you can use shrubs to create a transition from your manicured lawn into the wilds of the woods. This landscaping choice can make it appear as though the woods taper off into your well kept and organized space.

If you do have a fence but want to have some extra life and color around, you can plant shrubs along the bottom. It is a way to liven up the fence and increase curb appeal.

If you do have a fence but want to have some extra life and color around, you can plant shrubs along the bottom. It is a way to liven up the fence and increase curb appeal. Source: Zillow Digs™


Here is a deck lined with shrubs. Shrubs bring life and color to structures when paired. Decks, fences, posts, and wells all look more alive with some shrubs surrounding them.
  1. Here is a deck lined with shrubs. Shrubs bring life and color to structures when paired. Decks, fences, posts, and wells all look more alive with some shrubs surrounding them.

While you can use tall shrubs as a replacement for a tall privacy fence they also work well in tandem. Where a fence ends you can continue with large shrubs to carry on the border of privacy. A fence and a shrub can blend well together.

While you can use tall shrubs as a replacement for a tall privacy fence they also work well in tandem. Where a fence ends you can continue with large shrubs to carry on the border of privacy. A fence and a shrub can blend well together.  Source: photoholic1Flickr

Unkempt shrubs give a wild and untamed look to an area. This can be great for rugged, rustic and natural appeals. It gives an aged feel, like the area has history.

Unkempt shrubs give a wild and untamed look to an area. This can be great for rugged, rustic and natural appeals. It gives an aged feel, like the area has history.

This spectacular backyard is lined with shrubs. This gives the area a definitive outline and sets the boundaries for the yard. They add some extra texture to the space which makes it even more dynamic and interesting.

This spectacular backyard is lined with shrubs. This gives the area a definitive outline and sets the boundaries for the yard. They add some extra texture to the space which makes it even more dynamic and interesting. Source: Zillow Digs™

Small shrubs are perfect for outlining property and pairing with various flowers such as the ones seen here. Shrubs are great around almost any extra features you may have, including streams and rock gardens.

Small shrubs are perfect for outlining property and pairing with various flowers such as the ones seen here. Shrubs are great around almost any extra features you may have, including streams and rock gardens.

Many gardens use lots of shrubs, but here we see three large shrubs used to great effect to accentuate this water feature.

Many gardens use lots of shrubs, but here we see three large shrubs used to great effect to accentuate this water feature. Source: Zillow Digs™

In this picture we can see a number of shrubs together around a brick half wall. The wild nature of these shrubs gives this area an untamed look that works well with the rugged and rustic look of the wall.

In this picture we can see a number of shrubs together around a brick half wall. The wild nature of these shrubs gives this area an untamed look that works well with the rugged and rustic look of the wall.

Here we see a number of different sized shrubs around the end of a riverbed. The shrubs make a great barrier to the neighboring yard. This may have been a difficult spot to place a fence without disrupting the creek.

Here we see a number of different sized shrubs around the end of a riverbed. The shrubs make a great barrier to the neighboring yard. This may have been a difficult spot to place a fence without disrupting the creek.  

A few shrubs along the side of a home can give the home an integrated and natural feel. The building will not stick out so much and will feel as if it is blending into the natural surroundings.

A few shrubs along the side of a home can give the home an integrated and natural feel. The building will not stick out so much and will feel as if it is blending into the natural surroundings.  Source: Zillow Digs™

Here there are a few shrubs lining an elevated slope along the side of the house. This hides the change in elevation as well as integrating the house into the natural surroundings.

Here there are a few shrubs lining an elevated slope along the side of the house. This hides the change in elevation as well as integrating the house into the natural surroundings.

Shrubs don't need to be large to build a bit of privacy. Around a pool some medium sized shrubs can block sight lines and make your swimming pool a bit more secluded and private.

Shrubs don’t need to be large to build a bit of privacy. Around a pool some medium sized shrubs can block sight lines and make your swimming pool a bit more secluded and private.  Source: Roger W  / Flickr

If you have a number of structures that stick out of the ground, the area around where they meet the ground may look bare. A good way to obscure and hide these places is to plant a number of shrubs.

If you have a number of structures that stick out of the ground, the area around where they meet the ground may look bare. A good way to obscure and hide these places is to plant a number of shrubs.

Shrubs of various sizes and on different elevations can create layers that make your space dynamic. Not only are you building privacy you are doing it in style.

Shrubs of various sizes and on different elevations can create layers that make your space dynamic. Not only are you building privacy you are doing it in style.  Source: Zillow Digs™

If you want your space to look full, there is no better option than shrubbery. Shrubs can fill a space and make it full of life.

If you want your space to look full, there is no better option than shrubbery. Shrubs can fill a space and make it full of life.

If you have a large space and want just a bit of texture and appeal you can place shrubs throughout the space. Sporadic placement of different shrubs can make your space to not feel bare.

If you have a large space and want just a bit of texture and appeal you can place shrubs throughout the space. Sporadic placement of different shrubs can make your space to not feel bare.

Here is a stone walkway with some stairs. The sides of the path are lined with small shrubs and larger stones. While it is landscaped and very intentional, the composition of the shrubs and rocks makes the space appear a bit more organic.

Here is a stone walkway with some stairs. The sides of the path are lined with small shrubs and larger stones. While it is landscaped and very intentional, the composition of the shrubs and rocks makes the space appear a bit more organic. Source: Zillow Digs™

There are so many varieties of shrubs that you are bound to find one that works with your space. You will likely find more than one that is suitable. Feel free to play with composition and different textures.

There are so many varieties of shrubs that you are bound to find one that works with your space. You will likely find more than one that is suitable. Feel free to play with composition and different textures.

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