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Dwarf Shrubs for Landscaping

Top 10 shrubs for a small garden

By Maureen Gilmer, landscape designer, author and columnist

The greatest cause of maintenance in small gardens is pruning to keep woody plants at a limited size. Proper plant selection ensures that the shrub is matched to the diameter of its growing space at maturity to eliminate maintenance. It should also meet height limitations to avoid crowding overhangs and eaves.

Crimson Pygmy Barberry Berberis thunbergii 'Crimson Pygmy'

Dwarf Boxwood Buxus sempervirens 'Suffruiticosa'

Dwarf Cotoneaster Cotoneaster dammeri hybrids

Dwarf Broom Genista pilosa 'Gold Flash'

Creeping Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis 'Huntington Carpet'

Little Princess Spiraea Spiraea 'Little Princess'

Gardenia Gardenia jasminoides 'Veitchii'

Dwarf Japanese Juniper Juniperus procumbens 'Nana'

Dwarf Heavenly Bamboo Nandina domestica 'Harbour'

Wheeler's Dwarf Tobira Pittosporum tobira 'Wheeler's Dwarf'

The demand for small shrubs led contemporary plant breeders to yield new smaller versions of our more popular shrubs. Many of these feature the same leaves, flowers and fruits as their ancestor, but their height and diameter are vastly diminished.


Small Yard Landscapes
Small Perennials
Accent Trees
Small Landscaping Trees

Maureen "Mo" Gilmer is a landscape designer, author, and speaker about horticulture topics and landscape design.

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