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Low-care Shrub Garden: 4 Regional Plans

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Increase the beauty of your landscape for the long run. These low-maintenance shrub gardens will deliver enjoyment for years to come.

4 regional plans together

Low-maintenance shrubs are the stars in these garden plans, intended for sunny, well-drained sites. These adaptable woody plants provide year-round structure and they are surprisingly easy to maintain. Pair them with other well-behaved plants for a beautiful, low-care landscape that never needs mowing. As a bonus, you’ll also attract birds to your yard!


This colorful northwest landscape features the burgundy-tipped golden foliage of Magic Carpet spirea, which takes on rich russet tones in fall. ‘Crimson Pygmy’ barberry echoes these hues, while ‘Blue Star’ juniper adds contrast in both color and texture. The focal point is a dry streambed of gravel lined by a double row of ‘Emerald ‘n Gold’ euonymus. It leads to an Espresso concrete outdoor pot (#484950) planted with ‘Golden Sword’ yucca.

northwest plan

Plant list:

  1. Japanese spirea (Spiraea japonica Magic Carpet), Zones 4–9
  2. Euonymus (Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n Gold’), Zones 5–9
  3. Yucca (Yucca filamentosa ‘Golden Sword’), Zones 4–11
  4. Juniper (Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Star’), Zones 4–9
  5. Dwarf Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii Golden Nugget), Zones 4–8
  6. Columnar juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Hetzii Columnaris’), Zones 4–9


Small serviceberry trees bring a feeling of seclusion to this garden for midwest and northeast regions. Grasses and shrubs are hard to miss, despite mums putting on their usual razzle-dazzle. While most plants peak in fall, hydrangea (white flowers later turning pink) and sumac (chartreuse foliage) offer summer interest as well.

north-central plan

Plant list:

  1. Apple serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Autumn Brilliance’), Zones 3–7
  2. Dwarf burning bush (Euonymus alatus ‘Compactus’), Zones 4–9
  3. Flame grass (Miscanthus ‘Purpurascens’), Zones 5–9
  4. Mums (Chrysanthemum spp.), Zones 5–7 or annual
  5. Panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata), Zones 4–8
  6. Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina Tiger Eyes), Zones 4–8


Here’s a southeastern shrub bed with a tempting invitation to relax. Featuring a mix of evergreens and deciduous shrubs, the landscape envelops the fire pit area with a mosaic of shapes, textures, and colors. The informal shapes of possumhaw and hydrangea bring a lively contrast to rounded geometric companions. Although peaking in autumn, the bed has year-round structure, thanks to yews and boxwoods.

southeast plan

Plant list:

  1. Dwarf burning bush (Euonymus alatus ‘Compactus’), Zones 4–9
  2. Dwarf yew (Taxus baccata), Zones 7–8
  3. Dwarf English boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’), Zones 5–8
  4. Panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’), Zones 3–8
  5. Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina), Zones 3–8
  6. Possumhaw (Ilex decidua), Zones 5–9


This mix of tough woody plants for the desert southwest includes mostly evergreen shrubs and a few compact sub-shrubs. The larger plants are located along the sides of the property and the foundation of the house, while smaller ones are situated along the walkway and sidewalk. A small Texas ebony tree provides privacy and shade for the front porch, while toothless spoon serves as a sculptural accent.

southwest plan

Plant list:

  1. Hopseed bush (Dodonaea viscosa), Zones 8–12
  2. Tecoma (Tecoma stans ‘Gold Star’), Zones 8–12
  3. Blue bells (Eremophila hygrophana), Zones 8–12
  4. Autumn sage (Salvia greggii), Zones 7–10
  5. Dwarf rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Huntington Carpet’), Zones 7–10
  6. Compact Texas ranger (Leucophylum frutescens ‘Compacta’), Zones 7–10
  7. Toothless spoon (Dasylirion quadrangulatum), Zones 8–10
  8. Texas ebony (Ebenopsis ebano), Zones 8–10