Shrubs are defined as woody plants with many stems and a shorter height than a tree (though some species of plant may develop into either, depending on their growing conditions). Some shrubs are evergreen, and most are perennial, meaning you don't have to worry about digging them up and planting new ones each year. A topiary is a shrub that has been "groomed" into a particular shape. Many shrubs can be allowed to grow wild without trimming, but ones planted close to homes or other structures may need regular shaping.
Non-Ornamental Uses for ShrubsWell-tended shrubs can be clustered or staggered to denote property borders, create privacy, or act as a windbreak. You might plant a row of shrubs along one side of your yard to put some distance between you and your neighbors, for instance. Planting shrubs around your home can help insulate it from winter winds or provide shade through hot summers.
If your garden is plagued by certain pests, shrubs can help deter them. For instance, deer avoid American holly, while rabbits dislike cotoneaster. You can also provide food and shelter for local birds with shrubs like the burning bush, staghorn sumac, hemlocks and privet shrubs.
You can also incorporate topiary shrubs into your landscaping for increased curb appeal.