Native Shrubs for Small Yards

Do you have a small yard with limited space to plant? LEAF has just the thing for you! We have curated a Small Yard Shrub Bundle to include four native shrubs designed for smaller spaces. These small, but mighty shrubs will add greenery and biodiversity to your yard and provide delicious snacks for both you and local wildlife!


The Small Yard Shrub Bundle includes four native shrubs, mulch, delivery, a planting and care guide and a specialized fact sheet, all for only $100 +HST! The bundle includes lowbush blueberry, St. John’s wort, meadowsweet and snowberry. Read on to learn more about these small shrubs:

Lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium)

Lowbush blueberry, as its name suggests, is a low growing shrub with an average height and spread of about two feet.This shrub prefers full sunlight and sandy to loamy soils. The flowers bloom in late spring as small, whitish-pink, bell-shaped clusters and the leaves turn a beautiful red to bronze colour in the fall.

This shrub is great for small spaces, plus it’s edible! Its blueberries mature in late summer/early fall and are sweet and juicy with a slight taste of honey. Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, lowbush blueberries can be eaten raw or used to make jams, jellies and juices. It’s also a great shrub for wildlife, as it provides cover for ground-nesting birds, nesting sites for songbirds, a food source for chickadees, cardinals and bluebirds and nectar for Andrenid bees.



St. John’s wort (Hypericum kalmianum)

St. John’s wort grows to an average height of two feet, with a spread of about three feet. It can tolerate full to partial sunlight and a wide range of soils from sand to light clays. It’s distinguishing bright, golden yellow flowers emerge in mid-summer and last until early fall. In the fall, the leaves turn a bright yellowish-green adding a pop of colour to your yard! When mature, the bark becomes papery, also adding a unique feature to your yard.

Did you know that there are close to 500 Hypericum species across the globe? The nectar-rich flowers of our native St John’s wort– Hypericum kalmianum – have dozens of stamens (male reproductive organ), which attract local pollinators and provides late summer pollen for leaf-cutting, Halictid and bumble bees! It also tends to be low maintenance and pest/disease resistant, making it an excellent shrub for urban yards.



Meadowsweet (Spiraea alba)

Meadowsweet is one of the taller shrubs in this bundle (average height and spread of four feet) which will add some diversity and dimension to your yard! While this shrub grows well in full sun and sand to light clay soils, it performs best in wetter soils. If your yard tends to be wet, the meadowsweet is a perfect shrub for you!

The most striking feature of this shrub is its flower – tiny, white flowers with pink centers that bloom in dense, cone-shaped clusters. You can enjoy these fragrant flowers from mid-summer to early fall, and native bees and butterflies will too! In fact, meadowsweet also serves as a larval host for the spring azure butterfly.



Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)

Like the meadowsweet, the snowberry has an average height and spread of about four feet by four feet. It can grow in a variety of sunlight and soil conditions (including full sun to shade and sandy to compact clay) making it perfect for any yard! This shrub has small pink, bell-shaped flowers which bloom in the early spring. As its name suggestions, snowberry has small light green to white, globose clusters of berries that mature in the late summer and persist on the shrub throughout the winter. The berries add contrast in the colder months when most other trees and shrubs are bare.

Snowberry shrubs are also great for our winged friends. They provide shelter and food for many birds including robins, thrushes and waxwings, especially in the winter months when food is a harder to find. The flowers provide summer pollen for cellophane, miner, Andrenid, cuckoo, leafcutter and sweat bees. When you plant a snowberry, your yard will be a haven for a diversity of pollinators and wildlife all year round!



As you can see, you don’t need a lot of space to add biodiversity to your yard! These shrubs will bring beauty, pops of colour and pollinators to your garden to create your very own backyard oasis. Check out our website to order shrubs, as individuals or in the whole bundle, today!



Doreen Malapitan is the Residential Planting Programs Assistant at LEAF.

LEAF offers a subsidized Backyard Tree Planting Program for private property. The program is supported by the City of Toronto, the Regional Municipality of York, the City of Markham, the Town of Newmarket, the Regional Municipality of Durham, the Town of Ajax, City of Oshawa, the City of Pickering, the Township of Scugog, the Town of Whitby, Ontario Power Generation, Ontario Trillium Foundation and GrandTrees/Canadian Trees For Life.

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