Selecting Shrubs and hedges
Selecting shrubs should use the same logic as used on trees. One must consider the mature size of the shrub and match it to your space. Always consider the adult size in relationship to surrounding structures and overhead power lines.
Ask yourself what features interest you most in a shrub. Are you interested mainly in attractive foliage or blossoms? Do you want an evergreen plant or will a deciduous one suffice? Will the shrub be for a hedge?. Does the shrub have any negative factors, such as thorns?
One of the most important considerations to guide your choice is the hardiness zone rating for the shrub. Most of our area is rate cold hardiness zone 7. Also one must take into consideration what type of soil you have. A soil test before planting will be of assistance in sorting this out.
The amount of sunlight received is critical for many shrubs. Some will grow in dense shade, others must have full sun. In addition, consider the drainage of your area. Many shrubs will not grow in overly moist soils, others thrive in it.
OSU has a superb fact sheet on selecting shrubs according to size, blossoms, soil types, sun and other factors. There are also some nice photos. This is a great place to start your search.
HLA-6439: Selecting Shrubs for the Landscape
Selecting Shrubs for Hedges