How to Select Plants & Trees for Home Decor


Landscapes provide homeowners with an opportunity for self-expression and design. Creating an attractive landscape involves proper plant selection and correct placement. Construct an attractive and welcoming landscape by choosing plants that flourish in various areas of your yard, while complimenting your home and one another. Select plants based on their ornamental characteristics, growth habits, and sun and water requirements. Consider your budget and desired results when deciding on plants for your landscape.

Step 1

Consider your climate and soil conditions when selecting plants for your home landscape. Avoid planting cold-sensitive plants in cold climates. Likewise, avoid tropical plants if you live in a northern state. Improve your existing soil by incorporating a little mulch into heavy soils.

Step 2

Choose a variety of groundcovers when designing your landscape. Select turfgrass for areas subject to high traffic. Use short, spreading plants to add interest in planters and along rocky areas.

Step 3

Plant a few trees to provide height in your landscape and shade in your yard. Consider overhead power lines and other height restrictions when choosing trees. Select both deciduous varieties and evergreen trees to enjoy changing colors in the fall and greenery during the winter months. To quickly establish shade and windbreaks, plant fast-growing varieties like cottonwood, Lombardy poplar and silver maple.

Step 4

Decide how you want to use shrubs. Purchase mass amounts of one variety for use in hedges and borders. Consider the pruning requirements of individual types of shrubs when selecting ones for hedges. Choose blossoming shrubs to add color near driveways and entryways. Plant fragrant varieties, such as lilacs and rose bushes, to further enhance these areas. Determine the mature height of shrubs before planting them near a structure or sidewalk.

Step 5

Draw a landscape plan on paper when deciding types of flowers to purchase. Sketch out the desired placement for various perennials and annuals. Use crayons or markers to color in your sketch to help you visualize the resulting blend or contrast of flowering plants. Place groupings of individual plants together to form a single color statement, or select contrasting colors, such as purple iris and yellow daffodils, to complement one another.

Step 6

Buy flowers with various bloom seasons to provide color thorough the growing season. For example, use spring bulbs to brighten up your yard early in the year, summer annuals to create color during the warmest months and a few fall-blooming perennials to enhance your landscape from the end of summer to the first frost.

Things You'll Need

  • Mulch
  • Crayons or markers


  • Washington State University: Whatcom County Groundcovers
  • Oregon State University: New Landscapes
  • Colorado State University: Selecting Trees

Who Can Help

  • University of Florida: Shrub Fact Sheets
Keywords: landscape plants, landscape design, plant selection

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.