Landscaping plants are used to add visual interest to an area as well as designate how areas are used. Plants range from evergreen trees, which help to define the landscape as well as provide shade, to shrubs, which add texture and often highlight buildings and structures, and perennials, which can be used as accents and highlight spaces throughout the landscape.
Evergreen trees, trees that do not loose their leaves in the fall and remain green year round, such as junipers, hemlock, yew and spruce, can be used to create specific patterns in the landscape as well as lend size, shape and texture. According to the University of Minnesota Extension, using evergreens for landscaping is a great way to create clear patterns in your landscape in an attempt to define the space: "Simplicity and serenity are important for outdoor design. Use the fewest possible varieties of evergreen plants and select them for obvious purpose." The most important considerations when choosing landscaping evergreens is how they will look in the landscape. This includes the size of the tree at maturity, color, shape and texture.
Deciduous shrubs, which lose their leaves in the fall, add seasonal color and texture. "The flowers, foliage, fruit and bark provide color and landscape interest," the University of Missouri Extension says. "A properly selected group of shrubs gives interest to the landscape throughout the year." Many deciduous shrubs bloom during the spring season. In addition to providing color, flowers and texture, deciduous shrubs easily adapt to a majority of landscapes and soil conditions. Examples of popular deciduous shrubs include barberry, crape myrtle and dogwood as well as honeysuckle, hydrangea and lilac. These landscaping plants can be used to highlight walkways as well as buildings and structures.
Perennials make excellent landscaping plants because they will perform season after season. According to the University of Illinois Extension, perennials bloom throughout the season at different times. "There are spring bloomers, summer bloomers and fall bloomers," it says. "The ultimate goal of a perennial garden is a personally pleasing flow of plant material from season to season." Perennials can be used to create brilliant color and interesting patterns throughout the landscape. Some common perennials used for landscaping purposes include echinacea, daylilies, hostas and Shasta daisies.