Garden plants help to create a colorful and lush landscape. They accent the home with their vibrant foliage and textures. Grown in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colors, many garden plants are perennial, meaning they come back year after year. Some garden plants are evergreen shrubs that retain their colorful foliage throughout the entire year. Tucked along a garden wall or lining a front walkway, garden plants create a striking and dramatic display in the garden.
Common boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) is an evergreen shrub that is often used as an accent plant along the home. It has a rounded form that is dense and grows up to 20 feet tall with a spread of 10 to 15 feet. The dark green, lustrous 1-inch-long leaves on common boxwood cast an orange tinge in winter for a striking garden display. As an evergreen, common boxwood shrubs retain their color throughout the winter to add warmth to the landscape. A versatile garden plant, common boxwood is drought tolerant to withstand periods of limited moisture. It grows best in full sun to part shade and well-drained, moist soil. It is easy to transplant. Plant common boxwood in USDA zones 5 to 8.
Hellebore (Helleborus --- hybridus cvs.) is a winter-blooming perennial plant that grows best in USDA zones 4 to 9. It grows up to 3 feet tall and has a clumping form and moderate growth rate. The 2-inch-wide, solitary, nodding-like flowers begin blooming in midwinter and come in a wide range of colors, including yellow, white, purple, pink and green. The leather-like, evergreen foliage on hellebore is shiny and deep green. Frost-tolerant, hellebore has the capability to grow at below freezing temperatures to create much needed color to a winter garden. It grows best in full to part shade and well-drained, moist soil that is neutral to alkaline. To promote new growth on hellebore, cut back the stems after they bloom.
Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) is an herbaceous perennial in the mint family that grows best in USDA zones 6 to 9. It grows up to 5 feet tall and has a spread of 2 to 4 feet. The two-lipped, pale blue to lavender, tubular-shaped flowers on Russian sage grow on 12- to 15-inch-long upright panicles or spikes that appear in summer and last into fall. The gray to green aromatic, dissected leaves on Russian sage grows on upright stems and, when crushed, produce a scent into the garden. Russian sage grows best in full sun and well-drained, dry to medium soil. To promote vigorous summer growth, cut back the stems in early spring before the new growth occurs.