With the multitude of choices available, choosing the best plants for your landscape can be baffling. Narrow your choices by considering price, maintenance and the overall look you want to achieve. A few types of plants are timeless favorites and can be found in most garden centers and plant nurseries.
These are the kinds of trees that lose their leaves and become dormant during winter. The return of warm, spring weather brings the return of foliage. Japanese maples, Eastern redbuds and flowering dogwoods are deciduous trees that are popular for landscaping. Deciduous trees like these are often chosen for their fast growth, shade or ornamental flowers. Other considerations include the mature height and spread of the tree in comparison to the size of its location, resistance to known pests and diseases in the location and whether a particular tree is hardy in your area. Site conditions (soil pH, sunlight exposure and soil health) are also important.
Much like deciduous trees, these types of shrubs lose their foliage during cold weather. They are preferred for landscaping for their foliage, flowers, fruit and seasonal changes. Many deciduous shrubs are resistant to disease and pests and grow rapidly. Japanese barberry, chokeberry and crape myrtle are popular deciduous shrubs. When selecting deciduous shrubs for your landscape, consider the size of the shrub at maturity, the amount of pruning that may be necessary and the landscape look you are going for. Consider planting groups of different deciduous shrubs together for interesting fall color. Some deciduous shrubs have deep red, maroon, yellow or gold fall color.
Perennials are described as those plants which come back each year on their own, without reseeding or replanting from the gardener. Bearded irises, black-eyed Susan and columbine are types of perennial flowers. Many perennials grow well in containers and rock gardens, as well as in flower bed arrangements. Perennials are a common favorite for their ease of use. Plant them one time in a desired location and they will reappear each growing season year after year. Choose perennials based on size, sunlight and soil conditions and pest and disease resistance. Choose perennials also based on your landscape ideas. Many gardeners choose to plant several of the same type of plant, while others choose to mix it up and plant different varieties.