List of Landscaping Plants

Garden landscaping resembles interior design. By knowing the types of landscaping plants, you'll take a first step toward creating appealing grounds around your home.

Ground Covers

Ground covers are considered invasive and easy to grow; these plants spread out and take over trouble areas, creating carpets of flowers. They can help with steep hills and rocky terrain or any ugly spot you'd like to cover. Select plants based on your hardiness zone. Pachysandra shows off white blossoms in late spring. Thyme has pink, purple, red or white flowers blooming in the summer. Bearberry has bronze leaves in the fall but offer pink flowers and red berries too.

Shrubs and Trees

Large, bright focal points like a scarlet oak or American sweet gum add to your landscape design. The scarlet oak needs acidic soil to produce its stunning red leaves. American sweet gum trees have star-shaped leaves and a sweet-smelling trunk. Willows and bald cypress trees work well in wet soil. For dry soil, try the umbrella northern catalpa, which produces dark, banana-shaped seeds all winter. Or use an Ohio buckeye. Japanese snowbell and golden larch work best for acidic soils. Plant a pagoda tree if you live in the city. It can grow up to 50 feet tall and offers small, white flowers. In the warmer climates, think about the royal or flame tree, which offers fall foliage colors in locations that don't always offer four seasons. Shrubs to consider include lemon verbena, perfect for containers to be brought inside for winter; chokeberry, whose white flowers attracts birds; and the buttonbrush, native from Canada to Florida, with shiny, green foliage.

Perennials and Annuals

Annuals, plants that grow for one season then die, offer long-lasting color and are inexpensive to purchase. Consider a color wheel for your garden, choosing different heights and times that your flowers will bloom. Some ideas for annuals are summer forget-me-not, which likes moist soil and produces clusters of tiny blue flowers, foxgloves and geraniums. Perennials come up year after year; in the winter, they become dormant, only to bloom again in the spring. Monkshood offers purple spiky plants that bloom late summer; sweet pea is a climbing plant used to cover fences and walls; lavender will thrive if it's near the sea; or try oriental poppy, known for its bright orange-red color; and violets.

Keywords: landscaping plants, designing garden, trees and shrubs, annual and perennials

About this Author

Michelle Bermas has been a freelance writer since 1994. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the "Boston Globe Sunday Magazine," "2008 Writer's Market," "The Social Cause Diet" anthology, "South Shore Living Magazine," "Hudson Valley Life," "The Boston Globe," "The Patriot Ledger Newspaper" and more. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Pace University, New York.