Landscaping Plant Ideas With Evergreens

Evergreens beautify a landscape year-round, providing a pretty backdrop for colorful flowers and shrubs during spring and summer, a soothing contrast to the turning leaves of other trees in fall and a touch of green to otherwise barren surroundings in winter. Evergreens of certain varieties will grow in almost every climate and with proper care can live for years.

Foundation Plantings

Evergreen shrubs such as azaleas and boxwood make attractive plantings around the foundations of a house. Evergreens used in this way must be planted three feet or more from the foundation to avoid the roots undermining the house's footings, and new shrubs should be spaced to allow for future growth. Keep foundation evergreens trimmed away from windows and doors.


A row of arborvitae or spruce makes an attractive border to mark a property line or flank a driveway. Planted close together, evergreen shrubs such as yew can form a living privacy fence. Plant evergreen trees six to 15 feet from walls, fences or driveways to avoid root damage to concrete or blacktop.

Windbreaks and Shade

A row of evergreens planted on a side of a home in the direction of the prevailing winds can protect a home from the worst of winter's icy blasts and help save money on heating bills. Likewise, evergreens can shade a home in summer, helping the interior of the house stay cooler.

Snow Fence

In areas of heavy snowfall, evergreens are sometimes planted as living snow fences to protect roads and driveways from drifting snow. Plant the evergreens on the side of the drive or road associated with prevailing winds, six to 10 feet from the drive or road. Snow will accumulate behind the row of evergreens instead of on the driveway or road.

Focal Point

A single large evergreen such as a Colorado blue spruce or a balsam fir can be the focal point in a landscape. Build beds of annuals and perennials around the base of the tree. You may want to add a small spotlight to highlight the tree at night. In winter, decorate the tree with lights.

Keywords: landscaping plant ideas, evergreen shrubs, foundation plants

About this Author

Cynthia James is the author of more than 40 novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from Modern Bride to Popular Mechanics. A graduate of Sam Houston State University, she has a degree in economics. Before turning to freelancing full time, James worked as a newspaper reporter, travel agent and medical clinic manager.