There is a plant that will fit perfectly in any area of the landscape. From sun to full shade, loam to sand, flat area to slope, there is a shrub, ground cover, annual or perennial that will thrive. The trick is to know the lay of the land and plant appropriately.
Landscape Plants for Ground Cover
Low-maintenance ground covers can bring scent and color to areas that are hard to maintain like steep slopes. They also are perfect to cover areas under trees where other plants won’t grow. In a shaded area, bugleweed will quickly cover an area with bronze, green or variegated foliage with a height of 4 to 6 inches. It will show blue, pink or white flowers in the spring. The periwinkle, or creeping myrtle (Vinca minor) grows well in sun or shade. In midspring, it blossoms with lavender flowers against the shiny, dark leaves.
Landscape Plants that Vine
Vines are planted not only in areas that need a visual softening effect, but they are also good as a privacy screen, or even used as ground covers to control erosion. Vines that will twine around an arbor, railing or pillar are clematis and plumbago. To camouflage an area, try Dutchman’s pipe, honeysuckle or star jasmine.
Landscape Annual Plants
Annual flower plants will add instant color to the landscape. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and the blooms will last throughout the growing season. Lobelia, pansies, browallia and salpiglossis do well in shaded, moist areas. Impatiens and begonias will also do well in the shade. For an area with full sun, the petunia is a good choice. Petunias come in multiple colors with single and double blossoms. A mass of petunias, mixed or of one variety and color, makes a striking display. Poppies and chrysanthemums will give a relaxed look to an area. Sweet alyssum is a good border or edging plant.
Landscape Perennial Plants
Hardy, low-maintenance perennial plants will thrive in areas of the landscape that are difficult to maintain. The variety of foliage will allow an attractive planting mixture of shapes, colors and textures. The sword-like spikes of the iris blend well with the softer, darker blades of daylilies and will give contrast to the perennials with softer leaves. Choose perennials with different blooming times for almost continual color. Foxglove, peonies, forget-me-nots and bleeding-hearts will bloom in the spring, while hollyhock, phlox delphinium and Shasta daisy will bloom in the summer. Bee balm, phlox and bellflower will bloom in late summer.