Ideas, Advice and Tips for Outdoor Landscaping with Plants

One of the most creative and exciting elements to landscaping is the addition of plants to your design. Flowers, trees, shrubs, ground cover and grasses can all be integrated into your overall landscaping scheme. The difficulty is in knowing which plants to choose to achieve the most successful landscaping result possible. With so many options to choose from, it pays to work out ahead of time what you expect to achieve from the addition of plants to your design.

Water Features

A landscaping design that includes a water feature will need to include appropriate aquatic plants. These are plants that can thrive either in the water or on the ground that surrounds the water. A pond where the water’s depth is deep can benefit greatly from the addition of a variety of water lilies. Use water irises or water poppies in shallower water or if your landscaping scheme includes a bog garden.


Annuals are plants that can lend your landscape some vivid coloring throughout the summer months. These landscaping plants are also quite versatile as they can be used in plans ranging from formal gardens to hanging baskets. Another advantage of introducing annuals is the sheer number available from which to choose. Among the more popular annuals are marigolds, impatiens, petunias and geraniums.


Perennials are flowers that return from the death grip of winter to grow back from the same roots the following spring and for many springs thereafter. Perennials have a much longer life span than annuals and also carry the advantage of requiring less maintenance. The key landscaping point to consider when choosing perennials is that these flowers don’t all bloom at the same time like with annuals, meaning your landscape will transform every few weeks as the flowers vary in their blooming timing. Popular perennials include periwinkle, hosta, bellflower and pink carnation.


Landscaping that requires bordering or hedging is best accomplished by using shrubs. Shrubs can lend your landscape color, form and some are even capable of producing fruit. Evergreen shrubs can provide color and shapes to your yard throughout the year while deciduous shrubs will lose their leaves in the fall and can create a dramatic appearance in the winter when bare limbs are blanketed by snow.


Ground covers are an effective plant for a landscape that is troubled by the inability to support a beautiful lawn. Heavily shaded areas that won’t allow enough sunlight to produce a thick lawn is another good choice for the use of ground covers. Choices for a steep slope include bougainvillea and junipers. Lawns suffering from lack of adequate water supply can benefit from planting germander and cotoneasters. A landscape characterized by an overabundance of shade should include English ivy or dead nettle.


If you are going for the specific landscaping theme of a Southwestern look, then your plant choices should focus on cacti and succulents. Arid climates are ideal for these plants that are available in a wide range of shapes, colors and sizes. Choices among succulents and cacti range from purple prickly pear to saguaro to golden hedgehog.

Make a one-time donation

Choose an amount


Or enter a custom amount


Your contribution is appreciated.