How I Picked Plants for My Landscape

How I Picked Plants for My Landscape

Knowing your gardening style, where you want to plant and how much sun your yard gets are the first questions to answer before beginning any landscape project. Here’s what I learned.

As a new homeowner, one of the first things I wanted to do was spruce up my yard, but I wasn’t sure where to begin. So I did what anyone would do. I asked my coworkers for some recommendations of their favorite plants.

Now I know not everyone is fortunate enough to work with plant geniuses — my colleagues happen to be SAWS conservation consultants — so I’m sharing my experience with you should your landscape share similar characteristics with mine.

Here’s what I learned.

The first questions they asked me was if I’d drawn out the area I wanted to plant in and how much sun it received. These are the first steps before beginning any landscape project. I was also directed to the plant database to search shade plants since my yard doesn’t have any areas with direct sunlight.

At first I was discouraged because I wanted more than just green going on — I wanted color! But I was excited when my search results yielded plenty of bold beauties including asiatic jasmine, cedar sage, scarlet sage, firespike, purple oxalis, Persian shield, liriope, red buckeye and ‘Pam Puryear Pink’ Turk’s cap, which would attract butterflies with its bright red flowers.

Shrimp plant was another suggestion to attract hummingbirds and for its low maintenance and drought hardiness. A tall plant to accompany it is Japanese yew, one friend said.

A couple of colleagues recommended Texas sedge to cover all the bare ground in the area and serve as green living mulch so I wouldn’t have to use inorganic mulch against the foundation of my home. Other green cover options were split leaf philodendron for its striking large foliage and foxtail fern as a smaller companion.

Of course, everyone reminded me to use the WaterSaver Landscape Coupon to replace grass with these drought tolerant plants.

Whatever you plant, choose options that suit your gardening style. For me, that’s low maintenance and evergreen plants. Happy planting!

Ask the Garden Geek

Need Tips for your garden or have questions about conservation? Ask an Expert!

Send a question