Ideas to Make Your Landscape Pop
A Beautiful Landscape Begins With Unique PlantsMaking your landscape pop is actually really easy and it starts with adding a few special plants with fantastic shapes, colors, or forms to make focal points in your design. With thousands of plant varieties to choose from, selection can be daunting and this often results in most people selecting from only common plant varieties that they are already familiar with. The other day, my wife was commenting on the fact that about one in five houses in our city has at least one Red Tip Photinia, a Rose Bush of some sort, and a Leyland Cypress. Although all of these are very nice plants, they have been quite overused in landscape design and add very little to make your landscape stand out. If you really want your landscape to turn heads, then you need to invest in at least three plants that are unusual and maybe even a little crazy in their appearance. And there are a lot of them out there to choose from, hundreds of really fascinating plants with characteristics you won't find anywhere else. Further down I'll give you my suggestions for which plants to grow to spruce up your landscape design, but first I have a suggestion for making your specimen plants look their best:
Add Three Unique Plants To Your Landscape And Put Them In Raised BedsTry to spread at least three individual raised beds with one unique centerpiece plant in each across your yard in different focal points. If you have a large lawn, it will look best to add a six foot diameter raised bed containing one of your centerpiece unique plants right in the middle of your lawn. A large, round raised bed will help break up the never-ending single shade of green and add some color contrast without impacting the actual usable portion of grass. Also try putting a four foot diameter or larger raised bed with a shorter (usually weeping type) centerpiece plant right next to your front door. Although you as the homeowner don't spend a lot of time standing at your front door, most other people will stop here and wait while you answer the door every single time they visit. Therefore, people are likely to spend a lot more time looking at the landscaping job here than anywhere else in your yard. Most people use small weeping plants such as Japanese Maples, but if you have the space don't be afraid to plant something big.
Plant Perennials On The Edge of Your Raised BedsPerennial plants add a lot of color as well as definition around your unique centerpiece plants and look especially good when the color of the perennial is the opposite of the centerpiece plant. For example, if you have a dark centerpiece plant like a Red Japanese Maple then add Variegated Hosta or Goldmound Spirea to create as much contrast as possible. Or if you have light colored plants such as Redbud or Dappled Willow, add 'Plum Pudding' Coral Bells or other dark colored plants. Use only one perennial variety in each raised bed, and try to make beds that are near each other to have different colored perennials. Plant your perennials about two or three feet apart around the edge of the bed.
Hint: the number of border perennial plants is roughly 1.25 times the diameter in feet. Example: a six foot diameter bed would require seven or eight perennials, or a ten foot diameter would require twelve or thirteen.
Once you have decided the locations for your raised beds, determine the maximum height and width of the specimen plant for each bed. Then, you are ready to pick out some plants. Take a look at some of these suggestions to bring your landscape to life.
Adding These Plants Will Greatly Improve Your LandscapeHere is the list of the best plants to use as your unique ornamental centerpieces in your landscape.
Weeping Red Laceleaf Japanese Maple Shorter stature plant, keeps its dark red color long into the summer and fall. Keeps a naturally compact habit and is best for placement near walkways. Read more about this plant.
Lion's Head Japanese Maple Interesting tufty foliage sets this variety apart from others. A medium to large sized tree with very dense foliage. Slow growing and dense. Read more about this plant.
Pink Dappled Willow Foliage first emerges green and then white with speckled green, with bright pink developing by mid spring. Fantastic color and easily shaped to either a shrub or tree form. Read more about this plant.
Lavender Twist Redbud A weeping shrub with large heart shaped leaves, twisted branches, and beautiful lavender-pink flowers that cover the bare trunk and branches in spring. Excellent for the center of a lawn. Read more about this plant.
Red Dragon Filbert Twisting branches and leaves create unusual summer shape and fantastic winter interest. Leaves and January flowers emerge dark red. Medium sized shrub. Read more about this plant.
Hardy Banana Hardy bananas grow to about ten feet high and have leaves longer than three feet. They create a seemingly tropical corner of your yard but winter over even in very cold climates. Read more about this plant.
Weeping Bald Cypress A medium sized weeping conifer with very soft foliage that drops in the fall, revealing long slender branches that hang to the ground. Plants are very tall and narrow, good for tight spaces. Read more about this plant.
Hardy Fig Tree Hardy to zone 6, fig trees produce various colors of delicious fruit and have very large leaves which again create a wonderful tropical appearance. It's also always nice to produce your own fruit. See the varieties we offer.
Green Stripe Bamboo A colorful form with yellow canes and green stripes forming an upright hedge. The new shoots turn red with sun exposure. A fast spreading species so be sure to contain it. Read more about this plant.
Colorful Clumping Bamboo A non-invasive bamboo species with cinnamon colored sheaths and stems that emerge purple and age to a powdery white. One of the most colorful bamboo plants on the market. Read more about this plant.