Emerald Green arborvitae, which will eventually reach 12 to 15 feet tall, are a good choice for a four season privacy planting. In the foreground, a Green Mountain boxwood can be easily maintained at 3 to 6 feet.
No matter which part of the country you live in, you can use landscaping plants that will add color and curb appeal to your yard.
A trip to your local hardware or garden center is a great way to start researching a landscape design plan that will include the plants that are best suited for your climate and hardiness zone. Most plants for sale are labeled with a tag that tells you how much sunshine, shade and water they need – and the hot and cold temperature differentials they can withstand.
You might divide your wish list into categories – such as flowering plants, shrubs, trees, and grasses – to create an overall design with complementary plantings and a mix of plant life that looks great both in the fall and winter months and throughout the spring and summer.
If it's color you desire, look for flowering plants that are native to your region. For example, if you live in the northeastern part of the U.S., hydrangeas, black-eyed Susans and irises are perennial landscaping plants that will add pop and zing to your yard.
For flower power in the southeastern U.S., try Hibiscus plants. From the snow white of rose mallow (the perennial form of the flower) to the pink stripes of the Fiji rose of Sharon (the shrub form of the plant), Hibiscus flowers are boldly colorful and a fantastic aesthetic choice. Plus – they're a favorite hangout for hummingbirds and butterflies.
If you live in the southwestern U.S., flowering succulents can withstand the extremities of heat and drought. The aloe plant has medicinal properties but also comes in a wide range of colors to blend in with any garden, including yellow, orange, red and pink. Aloe marlothii is a tall beauty in a warm goldenrod hue that can grow up to five feet tall.
The northwestern U.S. is blessed with plenty of rainfall, but flowering plants do best in this region of the country when planted without shade and in a part of your yard where the soil drains well. A beautiful perennial landscaping plant called the broadleaf lupine has delicate violet-colored petals in the spring and evergreen foliage in the winter.
For you folks who live in the plains or western mountains, including in high elevations or with dry winds, the best landscaping plants are often also the hardiest ones. White roses, red-and-yellow blanket flowers (Gaillardia aristata) and pink great plains verbena (Verbena bipinnatifida) are prolific bloomers and valiant weather wearers that will add personality to your homestead.