Don’t fight the site with landscaping

Sun-worshipping plants: knockout rose, knee-high Russian sage, blue junipers and moonbeam coreopsis.

Have you ever noticed there seem to be an abundance of yews and boxwood in residential landscapes? Lots of knockout roses, lilies and ornamental grasses, too. Why is that? They are survivors!


Right plant/right place

While most of us like the idea of fiddling in our landscape beds, creatively releasing everyday stress, the reality is that time and sore knees prompt us to prefer low-maintenance plantings or a service that handles those irritants for us. Growers are responding with beauties that require little pruning, no special ointments and limited watering.

The most critical element of our low maintenance dream is planting the right plant in the right place. Contrary to popular practice, burning bushes that mature at 10-foot-by-10-foot have no place squeezed by the front door. Also, Riverbirch trees planted three feet off the corner of the house will eventually need lots of heavy pruning. Be strong and resist the urge for immediate gratification.


Don’t fight the sight

This is one of my favorite sayings and refers to the simplicity of marrying soil conditions with plant preferences. Got a back yard swale that tends to hold water and stay moist for a while? There is a thriving list of plants that would love for you to adopt them (trees: maples, serviceberry, honey locust, swamp oak. shrubs: chokerry, summersweet, viburnums, bayberry). A quick Google search will offer a healthy list for just about any condition, but check with your local landscape dude for confirmation.

Yes, there are other evergreens besides yews and boxwood. When site conditions allow, it’s difficult to beat the glossy intrigue of a princess holly that produces clusters of colorful red berries in the late fall and winter. Just remember to choose the “right plant for the right place” and “don’t fight the sight.”