Design & Decor - Design Ideas

Garden design 101

Renowned landscape architect, Tom Sparling, demystifies design

Tried and true plant recommendations

Small trees and shrubs
Pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia): sun/part shade, 5 to 7 m tall x 5 to 9 m wide, Zone 4
Cornelian cherry (C. mas): sun/part shade, 6 to 8 m x 5 to 6 m, Zone 5
Kousa dogwood (C. kousa var. chinensis): sun/part shade, 5 to 9 m tall and wide, Zone 5
eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis): sun/part shade, 6 to 10 m x 6 m, Zone 5
Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana): sun/shade, 6 to 9 m x 6 to 8 m, Zone 3

Evergreens
Boxwoods and yews (Buxus and Taxus cvs.): sun/shade, various heights and spreads, Zones 4 to 7 (depending on type)

Deciduous shrubs
All types of hydrangeas, including peegee standards: sun/shade, various heights and spreads, Zones 4 to 7 (depending on type)
Sturdy shrub roses, such as ‘Jens Munk' (double, medium pink), ‘Henry Hudson' (white, tinged with pink) and ‘Blanc Double de Coubert' (white): sun, various heights and spreads, Zones 2 to 3 (depending on type)
french hybrid lilacs, such as ‘Charles Joly' (double, dark purplish red), ‘Madame Lemoine' (double, white): sun, various heights and spreads, Zone 3
japanese spireas, such as ‘Shirobana' and ‘Snowmound': sun/part shade, various heights and spreads, Zones 4 to 5 (depending on type)
Peking cotoneaster (Cotoneaster acutifolius): sun/part shade, 2 to 3 m x 2 m, Zone 4

Vines
species clematis, such as sweet autumn (Clematis terniflora), Russian virgin's bower (C. tangutica) and native virgin's bower (C. virginiana): sun, various heights and spreads, Zones 3 to 5 (depending on type)
Honeysuckles, such as Lonicera japonica ‘Halliana' and L. x brownii ‘Dropmore Scarlet': sun/part shade, 5 to 9 m x 3 m, Zones 4 to 6 (depending on type)
Climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris): sun/shade, to 20 m x 2 m, Zone 4

Groundcovers
Baltic ivy (Hedera helix ‘Baltica'): sun/shade, 6 to 10 m x 1 to 2 m, Zone 5
‘Green Carpet' Japanese spurge (Pachysandra terminalis ‘Green Carpet'): part to full shade, 25 x 50 cm, Zone 4
Purple-leaf wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei ‘Coloratus'): sun/shade, 50 cm x 2 to 3 m, Zone 4
Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum): part to full shade, 40 x 30 cm, Zone 4

Perennials
Coneflowers (Rudbeckia and Echinacea cvs.): sun, various heights and spreads, Zones 2 to 5 (depending on type)
Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia): sun, 1 to 1.5 m x 60 cm to 1 m, Zone 4
Ornamental grasses: sun/part shade, various heights and spreads, Zones 2 to 7 (depending on type)
Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus): sun/part shade, 1.2 to 1.8 m x 90 cm to 1.4 m, Zone 2
Astilbe: part to full shade, 50 cm to 1 m tall and wide, Zones 3 to 4 (depending on type)
Japanese anemones (Anemone hupehensis): sun, 50 cm to 1.5 m tall and wide, Zone 5
Autumn Joy stonecrop (Sedum ‘Herbstfreude'): sun, 45 to 60 cm tall and wide, Zone 2

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