by Catalogs.com Info Guru Elizabeth Sobiski
Curb appeal – it should look natural and easy, especially since it’s the first impression people have of your house.
Well thought-out yards and gardens are a delight for the whole neighborhood. Better yet, they can be a snap to take care of. Here are the top ten plant suggestions for natural and easy care landscaping.
10. Thornless Common Honey Locust
This tree has fern-like leaves and tufts of white flowers in the spring. It loves full sun and is hardy in many areas of the country. It will grow up to 45 feet tall and has a large canopy. Since the leaves of the honey locust are small, sunshine can reach any plants underneath the tree. Wildlife, like squirrels and rabbits enjoy eating the seed pods in the spring.
In all forms, juniper is easy to take care of and will grow virtually anywhere. It thrives in full sun and doesn’t mind some shade. Sizes run the full gamut, from low shrubs all the way to towering trees. Many varieties grow slowly, so pruning is kept to a minimum. Oils from the berries or fleshy cones are often used as flavoring in cooking.
Often referred to as a foundation plant, these flowering shrubs can reach 5 feet in height with a spread of the same amount. In neutral pH soil, the flowers are often pink or lavender. If the soil is more acidic, deep blue blossoms appear. Hydrangea flowers are called ‘mop heads’ because the buds are so large.
Also known as azaleas, this flowering shrub is perfect for areas where there is an abundance of space, since they can reach 10 feet tall and a single plant can have a 6-foot spread. Flowers appear in spring with masses of blossoms, in a wide variety of colors. For space challenged locations, dwarf varieties are available.
As the name implies, this flowering plant is a relative of the catnip family. Deep, purple-ish blue blossoms are in view from early to midsummer. It is an easy plant to grow and prefers warmer weather. Bees and butterflies routinely visit this plant and catmint is perfect for edging, borders and rock gardens.
Have a shady area? Consider filling it with hostas. This plant makes its appearance in spring and stays lush and inviting until the hard frosts appear. It is very hardy and loves damp soil. It will also self-propagate and fill in bare areas over time. Even the leaves of this plant are interesting. Some varieties are solid, lush green while others are variegated, ranging from nearly white to dark green.
‘Aster’ is the Latin word for ‘star’, which perfectly describes the flower heads. These daisy-like flowers reappear year after year. The blooms are bright, colorful and show themselves from late August into October. They appreciate full sun and also grow well in lightly shaded areas. Butterflies and hummingbirds love asters and will welcome visitors to any garden.
Sedge is an ornamental grass that spreads slowly, filling in areas around it. Leaves are long and pointed, creating visual interest in a yard. Some varieties also have tall, spiked flowers that turn into unique seed heads. These seeds are sought by waterfowl and songbirds that will appreciate the tasty treat you grew for them.
These fragrant flowers are tolerant to both heat and cold. They make excellent border fillers, whether around trees, walkways or other taller plants. Alyssum smells similar to fresh honey and full sunlight intensifies the scent.
This perennial is a favorite of many gardeners. The intensely perfumed blooms appear year after year, appearing in late spring and lasting well into the fall. Lavender requires little to no maintenance and loves the sunshine. The dried flowers are used to make tonics, oils and salts to reduce stress.
Unsure if the plant you love will grow easily in your yard? Check out the USDA zone map to find out. Another option is to select native plants, as they need less maintenance than plants that are not native to your location.