Before planting, the bed is outlined and cleared of all existing shrubs and sod. These plants are for a huge bed, 30 feet long by 15 feet wide.
It grows nearly twice as wide as tall--typically 3 to 4 feet tall with a 5 to 7 foot spread.
It bears red fruit in the fall. The dense yew does well in zones 4-7.
Cost: $57.50 each.
Maintenance Tip: The yew is tolerant of pruning, but do so selectively with a hand pruner.
Little Rascal Holly
It has a compact, rounded shape and grows to about 2-3 feet tall and 3 feet wide. Its evergreen leaves have a purplish hue in winter. The holly is very cold hardy. This variety performs well in zones 5-9.
Cost: $205 for six
The foliage resembles grass with a creamy yellow edge. The plant grows to about 12 inches tall but can spread 1 to 3 feet. It has purplish blooms in early fall. The blooms resemble grape hyacinths. This plant does well in zones 6-10.
Cost: $11.50 each.
Forest Pansy Redbud
It can grow to about 20 feet tall. It has rosy purple flowers along the branches in early spring followed by purplish heart-shaped leaves. It thrives in zones 5-8. In hotter areas, plant the redbud in partial shade.
Seven Son Flower Tree
It's prized for its flowers and exfoliating, light-colored bark. It grows to 20 feet or more in height. The tree has creamy white flowers and in the fall, and has red calyces that are very colorful. It performs well in zones 5-8. This tree (which can also be a shrub) is not very common. You might have to go to a specialty nursery to find one.
It has pink flowers and bright green leaves. It grows 2 to 3 feet high and wide. The Shirobana prefers full sun and does well in zones 4-9
Cost: $29 each.
Maintenance Tip: Prune spirea after flowering. Feed a general purpose fertilizer in early spring.
Royal Burgundy Barberry
In addition to beautiful foliage, it has bright red berries in winter. This barberry grows 2-3 feet tall and wide. It does best in zones 4-8.
Cost: $35 each
Lavender Twist Redbud
It's also known as 'Covey' Redbud, so if you can't find Lavender Twist at the nursery, try asking for Covey. The lavender twist grows to about 7 feet tall. It has bright pinkish-purple flowers in spring. It performs well in zones 4-7.
Coral Bark Japanese Maple
The Japanese name of this tree is Sangokaku which means "coral tower." This species grows to about 15 to18 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide. It prefers part sun and performs well in zones 6-8.
Landscape Design Tip: This maple was planted near the steps. Guests will see it every time they approach the house. It's important to choose something with year-round interest when planting in such a prominent spot.