The Plants That Transformed America's Most Desperate Landscape 2010

Low-maintenance plants that are perfect for the growing zone and altitude turn this artful design into a lush garden masterpiece.

yard left corner salvia

'May Night' salvia provides a splash of color in the front beds. This perennial blooms in early summer; removing faded flowers will encourage rebloom. Drought-tolerant once established, 'May Night' grows to about two feet tall. USDA Zones 4 to 9

yard walkway right

The side of the garage is transformed: Scotch pine, Colorado spruce, Mexican feather grass and 'Royal Gold' genista help break up the wall. Pink baby's breath (by the container of annuals) and a massing of potentilla (yellow-flowering shrub) add color. On the left of the walk, potentilla and 'Blue Mist' caryopteris continue the theme. A weeping Siberian pea tree and sky-blue lobelia greet visitors at the front door.

fence fountain container grass

A planting of Korean feather reed grass will provide a three-foot-tall spray of foliage and fall flowers, the perfect softening device for the sculptural water features. To the left, Miss Canada lilac shows its pink blooms. Lining the fence in the distance, Peking cotoneaster will grow up to 10 feet tall and provide privacy for the space.

patio after

Quaking aspens, concolor fir, arrowwood viburnum and a planter of Mexican feather grass flank the patio. 'Blue Mist' caryopteris and the yellow-flowering potentilla add splashes of color.

driveway garage door

Flanking the driveway on the left, Korean feather reed grass, Miss Canada lilac, Peking cotoneaster, potentilla and 'May Night' salvia fill a wide planting bed and help contain the play space in the middle of the front yard. On the left, a Swedish columnar aspen provides a vertical element.

yard right after

Korean feather reed grass, aspens and the purple-flowering Russian sage fill out the right side of the driveway. A pair of maroon-leaved Diablo ninebark flank the garage doors.