Botanical Makeover

These plants will give structure to the landscape and provide colorful flowers and fruit.


From: Desperate Landscapes

Related To:

Wax myrtle

The waxy blue berries of the females of this native tree were once used to make candles.

  • Tolerant of salt spray, drought, heat and sand.
  • Leaves are yellowish green and fragrant when crushed.
  • Can grow as much as five feet in a year.
  • USDA Zones 7-10
  • Can be pruned to encourage dense foliage, but untrimmed it has an irregular shape with multiple trunks that form a kind of thicket.
  • Aromatic foliage is said to repel insects in a yard.

Mop hydrangea

The large ball-shaped flowers can be blue, pink, or white.

  • Flowers can be blue pink or white.
  • Prefers morning sun and afternoon shade.
  • Requires regular watering. Doesn't tolerate drought.

Variegated ginger

The variegated leaves of this tropical plant can be up to two feet long and six inches across.

  • Flowers look like small seashells, but in northern Florida it doesn't often flower.
  • Prefers partial shade but grows in sun.
  • USDA Zones 8-12
  • Maintenance: not drought tolerant. Will need watering.

Dwarf Japanese blueberry

This shrub makes a great hedge, column or foundation plant.

  • Can grow up to 40 feet tall and 30 feet wide
  • Fragrant white flowers turn into blue-black fruit in the fall.
  • Fruit will not stain sidewalks.
  • Full sun or part shade
  • USDA Zones 8-11
  • Maintenance tip: Can be pruned to shape.

Fiber optic grass

The blades of this very finely textured grass are almost hairlike and resemble fiber optic lamps.

  • Bright green grass with flowers at tips
  • Grows about 12 inches tall.
  • Perennial in USDA Zones 9-11. In other zones it's an annual.

'Southern Charm' azalea

This popular azalea produces pink flowers in early spring.

  • Grows moderately fast, reaching 6-8 feet tall and wide.
  • USDA Zones 8-9

'Big Blue' liriope

This grass-like perennial is often used as a groundcover.

  • It has tall lavender flowers in late summer.
  • It grows to about 2 feet tall.
  • It prefers part sun to full shade.
  • USDA Zones 5-10


This hardy perennial is often associated with English or cottage-style gardens.

  • Tall stalks bear flowers that can be purple, pink, white or yellow.
  • All parts are poisonous.
  • Remove plants after they release their seeds or cut back the flowering stalk to almost ground level and to encourage growth and more flowers.


This evergreen shrub produces either white or red flowers, depending on variety.

  • Can grow 12 feet tall and about six feet wide
  • Drought tolerant once established
  • USDA Zones 7-10

Japanese boxwood

This evergreen shrub can get up to six feet tall, but it can be pruned to maintain size.

  • Heat tolerant
  • Deer resistant
  • Prefers full to partial sun
  • USDA Zones 6-9

New Guinea impatiens

This colorful annual blooms from spring to fall.

  • Available in many colors from lavender to orange to white.
  • Grows about 12 to 24 inches tall.
  • Low drought tolerance. They wilt under water stress.

Next Up

Size Matters in Plants

The size of the plants you buy depends on the type of landscape you want to produce.

10 Landscaping Plants

Learn about the characteristics of popular plants for landscaping projects, along with tips for their care.

Selecting Trees and Shrubs

A gardening expert explains what to look for and what to avoid when buying trees and shrubs from a nursery.

The Right Shrub for the Job

Choosing the right shrubs for your yard or garden can be a frustrating process. Get started with these useful tips.

Landscape Makeover: From Desperate Yard to Picket-Pretty Curb Appeal

A neglected front yard gets a colorful transformation with a picket fence and dozens of new plants.

Dwarf Shrubs and More

Here are 17 beautiful and low-maintenance plants.

Reducing the Size of a Lawn

Tips for shrinking a large lawn to a more manageable size.

Products featured in Yard Crashers' San Francisco Giants Special 2014

Matt Blashaw seeks out San Francisco's biggest Giants fans and, with the help of the MLB Network, Matt and former pro player Eric Byrnes transform their boring yard into a GIANTS inspired space. Here are products featured in the episode.

Water-Wise Landscape for the Northeast

This Earth-friendly exterior design conserves and recycles rainwater.

How to Design a Great Yard with Landscape Plants

Make sure you put the right plant in the right place. Learn how to choose and where to place your plants so you can create a low-maintenance landscape that will thrive for years to come.

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Consult Our A-Z Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths.  

How-To Advice and Videos

Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more.

Watch DIY Downloads Now

Watch DIY Network LIVE

Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online.