Plants are the proverbial building blocks of any landscape design and it is their shape, height, color and texture that combine in a particular manner to harness our attention and then change our mood. Plants can be applied as focal points or simply function as screens. Their fundamental nature in landscape design demands that we use great care in selecting the proper plants.
Plants whose presence is so superior that we cannot but stare with awe and appreciation of Mother Nature are known as specimen plants. These outstanding plants are the consummate of their species and as such function as remarkable focal points of a landscape while other plants support the specimen plants with ancillary color or texture. Plants that accent focal plants are considered foundation landscaping plants. Chosen for their color and texture, foundation plants made excellent ground coverage and transitional matter to carry our eye from one space to the next. Border plants separate one space from another and are also used as a finer tool of signaling transition. Whether specimen, foundation or border, the plants you chose must fit the growing requirements of your landscape. "Hardy" landscape plants resist heat or cold in high degrees.
The USDA Hardiness Zone Map indicates the average high and low temperatures within every region of the United States. It is exceedingly important to find your zone on this map in order to select your landscaping plants wisely and climate-appropriately. Light, moisture, adult size and soil should also be considered to ensure that plants have the potential and the space to grow and thrive.