Landscape Designers Share Their Favorite Tree, Shrub and Groundcover

My Favorite Tree

Southern Magnolia
(Magnolia grandiflora)

Whether you are looking for dense screening or an attractive focal point specimen, the southern magnolia fits the bill. A versatile ornamental tree, with large glossy deep green leaves and large semi fragrant flowers, it can tolerate both sun and light shade, most soil conditions and, once established, can fare well through times of drought. An evergreen, it’s a great option to provide privacy or to soften the corner of a large home. Its leaves are also useful in the winter, providing greenery to decorate holiday wreaths and outdoor containers, or to make garland.

David Burnett
Landscape Designer
Keystone Gardens, Wayne PA 19087
(609) 334-7028 •

My Favorite Shrub

(Ilex verticillata)

One of my all-time favorite shrubs is the female Winterberry (Ilex verticillata). I especially like it during the late summer through the fall and into early winter. It is a deciduous native shrub with foliage that goes from deep green in the summer to yellow in the fall. Ultimately it loses its leaves and unveils beautiful red berries on bare stems that last into winter. Its berries attract wildlife and provide visual interest. Unlike most plants, it also grows in areas of wet soils.

Glenn Ticehurst, RLA, ASLA
Benedek & Ticehurst, Landscape Architects and Site Planners, PC, Bedford Village, NY
(914) 234-9666 •

My Favorite Groundcover

Creeping Sedum
(Sedum spurium)

Creeping sedum are beautiful groundcovers that thrive with virtual neglect, making themselves at home in the cracks of garden walls, in rock gardens, borders, and containers, or even under trees where shallow roots monopolize most of the soil’s moisture. They are renowned for their ability to spread quickly, and keep weeds from taking hold. Avoid over-watering and they will rarely suffer from diseases or pests; good drainage is key. Most creeping sedums prefer full sun but tolerate partial shade. There are Sedum species for almost every USDA Hardiness Zone.

Alyson Landmark,
Landscape Designer
Southview Design, St. Paul, MN
(651) 203-3000 •

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