Landscape Architects Share Their Favorite Tree, Shrub and Groundcover

My Favorite Tree

Bald Cypress
(Taxodium distichum)

Bald Cypress I find the Bald Cypress adds more visual interest than the average tree. A deciduous conifer, it gives way to elegant seasonal changes with its vibrant green in spring to its reddish orange in fall. The fern-like leaves also provide a much softer texture throughout the summer. In winter months, the pyramidal structure is very obvious, highlighted by the trunk’s reddish peeling bark. A relatively fast grower, The Bald Cypress is commonly found in moist to wet conditions, but it has been shown to adapt well to urban environments where limited soil, poor drainage, and drought are prevalent.

Kenon Boehm, asla
Premier Landscape, Lemont, IL
(630) 321-9530 •

My Favorite Shrub

Dwarf Fothergilla
(Fothergilla gardenii)

Dwarf Fothergilla Just ONE favorite shrub – impossible. But one that I can love in many landscapes is the well behaved native, Fothergilla gardenii. The soft white bottle brush shaped flowers are a spring delight and the honey scent is appealing to humans and bees. Its neat mounded habit and bold textured leaves allows this shrub to be used as an interesting low hedge or a wonderful grouping in a larger garden. The vibrant orange-red-gold fall colors are truly a showstopper! Growing in zone 5 to 9 this plant likes sun to light shade and moist soils.

Barbara A. Yaeger, pla, asla, canp
President CTASLA –
B. Yaeger LLC, Madison, CT
(203) 901-6915 •

My Favorite Groundcover

Variegated Lilyturf
(Liriope muscari ‘Variegata’)

Variegated Lilyturf Among the many wonderful groundcovers that provide variety to the landscape, my favorite is Variegated Liriope. Its leaves provide a welcome contrast in color and texture to many commonly used plants. In late summer, flowers provide even more interest. Once established, it can be surprisingly tolerant of dry conditions – even when used in full sun. However, it prefers part-shade. In a landscape setting, it maintains a fairly consistent shape and neat clump form. This plant is a proven performer in many Northern Virginia landscapes, but also thrives as far north as Boston.

Paul R. Jeannin, Jr.
Landscape Architect
Planning & Development Services, Inc., Bristow, Virginia
(703) 393-9521 •

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