Choosing Plants for Custom Home Landscaping

Tingen ConstructionHomeowner Tips

Your house is only one part of your home! While the house sets the tone for your indoor life, your outdoor life and activities are defined by your yard, patio, garden, and other aspects of your landscaping. A beautiful yard also helps with curb appeal.

Plants are the backbone of any good landscaping job, and yours should be carefully chosen. Here are some tips and suggestions for making the choice wisely.


The first concern with trees should be placement. You should position trees the proper distance away from your home, both to keep branches away from your roof and roots away from your foundation. Removing a problem tree later can be an expensive and difficult process.

You should also remember that many trees are slow growers, so it may take years or even a decade or more to really enjoy them. Some popular choices include:

  • Dogwood: beautiful spring foliage and hardy in just about every climate.
  • “Green giant” arborvitae: a hardy, fast-growing evergreen whose height provides privacy.
  • Saucer magnolia: small and compact with beautiful pink flowers in the spring.

Ground Cover

Ground cover provides visual contrast against grass or dirt, and looks especially good on hills or terraces! But ground cover must be chosen carefully: you want a variety that will grow quickly without becoming unmanageable. Popular choices include:

  • Creeping thyme: only grows up to 3 inches, allowing room for stepping stones and other features.
  • Nepeta: grows tall (36 inches) and spreads just enough to crowd out weeds.
  • Creeping phlox: often seen painted across hills, its beautiful purple and white flowers are easy to maintain.


Shrubs and bushes are ideal for covering vents, dividing areas of your yard, and providing contrast to other plants. Many of them also have beautiful flowers of their own! Your primary concern is again placement, as shrubs that require too much maintenance will be a challenge close to your house. Popular choices include:

  • Roses: normally known for their prickly thorns and maintenance requirements, Knock-Out roses are easy to maintain, widely available, and look gorgeous.
  • Purple smoke bushes: the deep, ruby-purple hue of these leaves provides a great contrast to its green-leafed friends.
  • Hydrangeas: beloved for their broad leaves and prominent “towers” of flowers, some hydrangeas bloom into the winter!

Are you looking for a beautifully landscaped custom home? Tingen Construction builds custom homes in Raleigh, Durham, and the greater Triangle. Contact us today to learn about floor plans or our current listings!