Year-Round Landscaping: 6 Ways Evergreens Spruce Up Your Yard

Written by S. Gonzales
Updated November 2, 2014
evergreen shrubs
Evergreens can add height to your landscape as well as year-round color. (Photo by member Rick S. of New York)

Adding evergreen plants to your landscape can improve your home's privacy, energy efficiency and curb appeal.

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Planting evergreens in your yard can provide you with more than just pretty scenery. These versatile trees and shrubs also can protect the privacy of your home, support wildlife and even help you save money on your energy bill.

The benefits of placing evergreen trees on your property can number more than their roots.

Privacy

The height and breadth of evergreens provide the perfect privacy screen for a home in a crowded or exposed space. If your home sits on a busy street, you can deter prying eyes by situating evergreens in front of your windows.

These trees can also be a sound barrier, shielding you against noises from external sources and reducing the audibility of sounds from inside your house.

Evergreens most suited for privacy shields include those with impressive stature, such as arborvitae, cypress, juniper and yew.

Neutral canvas

Darker varieties of evergreens can lay a uniform framework for your garden’s bold color scheme.

Incorporating light-colored evergreens into garden corners emphasizes borders. A few strategically placed evergreens can help transform your garden into a special space for rest, relaxation and admiration.

In some cases, flowering evergreens can beautify a yard in lieu of a traditional garden. A professional landscaper can offer great ideas to help you bring your yard's design into perennial focus.

Natural accenting

Evergreens accentuate certain aspects of your home by drawing the eye. Planting these trees around gates or doors can lend an air of sophistication to entryways. Bordering beautiful window shapes with evergreens can add extra dimension to your house.

Space evergreens of similar shades between 3 and 12 feet apart to maintain visual coherence, and showcase unique-looking specimens as centerpieces. Pairing trees with hints of green and red or silver and blue hues can naturally complement seasonal color changes.

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Low-maintenance beauty

Compared to flowers that require constant upkeep and can result in finicky blooming patterns, evergreens require relatively low effort to maintain their visual appeal all year. Color and textural differences between varieties lend to easy mixing and matching.

Inspired couplings of bark, foliage, cones and berries can result in unique landscape topographies. The creative pruning of some varieties, such as boxwood and yew, can make evergreens even more beautiful to gaze at.

Birdwatching

Invite nature and wildlife into your backyard by landscaping with evergreen trees. Birds flock to their ample foliage all year. In winter, evergreens attract even more birds by providing them with comfortable and scarce shelter.

Save on energy

In the summer, a few carefully placed evergreens can shade your home from the sun's heat, which can cut your air conditioning costs.

You'll also see lower winter heating bills if you plant evergreens on the north side of your house to create energy-saving wind breaks.

Hire a landscaper

If you have practical reasons for planting evergreens, such as increasing privacy or reducing energy bills, interview several potential landscapers or landscape designers to determine their knowledge of tree placement and local climates.

Find a professional who is familiar with the various species of evergreens and the varieties that can thrive in your area of the country, especially if you want to use them aesthetically. Ask about the professional’s education, licensing and insurance.

Check Angie's List for professionals who specialize in landscaping with evergreen trees and read their reviews before deciding which one to trust with your yard’s new look.

To save money, you may want to hire a landscape firm that handles both design and installation. Ask for a list of properties featuring his or her recent work — and go check the yards out for yourself. Look to see how well they implemented specific themes and patterns without making the yard look like a hodgepodge of vegetation.

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