Create an inviting first impression with this elegant design, featuring a mix of flowering shrubs, perennials, and annuals.

By Viveka Neveln
Updated February 10, 2021
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The area around your main entry can be so much more than a few foundation shrubs. Turn it into a grand display with this dooryard garden plan that will look good through all four seasons. Long-blooming, easy-care perennials such as coreopsis, daylily, and pincushion flower provide colorful blooms from spring through fall, as well as lush foliage when not in bloom. Evergreen boxwood, dwarf Alberta spruce, and yew shrubs provide structure even in winter, and don't need much pruning. A concrete urn planter filled with annuals of your choice serves as a focal point in the center of the bed.

Dooryard Garden Plan Lettered Illustration
Credit: Illustration by Helen Smythe

Plants for Creating the Dooryard Garden Plan

  • A. Boxwood (Buxus microphylla var. japonica 'Winter Gem'): Zones 6-8
  • B. Dwarf Alberta spruce (Picea glauca 'Conica'): Zones 3-7
  • C. Midnight Wine weigela (Weigela florida 'Elvera'): Zones 5-8
  • D. Hicks yew (Taxus x media 'Hicksii'): Zones 4-7
  • E. Korean lilac (Syringa meyeri 'Palibin'): Zones 3-7
  • F. Wormwood (Artemisia 'Powis Castle'): Zones 6-9
  • G. Goldenrod (Solidago sphacelata 'Golden Fleece'): Zones 4-8
  • H. Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum 'Becky'): Zones 5-9
  • I. Pincushion flower (Scabiosa x 'Butterfly Blue'): Zones 5-9
  • J. Butterfly bush (Buddleia 'Blue Chip'): Zones 5-9
  • K. Tickseed (Coreopsis lanceolata): Zones 4-9
  • L. Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Little Spire'): Zones 5-9
  • M. Stokes' aster (Stokesia laevis): Zones 5-9
  • N. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldsturm'): Zones 3-9
  • O. Wood sage (Salvia x sylvestris 'May Night'): Zones 4-8
  • P. Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Happy Returns'): Zones 3-9
  • Q. Hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus 'Blue River II'): Zones 5-9
  • R. False indigo (Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'): Zones 4-9
  • S. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum 'Cape Breeze'): Zones 4-9
  • T. Assorted annuals

If you aren't able to find the exact cultivars listed above, substitute with others that have similar colors, shapes, and sizes. And because some plants can become overly aggressive and spread out of control in certain climates, always check which species are considered invasive in your area before planting. The main portion of the dooryard garden plan measures approximately 28 feet across by 20 feet deep, but it could easily be expanded or reduced by altering the number of each type of plant. For best results, plant in full sun or part shade.

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