There are few greater pleasures than sitting outside in a garden, soaking in the scents and sights of flowering trees and shrubs. But for new homeowners who see the potential in their property, or others who want to revamp their long-beloved lawns, it can be hard to know where to start. 

When choosing ornamental trees and shrubs, the aesthetic qualities jump out first. The colors of its spring blossoms, the height and spread of its branches, and the fragrance it will give off immediately attract us. Indiana is blessed with a variety of growing environments and soil conditions, not to mention that it experiences all four seasons. This opens up a lot of possibilities that can fit many budgets. 

Breaking down the local landscape, weather, and particular growing conditions of the property will help to ensure that you pick the right plants.

Kind of soil:

This can include thinking about the levels of moisture in the dirt, potential for drainage, richness of the nutrients, whether it’s primarily acidic or alkaline, and whether it’s considered clay or fertile. 

Before you get overwhelmed, take a walk around your landscape and identify where you would like to plant. Touch the soil, looking and feeling for its moisture levels, looseness, and color. Observe the highs and lows of the yard to see where water might pool after a storm. Going a step further, Ph testing strips can give you much more information on the types of plants that would work with the soil’s acidity levels. 

Although most trees and shrubs in Indiana do best in well-drained and moist soils, there are species that thrive with sandy or clay soil, like the gorgeous Northern Catalpa Tree and the sprawling Kentucky Coffeetree. Creating a catalog of locations and soil conditions can make research into different trees and shrubs easier. 

Kinds of sunlight:

The health of the trees and shrubs you want is also dependent on how strongly the sun hits them. When cataloging the soil conditions of the locations for your new trees and shrubs, note whether the sunlight is direct, spotty or shady. This is important to keep in mind, because while a sunlit area would make the bright red and bird-loving Spicebush shrub thrive, the more delicate, white Flowering Dogwood tree would suffer without shade.

Wildlife factors:

Because Indiana has such a rich variety of landscape environments, considering the native wildlife might be important. If you have a lot of a certain pest on your property, whether insect, mammal or otherwise, you’ll need to be aware of how the tree can hold up. There are options like the naturally pest-resistant and elegant Star Magnolia tree, the deer-resistant aromatic Downy Hawthorne tree, or the crimson petals of the disease-resistant Prairie Crabapple tree.

Maintenance needs:

Sorting through so many options and environmental elements is complicated for the expert, let alone a newly minted garden owner. But this can be made simpler by choosing ornamental trees and shrubs that are known for thriving in a variety of conditions and landscapes, like the popular rosy Redbud tree, the distinctive creamy bloomed Hydrangea tree, and the delicate-looking Japanese Tree Lilac. They are known to be sturdy and long-lasting, so they can adapt to all of Indiana’s different seasons.

Ultimately the purpose of ornamental trees and shrubs is for your enjoyment. So, after you have a list of plants that match your soil, light and other growing conditions, go with what you are immediately attracted to and what fits your larger vision for the space. Whether the intention is to have a grove of towering and flowering trees, or shorter shrubs to line a pathway, what works depends on the tastes and intentions of those who will see them every day. 

Give Anthony’s a call:

Navigating the complex elements of soil and light conditions can be difficult without an expert to guide you, though. Anthony’s Lawn Care and Landscaping has an award-winning team with experience in every size and budget project. We can introduce you to a variety of ornamental trees and shrubs that are native to Indiana and will brilliantly showcase your property in any season.    

To get started, call Anthony’s Tree Removal at (812) 345-5694.