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AMA: If you could only have 10 plants in your Landscape...

garden center near crystal lakeAMA or "Ask Me Anything" is a popular Q&A type interview that has become popular on the internet. Anyone with a unique point of view, interest, talent or occupation can offer to participate. We thought many of you might be interested in our version of "Ask Me Anything".

Our inuagural "Ask Me Anything" features The Barn's owner, Tom Kusmerz Sr. A life long tree aficionado, Tom is a certified Landscape Designer and has been designing landscapes in Chicagoland for over 40 years. Tom is also a long time member and former Board member of the Illinois Landscape Contractor's Association and recevied their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

We asked Tom: "If you could only have 10 plants in your landscape, what would be they be and why?

Without further ado, here is his list.

  1. Green Velvet Boxwood: The best foundation evergreen, slow growing, easily maintained, long lived, tolerates full sun to full shade and its leaf is prettier than a needle.green velvet boxwood
  2. Copper Beech - Big, Big, Bog growing tree with great color. Outstanding horizontal branching habit. Just stunning.copper beech tree
  3. Tri-Color Beech - Slow growing, great color, slightly smaller than the Copper Beach. Not a coincidence this is an anchor plant of my bluestone patio. Light it up at night for great effect.tricolor beech
  4. Clump Redbud - Great size for an ornamental, a vase/mushroom shape. Pretty pink flowers contrast beautifully against dark brown bark before the leaves appear. Great Branching. Another tree that begs to be lit up at night and deserves to covered in 3-4k Christmas Lights in December. In my opinion the longest flowering spring ornamental.eastern redbud
  5. Juddi Viburnum - Best smelling plant in the midwest! Nice shape and pretty bloom. I recommend giving it 6x6' or even 7x8' to best appreciate its natural shape.juddi
  6. Pachysandra Green Carpet - The carpet shape of the garden simplicity is beautiful.green carpet pachysandra
  7. Blue Wonder Nepeta - This is one of the best perennials around. Great blue purple summer color. With an early July shearing of the flowers, a couple applications of fertilizer and some water, it will reliably flower from May through October, with only a couple small breaks.blue wonder nepeta
  8. Clump Paperbark Maple - This a great all season tree. It's slow and smaller in size, gorgeous foliage, scaly and peely bark (in a good way!) with great fall color.paperbark maple
  9. Tanyosho Pine - A yellow orange trunk with a mushroom shaped habit on top. A very very long lived plant, very interesting specimen pine once it reaches 3 ft and up.tanyosho
Clump Swamp White Oak - This tree is very tolerant and easy to grow in our local soils. It is long lived and a fast grower, so you get bang for the buck. Very pretty tree with good bark, leaves and trunk.swamp white oak
Our landscape design team is always looking for different ways to use plants in the landscape. To see more of plants similar to these within a recent landscape design and installation, read this blog post on a recent backyard landscape design.
Have a question for Tom? Ask him anything by sending your question to julie.j@barnnurserylandscape.com and we will post the answer!

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