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

Summer is flying by here at The Barn and while we've had a couple hot days, the cooler temps and occasional showers make it a great summer for landscaping. Take a look at your 4th of July pics from last summer. Dead grass, no blooms, everything was brown. This year we are enjoying the green lushness we all missed in 2012.

Contrary to what some people believe, summer is a GREAT time to plant. It's just easier on the homeowner when nature takes on some of work, which is exactly what is happening this summer.

This weeks version of "Ask Me Anything" features the same question as last week, but with answers from another Barn expert, Tom Kusmerz Jr. Tom his literally grown up with The Barn, starting at age 5, when Len Kusmerz, his grandfather and founder of The Barn, paid him a penny for every weed he pulled in our nursery near Crystal Lake.

Tom can usually be found outside and considers his evening gardening chores his "downtime". Tom's taste in landscape styles, products and design is sophisticated and upscale, so if you have big dreams for the ultimate outdoor living space, Tom is the designer you want to work with.

This summer, Tom is not only enjoying the birth of his 3rd child, but he is also landscaping his new home and installing a large patio and outdoor living space in his free time. He would like to point out this list is purely functional, his take on the best performing, low maintenance and easy to grow plants.

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

1. Swamp White Oak -  This is a huge majestic shade tree, that is fast growing and very hardy for our area. This is all you need. Bang for the buck and it's great at creating shade for the home and yard.


2. Ginkgo -  Fun to day, hard to spell. The only tree in the world with no known disease or pest. Maintenance free. Cool leaf shape and it's myth and aura just makes it a fun selection.


3. Limelight/Little Lime Hydrangea -  Very hardy and versatile. Blooms well. Reliable. Good shape. Keep it watered in a well drained area.

little lime hydrangea

4. Reversii Beech - Stately, specimen hardwood. It's dark purple foliage makes a statement. This makes a great tree to light up near a patio. Nice fringy leaves.

riversii purple beech

5. Green Giant Arborvitaes - Shade/sun/wet/dry, they tolerate it all. They grow and grow fast. Deer don't eat them! If you want to hide a neighbor this is the solution.

green ginat arborvitae

6. Knockout Rose - number one selling plant in the country for a reason .... color, color and more color. Very disease resistant and easy to maintain.

red double knockout rose

7. Nepeta Walkers Low - You can't kill it, nonstop color. Gets huge fast and makes a great filler plant. Makes a great border plant for patios and walkways or along the home.

nepeta walker's low

8. Vinca Minor Periwinkle - This evergreen groundcover is clean and classic. Pretty blue flowers in the summer. No major disease issues.

vinca minor, periwinkle

9. Spilled Wine and/or Fine Wine Weigela -  Deep purple foliage, accented pink flowers, hardy and disease resistant, two size solutions.

spilled wine weigela

10. Green Velvet Boxwood -  Deer don't eat, slow growing=low maint, decidious evergreen, estate look.

green velvet boxwood

There you have it. Would you like Tom to consult you about your landscape project? Click below to get started.


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