Landscaping Tips - Accent Plants

Landscaping Tips - Accent Plants...and how they are used in the landscape
The great variety of plants available today makes it possible to find the right plant for almost any landscape need. One of the most important uses of plants is as accents.  
The word ‘accent’ is a design term for a plant that contrasts with its neighbors and so catches the eye; it has features or characteristics that make it more noticeable than the average plant. Some plants may serve as accents during a particular season with showy flowers, fruit or fall color, while other plants serve as year-round accents with distinctive leaf shapes and colors, stem colors, plant shapes or growth habits and bark characteristics.  Smaller accents are more effective when planted in clumps or groups in odd numbers such as three, five, etc.  Medium and large accent plants need enough space so the form can be displayed to best advantage. Plant these in groups or as a single specimen. 
When selecting accent plants, do not mix non-complementary plants in the same area. For example, do not place an ocotillo beside a citrus tree.  Ocotillos are commonly found in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts while citrus are native to Asia, Melanesia and Australia. Not only do they require different amounts of water, which will make them difficult to irrigate correctly, but they visually do not belong together. Plants should work together to create a mood instead of clashing with one another.  
Specimen or focal point plants are a sub group of accent plants that are used singly to show off some special feature of the plant such as a unique shape, foliage or color. They are often the largest plants in a landscape. They can be used to draw attention to a feature like an entry door, or can be used as a focal point all on their own. 
There are many benefits to incorporating accent plants into your design.  Accent plants are a great way to define and enhance your property and do a wonderful job at creating first impressions that are sure to last.  There are many types of accent plants to choose from and any landscape will be enhanced by their unique features.
Accent plant choices:  Agaves, Aloes, Grasses, Desert Milkweed, Yellow Bells, Ocotillo, Red Bird-of-Paradise, Hesperaloe, Yuccas, Lady Slipper, Saguaro, Texas Ebony, Weeping Bottlebrush