Growing Evergreen Shrubs In Zone 8 – Choosing Evergreen Shrubs For Zone 8 Gardens

Evergreens are not only beautiful but they provide many benefits to your garden. They make your home look more attractive and inviting. A well designed evergreen landscape will attract wildlife such as birds, butterflies, squirrels and other animals.

If you have ever had a bird landing on your house or windowpane, then you know how much these creatures like to nest there. Birds love to build their nests near trees so they can enjoy the natural light while building their homes. Also, plants with evergreens in them help keep out insects and other pests that may attack your home.

The first thing you need to do when choosing an evergreen plant is decide which type of tree it is. There are two types of evergreens: deciduous and coniferous. Deciduous trees grow from seed and require constant watering to maintain their health.

Conifers, on the other hand, don’t need to be watered at all. They remain healthy year after year because they don’t lose water through evaporation. Conifers are the best choice for people who don’t have time to water their plants. Deciduous trees grow from cuttings and are therefore easier to maintain than conifers, which are usually more costly to buy. Deciduous trees also make great hedges but conifers are better if you’re looking for privacy because they grow up rather than out. If you’re looking for something to make your landscape look more natural, then evergreen plants are the way to go.

Deciduous Trees

If you’re looking for beautiful and appealing plants that require very little maintenance, then deciduous trees are perfect for you. Deciduous trees lose their leaves every fall and grow a new set the following spring. Deciduous trees can grow to be very large if they’re not pruned or maintained in any way.

Choosing a deciduous tree for your landscape is very simple. All you have to do is decide which type of tree you want and then plant it. It’s also important to take into consideration the size of your yard when choosing a deciduous tree because some can reach very large proportions, possibly obscuring your view or posing a safety hazard. Deciduous trees can also be problematic if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow. The snow can bend the branches of the tree back which, over time, can damage the structure of the tree. If you have a large deciduous tree it is recommended that you purchase a stand to place around its base to protect it from the weight of the snow.

Coniferous Trees

Coniferous trees remain green all year round and don’t lose their leaves. They’re the perfect plant choice if you want to add a natural feel to your landscape design without having to worry about dead leaves or branches all over the place. Deciduous trees shed their leaves every fall and grow a new set every year.

Choosing a coniferous tree is very easy because all you need to do is decide which type of tree you would like and then buy it. Many people think that coniferous trees pose a fire hazard but this is simply not true. Conifers actually have fire retardant qualities and can help keep your home safe from potential fires.


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Grasses are a great way to add a little “pop” to your yard. The bright green of a healthy lawn is often a very welcome sight after the long winter months. There are many types of grasses to choose from, all with their own pros and cons.

If you decide to plant grass in your yard be sure to keep it properly maintained. This means watering it during the summer and cutting it on a regular basis. For some home owners, this isn’t really a problem. For others, however, it can be too much work to maintain. Some grasses are more low maintenance than others so choose wisely.

Container gardens

Container gardens are the perfect solution for people who don’t have a lot of yard space but still want to enjoy the beautiful foliage that plants and flowers can bring to a home. A container garden is basically a “garden in a pot”. There are lots of different types of plants that can grow in a container garden.

The amount of maintenance required also varies from plant to plant. Some plants need to be watered every day while others only need watered once a week or even less. Because container gardens don’t require as much space as a traditional garden, they’re a great choice for urban dwellers or people who live in smaller homes or apartments. A well-designed container garden can also improve the look of your home and add value to it.


Hardscaping is the practice of using non-living elements to change the look or function of your outdoor space. Hardscape elements include paving stones, boulders, gravel, sand, wood structures, walls, fences, lighting and other architectural features. While most homeowners focus on planting things in their outdoor space, hardscaping is just as, if not more, important because it can really improve the curb appeal and functionality of your yard.


Decks are a popular choice among homeowners. They provide an excellent area for entertaining guests or just lounging in the sun. Decks can be made from many different materials including wood, stone and vinyl.

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They can also be built above ground or completely underground. Decks require regular maintenance and upkeep but they can last for decades if you take good care of them.


If you like to spend time in your yard but want a little protection from the elements, a pergola may be just what you need. A pergola is an overhead structure that gives you shade and privacy while allowing air to circulate. They also look really nice in the yard and many people build them right into the design of their deck or patio.


A gazebo is a freestanding structure that you can put anywhere in your yard. They’re usually round or octagonal and are a great place to go if you just want to get out of the sun for a little while. They usually have lattice walls and a roof and are just big enough for 2-4 people to relax in.

Outdoor Kitchens

For the serious outdoor enthusiast, nothing is quite as appealing as an outdoor kitchen. Imagine a space outside your house where you can grill all the steak and veggies you want or even cook a full meal. A professional outdoor kitchen will include a large grill, a sink, drawers and counters for food prep, outlets and even sometimes running water.

Of course these can be very expensive and extensive but there’s nothing quite like having your own outdoors.

Outdoor Lighting

Lighting is an often overlooked aspect of outdoor design but it can really help bring your yard to life after the sun goes down! There are many different types of lighting fixtures including hanging lights, post lights, wall lights and spotlights. The best way to illuminate your yard is by using a combination of lights to highlight different parts of your property.

Sliding Glass Doors

A lot of people like to incorporate sliding glass doors into their outdoor living space. While traditional hinged doors allow you to move your furniture around and get the most out of your indoor living space, they don’t allow the breeze to come in. Sliding glass doors are great because they bring the outside to you and allow for a nice cross breeze.

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They also look good, fit in with most any design style and are easy to use.

Outdoor Dining

Most people like to eat and if you’re lucky you have a dining room inside your house. However, many people don’t and if this describes you then it’s important that you have a place in your yard where you can eat comfortably and enjoy your food. You can choose to build an outdoor dining area or you can just bring out your patio furniture every time you want to dine outside.


Wooden decks are a very popular type of outdoor structure. If you have a wood deck then it’s important that you take special care of it. You’ll need to clean it and reseal it every so often to protect it from weather damage.

If you’re more into synthetic materials, there are many different types of synthetic decking available that don’t require much upkeep at all.


A pergola is a wonderful way to add shade to any part of your yard. Pergolas are easy to construct and can be made out of wood, brick or even stone. They really complement wooden decks and patios and are a wonderful place to put outdoor furniture like lounge chairs, hammocks or just a simple table and bench.


Outdoor planters are a great way to add color and life to an outdoor living space. You can fill them with flowers, herbs or even small shrubs. They’re very easy to maintain and they don’t require much upkeep at all.

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To get the best look out of your planters, you should anchor them into the ground so they don’t blow away in a storm or get misplaced.

Outdoor kitchens are a great way to add value to your property and turn your yard into an outdoor living space. They’re very popular with people who have prime real estate in highly desirable outdoor areas like beaches or mountains. An outdoor kitchen can be as simple as a small grill on the side of your house, or it can be a large free standing structure with running water and multiple grills, sinks and prep areas.

Outdoor furniture can range from simple lounge chairs and tables to complex arrangements of couches, love seats, dining tables and chairs. The main purpose of outdoor furniture is comfort and providing a place to relax outdoors. While lounge chairs and tables are self explanatory, the other types of furniture can involve much more creativity.

Arrangements of multiple lounge chairs, couches and love seats create conversation pits where people can gather together.

Fire pits are a great way to create an outdoor living atmosphere in your yard. They’re very popular with both kids and adults and can really enhance your social life if you have the right people over. Fire pits can get quite large and complex or you can just build a small campfire in a hole in the ground.

You can build yours out of many different materials but stones and bricks are popular as are metal bars.

The type of lighting you use in your yard can have a big effect on your outdoor living atmosphere. There are many different types of lighting available and one of the most popular is to use string lights or small lanterns that you can place around the perimeters of your yard. You can also put lights inside your house so that at night your house glows with an inviting light.

Outdoor showers are a great way to keep your house cool in the warmer months. All you need is a water hose and somewhere to put it so that you can take an outdoor shower in the morning. If you’d prefer, you can even install a large water tank and a pump so that you can take showers whenever you want without having to wait for the water to heat up.

An outdoor kitchen is a great way to keep your house cool in the warmer months. All you need is a water hose and somewhere to put it so that you can have running water outside your house. If you’d prefer, you can even install a large water tank and a pump so that you can have running water in your outdoor kitchen all the time.

Swimming pools are a major commitment for anyone who wants one. They require a lot of up keep and if you don’t take care of them properly, they can get dirty and gross very quickly. But when you do take care of them and keep them clean, they can be an amazing feature for your house and everyone will love them.

Another thing you have to think about is installing a safety fence around your pool so that no children or animals can fall in and drown.

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Just like the name suggests, an outdoor kitchen is a great place to cook food for yourself and your guests and family members outdoors. They’re fairly simple to make and you don’t need much in the way of special skills or knowledge to make them. They’re also very affordable and you can build one for free if you have the materials available and if you don’t you can easily buy them from a home improvement store or a hardware store.

You need to be careful about what type of gas and electric appliances you use outdoors though because if there’s a short circuit or a power overload, it can cause a fire which can easily burn down your entire house. So only buy high quality appliances that are specifically made for outdoor use.

The types of furniture you can have in your yard is limited only by your imagination and the size of your budget. There are couches, chairs, coffee tables, dining tables and many other types of furniture available to suit your needs. If you really want to splash out you can have a lighting system installed so that when it gets dark your entire backyard is lit up by small light bulbs.

Fire pits are very popular with people who like to spend time outdoors in the evenings. All you need is a fire pit, some firewood and you’re good to go.

You can also build yourself a tree house in one of the trees in your back yard. Building a tree house requires a lot of time and effort though so it’s not really a project for a beginner. If you’re going to build one yourself then you’ll need to buy or borrow some books on tree house construction first.

Gardens are a great way to add a little nature to your home or yard. There are many different types and sizes of gardens you can create. You can also place garden furniture in your garden so that you can sit and admire it when it’s finished.

Hideaways and gazebos can be enjoyed by both adults and children alike. They provide a secluded and peaceful place to read, relax and escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Building one is a great project for the beginner woodworker because it’s something they can complete relatively easily.

If you have some old unwanted furniture, you can create a bonfire with it and have an outdoor party. This is usually enjoyed by teenagers and young adults but children also like to jump over the burning embers too.

Sources & references used in this article:

Wyman’s gardening encyclopedia by D Wyman – 1986 –

A guide to selecting landscape plants for Wisconsin by ER Hasselkus – 1977 –

Selecting landscape plants: Boxwoods by AX Niemiera – 2018 –

Herbaceous perennial plants: A treatise on their identification, culture, and garden attributes by AM Armitage – 2008 –

Selecting plants for screens and hedges by P Dinius, CA Brun – 2015 –

Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest: Revised and Enlarged by AR Kruckeberg – 2001 –



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