FOOLPROOF: The Best Basic Plants for an EASY Garden

We all want to make a good first impression. That’s what a garden does for your home – it’s the welcome hello to all who come by. A great garden doesn’t have to be difficult! Some of the best plants you can choose for your landscape are the ones that require the least care and attention. Here are our favourite garden basics (that also happen to be nearly foolproof) and how to use them.

Easy care plants, like perennial Salvia, can transform a garden with minimal effort.


So, what’s the deal with perennials? You only plant them once. These are garden plants that emerge in the spring, bloom for a set part of the season, and then go dormant for the winter. Most perennials disappear from the landscape completely for the winter months, but quietly grow and become more robust with each new spring. This means that, when you plant a perennial, you’re creating a piece of your garden that will persist and improve over time. By planting a mix of perennials that bloom in varying parts of the growing season, the garden can offer something different and beautiful from spring until frost every year, without continual investment and effort on your part.

Stella d’Oro daylilies grow with minimal care and look spectacular when planted in large drifts or groups.
Perennial Salvia
Salvia periodically in early and late summer with low maintenance, and pollinators love it!
Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ can grow in poor soils and hot, dry conditions and blooms from July to frost.
Hosta Patriot 1gal
It’s hard to go wrong with Hostas. They’re carefree and easy, with varieties that can be suited to sun or shade.
Echinacea (coneflowers) bloom freely all summer long, and are available in a rainbow of different colours.
Ornamental Grasses
Ornamental grass creates drama and impact in the landscape, with very little care.

Flowering Shrubs

Like perennials, flowering shrubs are part of your garden that will continually stay, grow, and bloom. The added bonus is that the woody structure of shrubs adds shape and height to your landscape all year round, with some even offering unique form or ornamental interest in the winter. Plant flowering shrubs in simple groupings, rows, or repeated through a garden space, with larger plants toward the backs of beds. Always remember to read the plant tags when selecting shrubs, to keep in mind what the mature size of the shrub will be when choosing where to plant.

Spirea double play pink proven winners
Spirea is a long-time landscape favourite for it’s easygoing nature. Newer varieties are brighter and bloom longer than ever!
Weigela grow in a mounded shape, with sizes ranging from 2-3′ tall and wide to up to 6′ tall and wide. Glossy foliage in green, burgundy, or variegated looks beautiful even when it’s not blooming, which it does most of the summer.
Dwarf Lilac
Dwarf lilacs bloom later than the spring lilacs, and for longer! Tidy shape and fragrant flowers make them valuable, easy additions to the garden.
There’s something spectacular about a simple row or grouping of Hydrangeas, especially ‘Incrediball’ by Proven Winners.


Evergreens are the under-appreciated workhorses of the garden! They’re useful, dependable, and fulfill an important role in a landscape. Plant evergreens to create a year-round focal point or accent, or to fill spaces with a permanent backdrop of textured green. Evergreens also give birds and pollinators protection, shade, and habitat throughout the entire year.

Mugo Pine thrives in challenging conditions from sun to partial shade and offers a compact, rounded structure and green colour all year round.
Junipers vary from low-growing groundcover to upright tree form. They grow without effort in hot, sunny gardens in shades from grey, to blue, to bright green.
Yews are ideal for hedges and borders, and can grow in shade or sun. Varieties can be upright, columnar, or low and spreading, and have soft texture and medium-green needles.
Boxwood are prized for their tidy appearance, and can be trimmed or left loose in areas with sun or shade.

Are you new to gardening? For tips on planting, see How to Plant Anything here.

A young woman kneels in a fenced yard, planting basil plants into a wooden raised garden bed.
Our new gardener’s guide: How to Plant Anything!

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