Can anybody help me to identify these plants ? Or recommend me something similar?

enter image description here

I am trying to fix the below. Suggestions are welcome (what you see below was done by the previous owner-this is a last year picture)

enter image description here

Update: I am thinking about adding something to the existing group of shrubs to balance the composition and to add unity. ❷ from above my add unity if planted the same way among and around the existing trees while adding ❹ in the space at the the end of the group of tree that is closer to the viewer may add balance

  • So are you saying that the first photo shows the same area, but a year ago, when it was owned by someone else? and the second photo shows the same area, as it is now? What happened to the rest of the planting?
    – Bamboo
    Commented May 27, 2017 at 16:00
  • 1
    Maybe some uncertainty about your exact question: pnuts recommends removing shrubs and leaving only grass. Bamboo wonders if most of the previously existing shrubbery has vanished, and you would like to replace it. My take is that you currently have grass and 3 shrubs, but would like to replace the grass with a variety of new shrubs similar to those in your first picture (which I think must be either taken at a public ornamental garden or reprinted from House Beautiful - it's so gorgeous). It's kinda fun that there are so many interpretations of your question, but clarification maybe useful.
    – Lorel C.
    Commented May 27, 2017 at 16:12
  • @LorelC. You are correct, the first picture is taken from Internet, the second picture is the disaster the former owner left behind . I need to fix that since moving those shrubs will be complicated I wish I could move them but I doubt it is possible, at least the big one
    – MiniMe
    Commented May 27, 2017 at 16:19
  • 1
    I don't think your 3 shrubs are a disaster. They look healthy & vigorous. Not sure if they are all 3 same species, but same color. Main beautiful feature of your internet photo is the riot of color. If you got rid of grass (no mean task), and piled on the colorful [lo-maintenance] bushes, why not leave the "3-bears" in place? or maybe move 1 of the littler ones to break up the set a little. I bet your main prob. will be grass coming back tho.
    – Lorel C.
    Commented May 27, 2017 at 16:28
  • grass coming back: at least it doesn't look like Bermuda. Bermuda can be a big pain to remove from clogged-up junipers, etc.
    – Lorel C.
    Commented May 27, 2017 at 16:31

2 Answers 2


You are saying you like the first picture and the second is the actual picture at your home? Minime You are feeling and seeing the problem. The need to unify. We were taught that humans are only comfortable seeing 3 things. That is how composition is taught with any art, paintings or landscape the principles are the same.

There are a number of compositional elements; texture, form, rhythm, color, shoot and a few more I am not coming up with at the moment. If someone just crams all kinds of plants into a space they had better know about composition. The top picture is a bit chaotic my opinion, but whoever did this landscape was thinking about composition. They pulled the blue of the conifers throughout the picture as well as the yellow. There is rhythm and form helping to pull this off. And just barely.

Those 'foo foo' shrubs in your yard need to be transplanted (only during the winter and don't expect success). Lawn size is highly over rated. You do need to consider large, raised plant beds and a very defined lawn area. We can also help with the health of your lawn.

People go to the nursery to buy one of this and one of that. I try to explain always get 5 or 7 of the same species. One or two specimen plants for focal points. All landscapes need a 'skeleton' planting, sometimes called a foundation planting and not because plants are planted against the foundation. A skeleton planting pulls the entire landscape together and allows plantings of perennials, annuals and focal points. When someone knows what they are doing the landscape can be quite exciting without being overwhelming. minimizing lawn great edge definition and composition

  • #4 is Bird's Nest Blue Spruce. The others we need to see close ups of the foliage. These are all conifers, except the yellow could be a yellow heath. They are planted so close together that these plants could be sharing diseases caused by little ventilation. Deciduous plants add a beautiful more sculptural look to the landscape. Landscapes that don't change with the seasons get boring. My favorite plants for skeleton planting are Blue Arctic Willow (bluish, deciduous, copper, fine stems during winter, tiny easy to maintain leaves) and Spreading Yew; Taxus cuspidata 'repandens'...I think.
    – stormy
    Commented May 28, 2017 at 0:01

Approximate guesses:

  1. Thuja occidentalis 'Umbraculifera'
  2. Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Filifera Aurea' or Juniperus horizontalis 'Lime Glow'
  3. Thuja occidentalis 'Globosa'
  4. Picea pungens 'Fat Albert'

Anyway, you don't need the exact species like in the photo, but similar.

Keep in mind that yellow and blueish conifers may significantly change its color in winter. Sometimes it is a nice plum color, or golden tone, but it could be a dull brown too - doublecheck before considering purchase.

I wouldn't move existing three conifers. Just add some. Beside color contrasting, you can try shape contrasting. A columnar mid-sized conifer may fit nicely:

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.