Jun 02, 2023

10 Must Have Plants For A Stunning Landscape Design

I Stock 1021736810

Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting to explore the world of landscaping, choosing the right plants can make all the difference in creating a truly stunning outdoor space. In this blog, we'll unveil the top 10 must-have plants that thrive in Portland's unique climate and conditions and the surrounding areas. Get ready to transform your yard into a captivating oasis!

Quick Read Synopsis

  • Crape Myrtle
  • Japanese Maple
  • Pieris
  • Heuchera
  • Sword Fern
  • Lavendar
  • Salal
  • Red Twig Dogwood
  • Columbine

Each yard is unique, and we encourage you to seek a professional's advice when choosing plants. These are some we like and can be used in many landscapes, but not all. Additionally, a plan is essential to ensure year-round interest. You don't want all your shrubs and trees blooming all at once and then nothing for the remainder of the year.

Valley west landscapes 200

Crape Myrtle

Showstopping Blooms and Striking Bark The Willamette Valley is no stranger to stunning flowering trees, and one such standout is the Crape Myrtle. With its showy, vibrant blooms in various colors, including shades of pink, purple, and white, this tree becomes the focal point of any landscape. These beautiful flowers add a touch of elegance, and Crape Myrtles also boasts attractive exfoliating bark that adds visual interest even when not in bloom. These trees thrive in the Willamette Valley's climate, providing a spectacular display of color and texture throughout the summer, making them an excellent alternative to rhododendrons.

Japanese Maple

Graceful Elegance and Striking Foliage With their delicate leaves and captivating hues, Japanese maples are a true showstopper in any landscape. These trees offer a stunning range of colors, from fiery reds to golden yellows, and their graceful branches add a touch of elegance to any garden.


Pieris, also known as the Lily of the Valley shrub, is a captivating evergreen offering much more than foliage. In the Willamette Valley, these shrubs showcase clusters of delicate, bell-shaped flowers in shades of white, pink, or red during the spring. Their glossy, dark green leaves provide year-round interest, making them an excellent choice for adding texture and color to your landscape. Pieris thrives in the region's acidic soil and partial shade, making it a fantastic alternative to lavender in the Willamette Valley.

Oregon Grape

Native Charm and Hardy Appeal The Oregon grape is a native shrub that boasts vibrant yellow flowers and dark blue berries. It's holly-like leaves and drought tolerance make it a fantastic choice for creating an eye-catching, low-maintenance landscape design.


Colorful Foliage for Year-Round Interest If you want to add texture and color to your garden throughout the year, Heuchera, also known as coral bells, is an excellent choice. These perennial plants thrive in the Willamette Valley's mild climate with their striking foliage in shades of green, purple, and silver.

Sword Fern

Lush Greenery for a Pacific Northwest Vibe A classic feature of the Pacific Northwest, sword ferns are a perfect choice for adding a touch of lushness to your landscape. These shade-loving plants are native to the region and provide a calm, refreshing atmosphere to any garden or wooded area.

2312011999 huge


Lavender provides stunning purple blooms and emits a soothing aroma that fills the air. These hardy plants are well-suited for the Willamette Valley's well-drained soil and thrive in full sun, making them an excellent addition to your garden or as a border plant.

I Stock 171268378


Salal is a versatile groundcover used for slopes and areas prone to erosion; salal is a hardy evergreen shrub with glossy leaves and small, bell-shaped flowers. This native plant thrives in the Willamette Valley's acidic soil and provides year-round interest with its berries, a favorite food for local wildlife.

Red Twig Dogwood

Winter Interest and Striking Color To add a dramatic touch to your landscape during the winter months, consider planting red twig dogwood. This deciduous shrub features vibrant red branches that stand out against the winter backdrop and create a stunning visual effect.


Delicate Blooms for Woodland Gardens Columbine is a perennial wildflower known for its dainty, bell-shaped blooms in various colors, including shades.

It's crucial to keep in mind that not all plants are suitable for every landscape. Each yard possesses its distinct characteristics and lighting requirements. Therefore, we highly recommend developing a planting plan before selecting any plants. This approach will help you create functional outdoor spaces and ensure your chosen plants thrive in their new environment. Furthermore, a well-thought-out planting plan will contribute to a unified and cohesive vision for your space. These above plants are ones that will typically work in many landscapes but not all.

Ready To Discuss Your Plantings? Click the link below to fill out our online request, or give us a call today at 503-669-0606
19 0905 VW 0064 3
Erica Mooney
Email Erica Mooney

Erica is an avid lover of the outdoors, and transformed that love into a partnership running Valley West with Ryan 2012.

Latest Posts

This is who we are and what we do. Sound like a fit?