Deep-green plants make an excellent background for their more colorful, conspicuous cousins. They’re generally one solid color rather than variegated to show off plants in the foreground. Some may have attractive flowers but their basic form is simple and consistent with dense, leafy growth from the ground up. The height of the background depends solely on what is being placed in the foreground. Appropriate shrubs include viburnum, king’s mantle (Thunbergia erecta), and orange jessamine (Murraya paniculata).

Using plants as screens provides a remedy for numerous common landscape problems. These living barriers provide privacy, block unsightly views, buffer wind, and reduce noise. Recommended plants are fast growers, bear dense foliage, and may be pruned for a formal effect or left to grow naturally. Select shrubs of adequate height to ensure the offending object is hidden. Suitable screening plants include Surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora) and firebush (Hamelia patens).

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