Select evergreens for landscaping by first considering the color, shape, texture and mature size of the trees or shrubs. Use only a few varieties, and make sure they have a specific purpose in the landscape before purchasing them. Check the USDA plant hardiness map to make sure an evergreen can grow properly in a specific area.
Consider the size and shape of the evergreen when planting. Make sure the tree, when mature, does not block windows. A tall, column-shaped evergreen can accent another landscape element.
Low-growing evergreen shrubs, such as boxwood and holly, are good ground cover and provide privacy around patios. Evergreen trees, such as Douglas fir and Italian cypress, can protect your home by insulating it from wind. Small evergreen trees and shrubs, such as golden creeping Jenny and Hicks yew, make attractive accents when grown in weatherproof containers.
Think about winter color when choosing an evergreen. The blue berries on a juniper stand out against the red bark, while Japanese yew bears bright red berries. Consider both the color and texture of the bark in addition to the needles. Some evergreen trees thrive in problem areas. If problems such as sandy soil or shade are factors, pick a Scotch pine or a Canada yew.