Creeping Jenny, also called moneywort, is a low-growing ground cover that's great for rock gardens and low areas. It blooms yellow in June, grows quickly and easily in USDA Zones 3-9, and prefers medium-wet to wet soil in sun or partial shade. In shade, its foliage is a striking lime green.
Clematis is a long-lived perennial vine that prefers shaded roots and can be grown on fences or trellises. It blooms multiple times in the summer and comes in various colors and types. Once planted, it should not be moved as it may not survive. Clematis thrives in slightly acidic soil and needs regular moisture. It grows in USDA Zones 4-9, depending on the variety.
Thuja is a fast-growing evergreen tree often used for shrubs and privacy borders. Its natural pyramid form has dense, green foliage that darkens slightly in the winter. It's great for screens, hedges, or single specimens and is wind-resistant and can withstand heavy ice or snow. It thrives in full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil in USDA Zones 5-7.
Honeysuckle vine (Lonicera Japonica) is a fragrant flowering vine that attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. It's a great choice for covering walls or trellises and can grow in various soil types and pH levels, except for wet soil. It does well in full sun to partial shade, and its hardiness varies by species.
Perennial geraniums (Geranium) have long bloom seasons and a neat growth habit. The common name, cranesbill, comes from the shape of pointed, beak-like seedpods. These easy-care plants are best planted as a border, in containers, or as a spreading ground cover where their foliage and bright flowers can be admired. Geraniums like full to partial sun and fairly loamy soil. There are varieties for every region and zone.
Privet is a fast-growing shrub used for borders and hedges. It grows up to 15' tall and wide, with semi-evergreen leaves in mild winter climates. It has attractive flowers in June, followed by glossy black berries that last through winter. It thrives in dry to medium moist soils, prefers full sun to partial shade, and can be grown in USDA Zones 4-7.
Bamboo is a fast-growing grass used for hedges or screens in USDA Zones 5 and warmer. It prefers slightly acidic soil, and its growth rate is affected by soil quality. New plants grow taller each year, reaching full height in 60-90 days. Water it well and let it dry between waterings.
Hybrid poplar (Pacific albus) is a fast-growing tree similar to aspens. It's a farmed tree whose wood is used to manufacture pencils, palettes, and plywood. Though it's not super common as a residential tree, its beauty makes it a great candidate if you want an area of hardwood trees to grow quickly. This species is native to the Pacific Northwest.
The sweet potato vine is an ornamental annual with colorful leaves and a vining habit. It creates a tropical ambiance and is suitable as a ground cover during the summer. In USDA Zone 11, it is a perennial while in higher zones, it is planted after the last frost. The plant thrives with up to six hours of sunlight per day and can tolerate some shade. It needs to be watered during drought but allowed to dry out between waterings.