Discover a native tree that’s perfect for any size yard. This beauty delivers white, fringe-like flowers in late spring to early summer, followed by blue-black fruits that are favorites among birds. Fall color delivers with leaves that shift from bright green to shades of yellow-gold. This tree has no pests and stands up to pollution. It also doesn’t need pruned. The shape is rounded (like those lollipop trees you drew in elementary school). It often forms multiple trunks, which is not a problem. Size: Plants grow 12 to 20 feet tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 3-9.
A true water-loving plant, Louisiana iris grows in up to 4 inches of water. ‘Black Gamecock’ is a variety that opens 4- to 6-inch blooms with deep purple petals marked with a brilliant gold stripe. It’s an award winning variety that’s ultra-easy to grow. Plants multiply rapidly in ideal growing conditions. Despite the name, Louisiana iris is hardy as far north as Maine. Look for varieties with flowers in many hues, including purple and blue shades, red, white, yellow and brown. Plants grow 24 to 36 inches tall by 24 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 4-10.
Chokecherrry is a beloved native tree known for its black cherries that beckon birds—and make good jelly, too. Goldspur amur chokecherry (Prunus maackii ‘Jefspur’) is a dwarf form of the classic native, bringing the multi-season beauty of this tree to a size that fits any yard. White flowers appear in spring, followed by black cherry fruits in summer. Leaves shift to yellow tones in autumn, but the best show occurs in winter, when the gold peeling bark is visible. Size: 10 to 15 feet tall by 6 to 9 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 2-9.
Norway maple (Acer platanoides) is the ultimate shade tree, forming a dense crown thanks to leaves that grow up to 7 inches across. In fall, leaves shift to hues of yellow and gold. Give it plenty of space, because it spreads up to 50 feet. The form of this maple is a classic lollipop shape—a strong, straight trunk topped with a rounded leaf canopy. Norway maple tolerates urban conditions, but avoid planting it near driveways or sidewalks, because shallow roots can lift concrete. Trees grow 50 to 60 feet tall and 40 to 50 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4-7.
Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) is a native tree known for its towering size (70 to 100 feet) and yellow, tulip-like blooms that open in summer. ‘Little Volunteer’ brings that stately beauty down to a size that fits modern gardens. Leaves offer an unusual shape and shimmer in the wind. Look for gold fall color and cup-like fruits made of seeds. It’s a medium-fast grower, reaching a size of 12 feet tall by 6 feet wide in 4 years (starting with a 3- to 5-foot sapling). The strong pyramidal shape looks elegant in winter, especially when wet snows stick to branches. This is one tree you won’t regret planting. Size: to 20 feet tall by 9 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9.
For a family home in Houston, the designers of Laura U Interior Design created a comfortable seating area just off the kitchen. The team used color and accessories to create a cohesive look throughout the wide open area. “While the majority of the color palette is neutral, we weave a lively turquoise through each space: pillows and an area rug in the family, bar stool frames in the kitchen, and a show-stopping chandelier in the breakfast space,” they explain. “The entire space is further unified through the window treatments which are a combination of Hunter Douglas Silhouette shades and custom drapery with a turquoise band on the leading edge. A cheerful yellow and just a dash of orange set off the color scheme while touches of gold and a natural wood (teak root table and driftwood at the island) add eclectic charm.”