Plants with Architectural Characteristics
Some plants just have a perfectly statuesque quality—bold and contemporary with an artistic edge. Adding them strategically to your garden and landscape can improve your design dramatically. Vertical height, striking shapes, rich colors, and distinctive texture—there are many beautiful ways to incorporate architectural plants into your landscape.
Create Stunning Garden Designs with Architectural Plants
Whether you’re planning a large or small garden design, you can maximize visual impact by adding statuesque plants with fascinating shapes, edges, and artistic features. These eight plants bring that je ne sais quoi to transform your garden into a modern botanical art collection.
We love these classic water-wise succulent plants, known for their tall, stiff, spiky leaves and impressive lifespans. There are so many colorful options to explore, with distinctive shapes and sizes offering endless architectural value. For a soft, muted color palette, opt for dusty blue agaves. For high-contrast color and visual impact, try a variegated variety streaked with gold, such as the variety ‘Ray of Light.
Junipers are wildly popular evergreens known for their distinctive fall berries, often deep blue or nearly black in color. Vertical varieties with columnar shapes have significant architectural value! Plant them strategically to create elegant pillars of greenery, or plant them in a line to create a privacy screen or “wall” to establish separate areas in the garden.
Juniper Mint Julep
This statement plant is pure whimsy and wonder. It looks like a Dr. Seuss illustration—almost too wonderful to be true! Multi-stemmed plants look fantastic with neatly pruned, globe-shaped foliage, offering all the aesthetic appeal of an art sculpture. Single, upright-growing varieties are often trimmed into a spiral shape, bringing a fun, carefree spirit to any garden design.
Also known as New Zealand flax, this trendy ornamental grass-like plants features colorful strap leaves that grow in a clumped form. There are plenty of flashy shades to choose from, like lime green, cherry red, warm amber, and deep plum—bursting with color like an explosion of fireworks.
This broadleaf evergreen never lacks color and texture! It’s easy to prune into tight, tidy shapes, making it a versatile shrub for sleek, contemporary garden designs. Trim it into a perfectly spherical accent plant, or create maze-like hedges by planting them along borders with sharp corners.
Some folks call Furcraea the “giant false agave” because its shape is so similar! This African shrub loves heat and dry weather, reaching up to 6 feet tall with a spread of 8–10 feet. Its flower stalks can reach a whopping 25 feet tall, so it’s safe to say this gorgeous garden plant will be a conversation starter. Plant one as a singular statement plant, or plant 2–3 in a row to create a privacy screen.
Ribbons of contrasting color streak the stiff, sword-like blades of foliage throughout this flashy garden plant. It forms a compact, perfectly round, spiky sphere, like a beautiful garden sea urchin. Yucca has an edgier look in the landscape, but in spring, it surprises us with a burst of remarkable blooms in shades of vanilla and powder pink. A voluminous cluster of cupped, dangling flowers emerges from a central stem, bringing a distinctly romantic, fairytale quality to the scenery.
You’ll love the silvery sheen of this lush, ornamental grass-like plant when it catches the light. Its slender leaf blades aren’t super stiff—they tend to bend and flutter, adding texture and dimension. “Red Devil” is an especially exciting variety, with vibrant splashes of red, purple, and green. Statement garden plants, borders, groundcovers—there are so many uses for Astelia in garden design!
Discover even more architectural plants for Orange County garden designs near you by exploring the beautiful selection at Roger’s Gardens. We’re experts in Water-Wise, eco-friendly gardening—let us help you find the perfect plants to suit your unique space and lifestyle.