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Landscape Around a Garden Arbor Swing

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

A handsome DIY garden arbor swing like this deserves an equally handsome landscape surrounding it. And the best thing about this low-maintenance landscape is that it peaks at an unusual time of year: fall. Annuals ensure that the landscape looks good in summer, but the grasses, hydrangeas and perennials really swing from late summer to late autumn.

DIY garden swing with fall landscaping surrounding it.
Before and after showing DIY garden swing with and without landscaping.

Without plants, the arbor and swing stick out. Plants help integrate the garden structure into the overall landscape. They also give you the chance to enjoy nature close up while you’re relaxing on the swing.

Get plans for how to build this garden arbor 

Lettered landscape plan with plant list.

Plant List

A)  Vinca vine (Vinca major), Zones 7–9

B)  Calibrachoa, annual

C)  Pansies, Zones 7–11 or annual

D)  Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), Zones 3–9

E)  Celosia, annual

F)  Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia), Zones 5–9

G)  Flame grass (Miscanthus ‘Purpurascens’), Zones 5–9

H)  Panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata)

I)  Artemisia (Artemisia ‘Silver Mound’), Zones 3–9

J)  Swamp sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius), Zones 6–9

K)  Iresine (Iresine herbstii ‘Brilliantissima’), annual

L)  Flowering almond (Prunus triloba), Zones 6–9

M)  Purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Purpureum’), Zones 8–11 or annual

N)  Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus), annual

O)  Diamond Frost euphorbia (Euphorbia hybrid), annual

P)  Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia spp.), Zones 3–11


Diamond Frost euphorbia, Persian shield and black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia spp.).

Diamond Frost euphorbia, Persian shield and black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia spp.) make a colorful combination for months on end.

Panicle hydrangea bloom.

Panicle hydrangea takes more sunshine than other hydrangeas and fits right in with a late-season garden, blooming from midsummer to midfall. Blooms take on attractive hues of pink and tan as they fade.

Purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Purpureum’)

Whether grown as a perennial in warm climates or an annual where winters are cold, purple fountain grass is a valued addition to both the summer and fall garden. Its burgundy foliage is topped with buff-colored flower plumes in fall.

Flame grass blades and flowerheads.

Flame grass is a medium green in summer but it really hits its stride in fall when blades turn flamelike hues of burgundy, red and orange topped with buff seedheads. Better yet, it’s a perennial in most climates, so it will return year after year.

Variegated iresine leaves.

Iresine is a tender tropical with brightly variegated leaves in tones that say “fall.” You can take it indoors in the winter or treat it as an annual and toss in the compost pile after frost.

Yellow pansies with Artemisia.

These yellow pansies look particularly chipper against the silver-green Artemisia foliage. Artemisia is a dependable perennial, while pansies will often overwinter in warmer climates.

A few well-placed plants can make any garden structure feel more at home in the landscape. --Lowe’s Creative Ideas

Landscape around an arbor swing—or other garden structure such as gazebo or pergola—to make it feel more at home in the landscape.


Explore more landscaping ideas:

Landscape Around a Gazebo

Before and After Landscape Makeovers

Outdoor Benches and Seating Projects