Red Creeping Thyme, Groundcover For Dry, Full-Sun Areas Red creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum coccineus ) is a heat-tolerant, drought-tolerant ground cover that grows in zones 3 to 9. It likes full sun and grows close to the ground at only two to four-inches tall. It's deer-resistant, too.
Keep Plants Vertical, Not Horizontal - Horizontal space is at a premium in many of the best small backyard ideas. That's why it's good to look for shrubs and trees that max out interest as they grow up, not out. Try dwarf varieties for a small backyard, as well as more columnar evergreens (bonus—they boost wintertime interest, too).
HOOPSI BLUE SPRUCE-Outstanding evergreen tree, generally considered the bluest form. New growth is especially bright blue. Pyramidal form that holds stiff horizontal branches with dense silvery-blue needles.