Maybe you have a new house with no landscaping, or perhaps you are looking to rejuvenate your aging landscape. You need plants that make your home look welcoming, take the curb appeal up a level, and tie the house to the surrounding landscape. You need a good foundation. In fact, that’s what these plantings are called – “foundation beds”.
When it comes to foundation plants, you want to work with the architecture of your home. Formal homes that are symmetrical like Georgian, Colonial Revival, and Federals need a more formal, symmetrical design. Cottages, ranchers, and mid-century homes tend to look better with more casual, asymmetrical designs.
Here are some planting tips to consider:
- Avoid elements that detract from the main entrance.
- Plan for detail around the main entrance. It’s what visitors see up close.
- Plant large in back, small in front.
- Tall features at the corners help tie the home to the landscape.
- Don’t hide architectural features like decorative stone foundations.
- Plan for all four seasons.
- Use a mix of trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals.
- Consider landscape lighting too! (Look for a post on lighting later this year.)
Perhaps the newest trend in foundation beds is the advent of dwarf shrubs. Have you ever planted a shrub only to have it get gigantic a few years later? Now you can get these same plants at a fraction of the size, and they’re mature to a much smaller size. Various evergreens, azaleas, and hydrangeas all have dwarf varieties available.
Now is the perfect time of the year to start doing research, making sketches, and planning your landscape. If you’re creating foundation beds yourself, remember to take baby steps. With large landscape projects it is easy to get overwhelmed. Developing a landscape from scratch can take years of work. That’s part of the fun!