Thursday, April 10, 2008
Those allusive front foundation plants....how do you select the right ones? You don't want the planting to look weak. You want it to be strong and beautiful. You want it to be interesting. And you want the plants to do well....right?
I always try to select evergreen shrubs as the first layer up against the house. There are two reasons for this. First of all, they provide a nice background for any plants that are placed in front of them. Think of, for example, Azaleas in flower, perhaps pink, popping out against greenery. Secondly, evergreen shrubs provide greenery and interest during the winter months.
Height is important also. You don't want the shrubs growing above any existing windows. Start with as large of a plant size that you can for a given plant. For example, if the mature size will be three feet, consider purchasing them 24" to 30" high.
Do you have deer? There are deer resistant plants to choose from. What can be worse than investing money and time in a new planting, only to wake up, go outside, and find that your shrubs have been nibbled at?
Consider your sun/shade conditions. There are those shrubs that do well in the sun, others in the shade, and some that will take some of each.
Your next layer can either be lower shrubs or perennials. Or both.
Two of my favorite shrubs for the foundation are Blue Holly 'China Girl'and Boxwood 'Green Velvet'. The Holly will be a looser design. They can either be planted in a straight row, or, preferably, staggered. The Boxwood will be more formal. Plant these in a straight row. However, by planting lots of perennials in front of them the entire look will be softened and colorful.
Ornamental trees at the house corners, pulled out far enough to allow for growth, will frame your house. Consider adding a couple of taller plants here and there to avoid monotony. A Lilac or Butterfly Bush will add both height, a different form, and color.
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- Landscape design has been an important part of my life for many years. Whether it be creating a master plan, designing a small garden, selecting paving materials, or choosing plant material for color throughout the year, I design landscapes that are extremely creative and colorful. It is very satisfying to take a property and either enhance it or create a totally new picture. I live and work in New Jersey, but I also provide online designs.