foundation plantings zone 5

juleecat(z5 OH)March 25, 2010

Need to redo a large bed on the west side of the house. We are in central Ohio, zone 5. Our home is on a hill, in the country, and the west side of the property gets hammered with wind, and this year, a ton of snow!! (unusual for this area-we usually deal with a bit of ice, and maybe ONE snowfall per year).

Suggestions for hardy foundation plants? I have "miniature" lilacs on the east side of the house, and they are thriving (the deer and rabbits keep them nicely pruned for me!). Would those do well with the western exposure? (I have a budlea on the southwest corner of the bed-prune it down to the base every year, and it is doing great).


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I'm in zone 5, I have a lilac shrub on the west face, it is thriving, they love sun.

Weigela does well for me too, on the west side, though it took several years to establish and bloom, but when it did WOW. I had Wine & Roses.

Boxwood are nice, but need winter protection from sun (burlap). I don't remember if deer like these, I'm in the city.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 12:27AM
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I live in central Illinois where the winter winds blow in fiercely to batter the west side of my home. That side is the boring side of our house, or should I say "most boring side". It's planted with an arborvitae hedge. Sturdy, reliable, not very attractive, but provides a "blanket" from the cold.

I've not given much thought to doing anything to what we have, not that it's great, but there are so many other fish to fry and the unknown variety of thuja accomplishes the task that I would put at the top of my list for plantings on this side of the house: It does provide insulation from the wind, it survives, it's evergreen, it takes pruning reasonably well. I have no idea how many plants are planted in this hedge. It is no doubt planted too closely together (a hedge) and too close to the house.

But then, I don't have much space to play with. My neighbor's house is only about 15' feet from mine.

So, my first question would be how much real estate do you want to use for this new foundation planting? Clearly, evergreens should probably play a part in your choices. I like lilacs, and they're tough once established, but their seasonal interest is limited to a few weeks of flowering. Then they are a ho hum shrub with no fall color and twigs for winter. No real screening for your western exposure.

Without knowing the size of your space, it's impossible to say what you should do, but an evergreen hedge might be a starting point. If I had the space, I'd love to then feature several specimen deciduous shrubs in front of the evergreens ... physocarpus (ninebark) comes to mind, or maybe one of the vibirnum varieties, cotinus coggygria, possibly even a specimen evergreen or two. One of these or some sort of grouping featured in the foreground of an evergreen backdrop.

I'm just throing ideas out here ... on the chance that something helps.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 12:38AM
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juleecat(z5 OH)

I will try to attach a pic of the bed....maybe I am not using the correct terminology! :-) The bed is against the west side of the house-we have a 3car sideload garage on that side, and the house then extends back for about 30 feet. I am trying to create some visual interest on the side of the house. There are no windows along that side, and it needs 'something'! This bed was originally a cutting flower bed-the windstorm of '07 took down most of our shingles, and when the roof was replaced, the bed was pretty much destroyed. It needed attention anyway, so now is the perfect time to 'fix' it! The bed is approx 30 ft long, and irregularly shaped. It does not look to 'scale' in my pix-but it was too cold and windy out there this am to fuss with the camera! :-) I'm thinking lilacs along the wall, and a variety of other small shrubs. Hollies do well here (when the rabbits leave them alone), daylilies, knockout roses, etc. The house next door is about an acre away-we sit on over 5 acres. And landscaping around the garden shed is next fall's project! :-)

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 11:13AM
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juleecat(z5 OH)

here is a pic after we removed most of the crushed plantings last summer. Yes, everything, except the butterfly bush, will be removed.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 2:03PM
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