ideas for foundation planting

teri55(z6MA)April 26, 2010

I hope this picture works. It is a small cottage type house. My daughter recently purchased this house. I've pulled out the evergreens so it is a blank slate. This is the only picture I have but it is the same on both sides. The ramp will be coming out, leaving a small entry porch (hopefully). The empty beds are about 12 feet on each side. This is a beach community so I'm thinking she needs something colorful but I don't really know what to do. Does anyone have any ideas? This is zone 6 and I think it's an eastern exposure. Thank you.

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The other thing I should say is that she plans on painting it a darker beige with white trim.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 7:44AM
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    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 10:31AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

You know, for plant ideas you are always better off at your local nursery than on the internet with faraway strangers. We can suggest plants until we're blue, but if they aren't available down the street then we've wasted your time and ours.

It's a sweet little house that doesn't have any architectural flaws you're trying to conceal nor do there appear to be any real problems here that you're trying to solve, plus you've already decided that foundation planting is the best landscaping approach and you are probably right.

So I would just check out local nurseries, find one where the staff or owner seem knowledgeable enough to advise, and/or read plant tags carefully. Don't be afraid to write down names of plants in the nursery then go home and look them up if the plant tag isn't informative enough. Buy what you both like, arrange it so it pleases you, and bob's your uncle!


    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 1:25PM
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missingtheobvious - thanks for making the link active - how did you do that?

karinl - thanks for responding. I have lots of plant ideas in mind. I guess my dilemma is how to arrange things and whether or not I need to include evergreen shrubs (boring). I was thinking about knockout roses and maybe Annabelle hydrangeas because they are easy and have long blooming times and she is not a gardener (it will be me most likely tending it). Then I was going to include some perennials in front of the shrubs, most likely including Rozanne geraniums.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 4:46PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

teri55, I use Firefox as my browser. A member of the Tomato forum mentioned a free Firefox add-on which inserts the codes needed for various types of html (??). These provide italics, bolding, underlining, striking out text, links, and posting pics.

[I haven't used a photo-hosting site yet, but apparently at least some of them let you choose from various addresses which will post your photo, post a link to your photo, post a thumbnail of your photo, and various other things. Or so I gather....]

Anyway, in case anyone has Firefox and finds this useful, the add-on is BBCodeXtra. To use it, Select the text/url/whatever and right-click. On GW, Select "xhtmlXtra" from BBCodeXtra's pop-up menu, choose the relevant function from the next pop-up menu, and you're in business.

It's always a good idea to Preview your message. If you're posting a picture, it should show up there; if it doesn't, something's wrong. Your link should show up as a link; click on it to make sure it works.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 6:29PM
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missingtheobvious, I do use Firefox. Where would I find the add on?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 6:51PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Here you go! It's the top one here:

And this is the add-on homepage:

I can also recommend these:
AdBlock Plus

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 8:59PM
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Hey, Teri55-

Back to your foundation?

Have you been reading the other threads hovering near the top discussing foundations? The one titled "Weeded, shaped, edged, mulched ... and soulless" might be interesting for you.

You wrote- "I guess my dilemma is how to arrange things and whether or not I need to include evergreen shrubs (boring)."

What sort of evergreens did you pull out? Was it something particularly ugly and poorly groomed? If you've explored all your evergreen options and you simply don't like any of them, then don't try to put any back. Yet, I suspect you know why evergreens are helpful. They add presence when the deciduous shrubs are just twigs.

What evergreens are you classifying as boring?

There are shapes, sizes, textures, colors and varigated forms that you may not have seen.

You say the foundation beds run about 12Â each way. How deep?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 10:07PM
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The evergreens were old and very ugly - pruned to awful shapes. I'm not totally against something evergreen but 12 feet isn't very long - I can probably fit only 3 shrubs. Right now the bed is about 4 feet deep. Then there is another4-6 feet of grass before the street. I can make the bed a little deeper. I want a very flowery look because it is basically a cottage. The one shrub that is evergreen I was considering is a pjm rhododendron because the size can be controlled. I can't figure out how to align the shrubs so they are pleasing to the eye size-wise.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 4:42AM
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There is a Thuja occidentalis 'Degroot's Spire' that might be helpful to play with in your mind. It's a narrow form, Missouri Botanical Garden gives it a mature spread of 1.5 to 2 ft. It is slow growing, so if you want a taller one you may have to seek it out. Again, MBG gives it a height of 5 to 6 ft.
Also, there are some lovely chamaecyparis forms that might meet your size needs. 'Lemon Thread' takes 20 years to reach 5 ft tall and about 3 to 4 ft wide.
Just wonder if introducing a vine might vary the line up. I know what you mean ... tempting to go with 3 plants each side of about the same dimensions ...
What about trying out an easy annual climber like morning glory?

Don't have a composition for you ... but I'm thinking on it!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 7:50AM
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I looked up those evergreens and am not in love with them. I like the idea of a vine but am not sure where it would go. I will try to get there this weekend to take a better picture of the house.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 7:41PM
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