Foundation planting (photos)

elcrotserMay 19, 2010

I am looking for help with foundation shrubs and plantings.This area faces east and has the morning sun to mid afternoon sun.

My home is ranch style with a bumped out dormer (ugly) for the second floor. We have a huge 2 car driveway that goes up to the front entry way and attached garage. The planting area to the right of the front entry 9.5 feet wide and 2.5 feet deep. This is under my kitchen window. I want to remove the existing bush. The planting area to the left of the front entry is 5.5 feet deep and 14feet wide (length of front cover stoop)plus and additional 9 feet wider for the lenght of the house ( so actually 25 feet of planting area). There are 5 boxwoods that I would like to keep but maybe rearrange. Help!

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A photo from up the driveway may be a more helpful view.

The 5 boxwoods seem okay to me. I would be more focused on the area in the 1st photo with the foundation plantings to on the side of the garage. Also with supporting the design as a whole from how you view the house when you come home.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 8:31AM
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Here is a photo from the street at the end of the driveway.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 12:44PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Is is just me, or is the eye naturally drawn first to that yellow-green shrub? Perhaps it's due to the brightness of the color and the fact that it stands out as the only shrub of that color in the area (yes, I see the one on the side of the garage, but it's small and not nearby). Another contributing factor could be the sunny brightness of the brick behind the yellow shrub (as opposed to the shaded brick under the overhang). And then there's the prominence of the (also sunny) dormer just above the bright bricks and the yellow shrub.

Would replacing the yellow-green shrub with something dark green help? [Many years ago my family had what I think was a Euonymous fortunei sarcoxie, which was trained to grow up a wall. It was pruned to stay close to the house, as a cement sidewalk was only a foot away.]

If the dormer were painted to match the roof, would that help?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 2:20PM
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thanks for the suggestions. Actually the yellow bush under the window is the bush I would like to remove.Do you think that I should have some conical shaped evergreens (dwarf) on either side of the door?

Under the kitchen window, would one cone evergreen and 2 boxwoods similar to the left side work? Then move out the perennials on the far left and perhaps put 5 red barberries ? But I think I need something else on the left - maybe move the boxwood closer to the driveway and put some larger shrubs behind them?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 2:38PM
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Hi. This may be too late. But, I viewed this post today and wanted to respond. The bush under the kitchen window is a golden privet. I agree, it would work better somewhere else. I think you would improve the look by adding some vertical interest. I personally would add a trellis with a beautiful deep purple or red flowered vine in the area between the window and the stoop. Something with a nice fragrance would be great because you walk past the area and you probably open your windows so you would get a nice scent but, not a climbing rose since it's too close to the walk. You might like to attach a window box below the kitchen window and fill it with bold colored annuals and some nice herbs. That would give you a nice view from the inside of the kitchen window. Finally. an easy care ground cover like Lilly of the Valley or Bugle-weed would be ideal in the narrow space of ground there. Also, Have you thought about painting your door a different color, something brighter and more inviting?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 7:41PM
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If the OP comes back....

The architecture distracts me first. This is a rancher that someone REALLY wanted to be a French country/Provencial. It's stuck in a horrible np-man's-land in between. The fake quoins and the dormer are totally inappropriate to the color of the paint and brick. Something must be done to make it all work together.

As far as the foundation plantings go, the bed in front of the porch is very narrow. I'd center the boxwood to give them space to take over the entire bed. I'd go way taller on the other walls than what's there--and make the beds much deeper on the portion in front of the lawn, too.

The hanging baskets need to be much larger. The golden privet doesn't work where it is--for one thing, it's sitting there all alone, and for another, the color is too bright in a place you shouldn't be calling attention to. I like that color, but maybe as a golden barberry in front of the porch instead of the golden privet in front of the near-blank right wall.

If you decide to embrace the French country (which honestly would be easier than ignoring it), you'd need to paint the brick and trim, and I'd actually recommend some shutters--installed and sized correctly. You have a LOT of blank wall, and there's plenty of visual space for shutters. Nicer quoins would go far, too. I usually don't like faux French all that much, but a house that's definitely faux French is better even to someone who doesn't much care for it than a house that's trying for faux French and failing!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 1:36AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

For some reason I disagree with adding vertical interest and would tend to accentuate the horizontal; also the formal (ie the evergreen). I don't like the deciduous bush against the house wall at all.

I'd almost continue the boxwoods across to where the privet now is. What's wrong there may be that the gold bush is taller than stuff on either side, in addition to what's been mentioned before.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 1:40PM
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