Foundation/Porch Plantings, Shrubs etc.

ifrydrJune 25, 2012

Hello -

I am looking for a little help on foundation/porch plantings. I just cut out 15 40+ year old yews that were up to the windows and porch. I am redoing the porch stairs etc. and will cut in two new planting areas on either side next. I am looking for some direction on height of plants etc. with regard to the corners etc. As well as plant suggestions. I want to keep most everything low as I want sun on the porch to prevent rot etc. The front faces west. This is in NH so the plants need to be winter tolerant etc. as well as maybe nice Fall color(s).

I did this at my last house and it came out pretty nice but it took me many tries to get it right and I would like to do it only once this time. Also, my wife now has some plants she DOES NOT want this time, No Barberry, junipers, yews or euonymus.

Any help/direction would be greatly appreciated.


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More pics...

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 3:09PM
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Right Side.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 3:11PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

If you read around on this forum a bit before posting, you'll know that this is a discussion forum, not exactly an advice forum. Advice happens, but discussion is paramount.

One of the things you will see we discuss with some heat is foundation plantings. So my first question to you would be, WHY do you want foundation plantings? What are your overall objectives with respect to your yard in terms of appearance, exposure, enclosure, and maintenance? What role do you expect foundation plantings to play in that overall outcome?

Also search around the forum for "softening corners" and you will get some food for thought about that.

Karin L

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 4:08PM
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Is there a way to remove/delete my message on this forum?!?!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 5:01PM
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A row of hydrangeas one each side, an upright evergreen on the corner, lady's mantle along the entire front.

I think a simple planting scheme would look so lovely with your house.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 5:22PM
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Well, I do believe we have yet another example of a poster being cut off at the knees.

Why is this necessary?

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 5:52PM
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I like the porch side with the vertical slats and wouldn't want to cover them up too much. The brick portion could use with some planting though. Some people don't like boxwoods because of the scent but they can provide an easy maintenance green backdrop to more flashy plants. They grow slowly so you can keep them out of the window.

Duluth - I agree with you. I think the purpose question is important but can be raised in a less preachy way.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 6:14PM
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There are some smaller spireas - Sp. Japonica "Alpina" with dusty rose colored flowers. It's a repeat bloomer even here with our shorter season. It mounds, but throws out low growing branches. It would probably be more effective in front of the slatted side; might disappear into the brick.

For the sides (and out a bit from the house) look at Ninebark Dart's Gold. I love the arching branch habit - but easy to cut back a bit if warranted. My two are finally getting the characteristic shredding bark and they're just loaded with flower buds.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 6:39PM
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Love your covered porch! The "skirt" really sets it off to it's finest.

The entire house seems to go together though except the red foundation brick. It detracts from the overall appearance of the house. I don't usually advocate painting brick but in this case I would. I think it would then blend with the remainder of the house and you can place your landscaping minimizing any attention to the brick itself.

Your pics are great for the question you asked about - foundation/porch planting but I would encourage you to think about the entire yard and how the porch area fits into the entire scheme. This would give us a better perspective as to perhaps how the garden beds should flow.

If you could take yet another pic just further away that may elicit more help.

Welcome to the forum. Your questions regarding plant height etc are very appropriate for this forum being that it's about aesthetics. Please continue with your feedback on some of the constructive criticism you will hopefully receive.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 7:02PM
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Ayuh, love new hampsha.

What part of the state are you from? I live in the lake sunapee region. Cold hardiness is the number one issue - boxwood is a bit questionable here. But rhododendron, if you like it is a nice alternative since it is evergreen.

Do you access the house from that front door in the winter? if so the snow removal is a consideration.

Your wife is right on target with what she doesn't want planted- 2 out of the 4 of the plants she mentioned are now illegal for sale in the live fee or die state.
And the other 2 are way overused.
Can you give us a wider angle shot?

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 7:29PM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

Jezuss Crisps almighty,
Way to go Ms. Manners. Who made you the grand poobah of the arbitral tribunal ? Stow the soap box wouldja and let a poster ask a freaking question and spare the lecture.

If ifrydr is still in the hood, I would try to tap into drtygrls local horticultural expertise. She's posted a couple of drool worthy photos of some gardens in beautiful new hamsha.

I could see a mix of some evergreens and some deciduous smaller to medium shrubs such as spireas, hydrangeas, viburnums, kalmia , lilacs and enkianthus (if there is some shade )

Add a little fringe infront of the shrubberies . Possibilities are liatris, baptisia, echinecea, monarda and spring bulbs.

One modestly sized specimen tree off to the side of the house to frame it into the surrounding landscape - look into the wonderfulness of Cornus ( dogwoods ) Acer griseum , or a dove tree Davidia involucrata

If you have a chance check out a few local public gardens and check out their compositions and see what appeals to you.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 8:32PM
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The "widen the path" suggestion hasn't surfaced yet, but I'm sure it will... with a reason.
Deviant, LOL... I can even hear your accent, have you been list'ning some rap music lately?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 7:49AM
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This is one of those occasions when the decision has already been made and the poster is only looking for plant suggestions. Although I relate to what karin is saying it did come across (and was obviously understood by the OP) as a criticism and most people don't come to a forum to be told off or to have their decisions challenged. This is not an either or forum, when people are open to discussion go for it otherwise be helpful or ignore it.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 8:34AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Ink, that is true and I apologize.

Karin L

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 12:06PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Karin, you need to apologize to the OP. No wonder people feel the way they do about this forum.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 2:44PM
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