Foundation planting help for a small cottagey garden
Hi all! I have been expanding my front yard garden this year to slowly get rid of all the grass, and now have come to my final task: the foundation area. Suddenly, I am overwhelmed with ideas and conflicting information and can't seem to come to any conclusion about what I should plant there!
Previously there were (or are, actually) a couple of azaleas with red twig dogwoods on the corners. The azaleas seem to hate me (or the spot, or the soil) so they have to go. I rather like the dogwoods in the winter, but I'm not married to the idea of keeping them. There's also some well established lavender in the left bed that I love, but since I'm expanding the beds, suddenly they are in the middle and make no sense. And since they hate being transplanted, it is breaking my heart to think of losing them.
I have been thinking of putting something evergreen on either side of the stairs and under the window boxes, and roses in front of that, but I can't quite land on what sort of evergreen to use. I have also tossed around the idea of winterberry, more herbaceous perennials, edibles (evergreen blueberry, perhaps?) and a thousand other things that have occurred to me. I generally tend to choose my plants on a whim, but since this is an area I'd really like to get established, I'm trying to reign myself in and actually choose something that will work.
So, that said, the house faces south, but there is a smallish tree between the sidewalk and street that casts a little bit of shade on the left bed. Still, it's mostly sun. The soil is neutral and I've had no luck with acid loving plants anywhere in my yard (azaleas and mountain laurel that I had in the backyard). And I'm in zone 6a.
Here are some pics of the two beds, in their current state of disarray. (Randomly, the azaleas are labeled to show someone who wanted to buy them.):
And here's a full shot of the front of the house from earlier in the spring. The front bed comes all the way out to the path now, as will the foundation beds. The path itself is getting revamped from mulch to flagstone:
Sorry for the information overload. I hope someone can help!