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I need ideas for an ugly foundation bed.

Posted by denninmi 6A SE Michigan (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 8, 12 at 16:06

Along the side of a house, approximately 4 to 5 feet wide, about 30 to 35 feet long. I have three trellised pink climbing species roses (Sweetbriar, Apple, and Dog) on lattice trellises, one dead center between two windows, one on each corner of the house. Those I like, they are effective with blooms in the spring and attractive fall hips, and the trellises look nice against the house, so those will stay.

Everything else in there can go, or be moved. Currently, I have daylilies, some variegated ribbon grass, some misc. spring bulbs (mostly daffs), some mint which does as mint does and tries to take over everything, and some fig stumps from figs that were there for many years but totally killed over the winter by voles and apparently are NOT coming back this year. And a good deal of Lamiastrum trying to come in from the adjacent area around the corner.

Soil is fairly heavy clay, although I did amend about 6-8 years ago quite heavily with peat and manure, no doubt all gone by now, but have been topdressing annually with deep layers of compost and leaves in the fall. Soil fertility appears good, the plants in there are basically healthy and seem to grow well.

But, its ugly, ugly, ugly!!! Boring and ugly! It says "yuck" and I want it to say "Wow!" I definitely can make the bed a few feet wider if need be.

I would like to think of something to give it both color, pizzaz, and some year-round interest.

Currently, considering some variegated boxwoods (local chain garden center has some gorgeous 3 x 3 footers for $17.99!), and possibly some kind of pink hydrangeas like the new 'Invincibelle Spirit'.

Any thoughts MUCH appreciated.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: I need ideas for an ugly foundation bed.

Neglected to add, eastern exposure and definitely what I would consider semi-shade, as it has some low trees about 30 feet to the east and a juvenile sugar maple about 20 years old about 40 feet to the south, so there will be more shade in the future.

RE: I need ideas for an ugly foundation bed.

Can't resist: it is really easy to do an ugly foundation bed :-)

My first question about foundation beds is always: must you? If you can plant anywhere else to get a pleasing effect on the wall from whatever perspective is your priority, the plants always grow better and you have way more options for bed shape, plant type and plant size/shape. It is hard NOT to be boring in a rectangle. Maybe consider grassing the existing bed over, leaving just the three roses, and putting a nicely shaped bed nearby but not adjacent to the house?

Sounds like you have TONS of space, why cram plants up against the house?

Karin L

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