Maui School Garden Network
August 2, 2020
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Foundation Plants - Adding Curb Appeal to Your Home

Author: Administrator
Adding curb appeal to your home's front yard not only makes it more sellable, but makes it more enjoyable driving into your driveway.

Foundation plants are shrubs, small trees, and perennials used for planting along the foundations of homes and building to soften their look, enhance curb appeal and tie it to the surrounding landscape.

Some considerations to keep in mind when choosing these shrubs are: - Style/Color - Size - Scale - Seasons

The style of your house should be one of the biggest factors in selection foundation shrubs. For example, a colonial house should have different plants compared to a house that is of southwest style or modern style. The colonial would have more traditional, tight growing greenery such as boxwood whereas the southwest style home would have spiky type plants to give a desert feeling and the modern house having open, more free growing plants.

Choose shrubs with colors that compliment the color of the house and don't blend into it. A red brick would absorb shrubs such as the Cistena Plum Shrubs with deep red leaves, yet those same plants would appear striking along side a white frame house. The gorgeous blooms of the Nikko Blue Hydrangea would be wasted planted in front of a blue vinyl sided house.

Typical anchoring bushes are generally smaller growing (under 6) and planted on the corners with somewhat larger growing plants. The length of the windows will usually dictate their height. If the windows on the house start at 3 feet above the ground, then select low growing shrubs that grow no taller than 3 1/2 feet. Placing taller greenery in front of windows is not good for security. Scale is a consideration most forgotten. Small houses should have smaller growing plants to keep in its scale and not overwhelm the house as these plants mature.

Large-scale houses can comfortably accommodate larger growing shrubs and trees without the house seeming to disappear. Anchor plants should offer color and texture for at least 3 seasons if not all 4. This is the reason that evergreens, both conifers and broadleaf, are often used for this purpose.

Try to plant at least 50% of the foundation plants in evergreens to keep greenery around the house year around. Planting all deciduous anchor plants creates a bare house over the winter months.

Select a few choice flowering shrubs or small trees, perennials and ornamental grasses to further extent color and texture in the other seasons. Soon, you will be adding great curb appeal to your home.

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