Foundation plantings dress up the front and sides of your house; they are popular because they can cover up unsightly foundations while making your yard look more inviting for guests. Typically, foundation plantings are found at the entryway of the home and on the corners, as well as in the space between the door and corners. To create a planting that is lush and full, choose popular shrubs and ornamental plants. If you have space, consider planting a few small trees too.
The boxwood shrub is a popular evergreen plant. There are several varieties of boxwood, such as Korean boxwood, which is a compact shrub that's hardy to 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The Korean boxwood's small size makes it a great choice for the edge of a planting. The Japanese boxwood is another compact shrub great to use as edging. It can tolerate high-heat and usually grows no higher than 3-feet tall.
Gardeners who want a boxwood that's a bit larger may choose to plant the common boxwood, which in some cases can grow up to 20 feet high, but usually grows between 5 and 10 feet in height. Types of common boxwoods include the English boxwood, which is one of the smallest, as well as Yardarm Valley, which has blue-green leaves and a flat top.
Azaleas And Rhododendrons
Azaleas bloom early in the season and are usually finished blooming by early summer. Rhododendrons bloom a bit later in the season, but are still usually done blooming early in the summer. Some plants are evergreen while the leaves of others change color and drop off in the fall. Azaleas and rhododendrons do best in partial shade. Plant them so that they face the east and can get plenty of sun in the morning, but are in the shade during the afternoon. While the plants spruce up the front of your house, your house also acts a protective barrier for them by blocking wind.
Hydrangeas add a boost of color to foundation plantings throughout the summer. The shrubs bloom continuously and take the guesswork out of pruning, so they're a great choice even for novice gardeners. Hydrangeas are hardy to -20 degrees Fahrenheit and can tolerate partial shade. Some varieties can grow quite tall; for example, the endless summer hydrangea grows to 5 feet tall.
Catmint is similar to lavender and a popular ornamental. It produces small light purple flowers and has light gray leaves. The plant is, as its name suggests, very attractive to cats and is related to catnip. You can plant varieties that grow to a height of 4-feet, such as Six Hills Giant or you can plant smaller varieties that grow to be about 18 inches high, such as Walker's Low. Catmint is hardy to -20 degrees Fahrenheit and needs full sun.
Arborvitae are evergreen trees commonly used in foundation plantings. While you may commonly see the trees growing like shrubs and treated as such, they can grow quite tall. The plants are easy to grow and care for. They need protection from frost in the winter and should be covered with burlap.