Photo by Chris Cohan, RLA
Put another way, a successful foundation planting starts with picking the right plants in the right proportion: evergreens to provide the structural bones of the beds year-round, deciduous and flowering shrubs to add texture, and perennials of varying heights that yield long-lasting color. Michigan-based landscape designer Jeremy Christianson offers this rule of thumb: About 50 percent of the foundation bed's space should be evergreens, 25 percent deciduous and flowering shrubs, and 25 percent perennials. But even then, a good plant can be placed in a bad spot. When you see that beautiful, blooming rhododendron at the garden center in a 2-gallon pot, you have to consider how big it will get over time before you plant it a foot from your house. Plan for at least 1 foot of space between the house and any mature plant to allow room for maintenance. This pushes the bed farther from the house, which is what most designers want, with front-of-the-house beds 6 to 8 feet deep. "This helps improve the view from inside, too, " says Walters.
Lastly, designers agree that a restricted color palette helps give foundation plantings a considered, cohesive look. "Too many colors distract the eye, " says Christianson. "When in doubt, use more plants with the same color or bloom instead of adding additional colors."
Read on for some top plant picks from our designers.
Shown: Spring-blooming shrubs brighten this scheme by land-
scape architect Christopher J. Cohan, of Rye, New York. Tall rhododendrons are placed nearest the house, shorter azaleas in front, with perennials and bulbs staggered in the foreground. For summer-to-fall interest, hosta and catmint start to stretch out as daffodils begin to fade.
Though your home is your castle, there is no necessity to surround it with a moat. Here are 5 tips that will help you to make your landscaping feel more warm, welcoming and cozy.
1. Put some flowers nearby your entrance. Flowers make any area look more welcoming and attractive, so greeting your guests with Petunia, Snapdragon, Lily-of-the-Nile or some other garden flowers is always a great thing to do. What is more, to add some space between your house and the entrance, you can consider adding a little white fence. It will create an illusion that your front yard is bigger than it actually is. What is more, adding fence will create a great space for planting flowers to add some color and coziness.
2. Add rambling vines to make your yard look absolutely lovely. You can not deny that rambling vines always create romantic and even magical atmosphere. So why not to use this tip while decorating your yard?
3. To hide the unattractive driveway, consider adding some color, texture, and height. You can easily do it by adding various sorts of flowers. To start, create an island of green lawn right in the hub of a drive. Then add a couple of low boxwood hedges with flowers toward the back of your island.
4. If you want your yard to blossom and flourish bust still do not have enough time to maintain it, consider planting low-fuss lilies. Such flowers look absolutely gorgeous and come in the variety of rainbow hues, so you can pick the one you love most. What is more, low-fuss lilies do not care about the sort of soil, they love the sun and welcome hot, they do not afraid of drought. In other words, Crinums is an ideal flower for all those who are looking for low-maintenance solutions.
5. The last tip also touches the low-maintenance aspect. To make your life easier, group plantings into beds and islands. This will help you to avoid mowing and trimming around each individual plant, save a lot of time and even money.