A home without foundation plantings is like a room without decorative features, leaving a boring, barren exterior. Incorporating plantings around your Orange County, NY home’s foundation is an essential landscaping element which lends instant beauty to your yard. Not all foundation plantings are the same, however, so it’s important to utilize the right knowledge and techniques when integrating these attractive assets into your landscape.
Foundation Plantings 101: What are They?
Foundation plantings consist of trees, shrubs, grasses, vines, and groundcovers used to hide the foundation of your home while accentuating its natural shape, size, and surrounding elements. Fundamental to a well-integrated landscape, foundation plantings create unity between a structure and its site, granting dynamism to an otherwise flat yard. Generally, plantings are anchored at the entranceway and corners of a structure, although more may be used, depending on your home’s size and architectural style.
Match Your Home’s Design
Although plantings are used to enhance your home, they can, if implemented incorrectly, detract from its aesthetic. Determine the main architectural style of your house: is it distinguished by clean lines, even-numbered symmetrical windows, and a centered front door, or do off-center doors and windows, broad horizontal lines, and abstract shapes characterize its structure and surrounding landscape? If your home matches the former description, a more formal garden design with mirror-image plantings and neatly rowed shrubs will be complementary. An informal architectural style, as in the latter description, will benefit from asymmetrical plantings such as low-growing shrubs mixed with widening trees. Homes without raised foundations or large swatches of aesthetically interesting areas might not require more than entranceway and corner plantings connected by beds of mulch.
Enhance, Don’t Cover
When establishing foundation plantings, be sure to leave windows, doors, and major architectural features visible. For instance, curved, corner-side garden beds visually elongate your home, but can erase its structural definition if tall shrubs and trees are employed. Try using pyramid-shaped shrubs, which beautifully showcase your front door and its surrounding windows without blocking views from inside. Moreover, exercise diligence in regularly pruning foundation plantings to avoid unattractive overgrowth that will conceal your home’s inherent beauty.
An essential rule to remember straight from foundation plantings 101? Read the tags on every plant you intend to use. Failing to account for the width and height of trees and shrubs when they have reached maturity is a common mistake that can ruin an entire garden design. Plan for a foot of space between your home and fully mature plantings, and make sure adjacent plants will not touch at maturity to prevent cluttered overcrowding.
Cycle with Nature
Finally, plant a range of species which will yield their own unique beauty, year-round. Introduce perennials and deciduous shrubs with varied springtime blooming, warm foliage in the fall, and which bear winter fruits for four seasons of visual excitement.
Dress up your home’s exterior with this 101 guide to foundation plantings for a gorgeous, balanced landscape all year long.