I’ve been spending some time looking online for plants to use as foundation plantings. Originally I thought I wanted yews across the front, but in my research I’ve found that they won’t do well in the location I was considering, especially when I just read that winter winds can turn the tips brown. We have vicious winter winds here and they blast in right on the side of the house they’d be located. Oh, well. Onward.
I’m really looking for something evergreen, or at least semi-evergreen. I absolutely don’t want either holly or boxwood, as they are so overused and so unexciting. I’d also prefer that it bloom, although having some fir type evergreen, like an arborvitae is appealing too.
I’ve come up with a short list of some contenders, as the winter cold and blustery winds have invaded us again, so I’m back to dreaming by the fireplace (really, I am by the fireplace, just no fire, that’s where my chaise is). So far I’ve found:
- Gardenia jasminoides ‘Frost Proof’
- Eastern Arborvitae ‘Mr. Bowling Ball’
- Eastern Arborvitae ‘Hetz Midget’
- Dwarf Mugo Pine
- Dwarf Fothergilla
- False cypress
- Glossy abelia
I want to balance what I already have with some new introductions. They will be going underneath windows, where I planted what was supposed to be a low growing euonymous, but it ended up being more of a creeping plant, and after six years is not even one foot tall, so it needs to be moved where it can work more like a ground cover. Unfortunately I have six of them and five of them have to be moves. One of them did what the tag said it would and it looks nice where it is. The others look pitiful, like they’re trying to wear their big sister’s clothes.
In considering what I’m going to plant I also have to keep in mind that we’re going to be putting in a porch on the front of the house, eventually, so I need to plant as if it is already there. I didn’t do that before, so that means a couple of the plants I need to move will not have to be replaced, as they are located where the porch or patio will be.
Here’s a picture of what I have not, which is a horrible hodge-podge. It got planted this way, because I didn’t have any garden areas ready except this one, and I went on a huge shopping spree right after we moved in. I learned my lesson there and am not buying anything I don’t have a home for anymore.
Numbers 1-8 are plants that are going to stay.
- 2 Azaleas
- Euonymous (the one that grew properly)
A, B, and C are where I need foundation plants.
After looking at what I have, I realize that I have a lot of flowering plants with glossy green leaves. So, I think that I would like to have evergreens in the other three places. I decided to look further at the arborvitae and I’ve found many that don’t get over 3’. So, unless I find something more enticing, I’m going to go with arborvitae for the three foundation plants. Then across the front of the patio, where we’ll really be able to smell them, I’ll put the hardy gardenias.
Sometimes you just have to sit down and look and the solution becomes obvious. However, I’d love your input on which plants you think would look good in spaces A,B, and C.