Need Suggestions for Foundation Plants

I need some advice for plants that would work well around the foundation of the house.

The yard needs to be landscaped.

Ever since the renovation the land around the house has been mostly dusty and devoid of plants.

These are the only plants in place — hydrangeas and one American boxwood original to the house.

I was thinking that we might hire a landscape designer who would tell us what to plant where.

Charlie always prepares well for planting.

Then we would do the work.

We really need help.

How do I find a landscape designer?

We can move azaleas from the yard that used to be around the house.

Do you have favorite shrubs?


Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

11 thoughts on “Need Suggestions for Foundation Plants”

  1. Landscape designers can be a little spendy. I think I would use what I already have – azaleas, hydrangeas, etc. You seem pretty artistic, Jo. I bet you can come up with something. What was there before? What did you like – not like about it? Don’t plant things too close. You want to be able to get in close to the house to do maintenance. Watch out for root issues.

    1. Actually, Chad, it looks like we’re both on the cusp of zones 7-a and 7-b. Of course there’s always the risk that I will choose plants totally unsuited. Jo

      1. Well, I almost follow a formula for foundation plantings. You want them varied enough to give you interest but not enough to look busy. I would start with a low massing or hedge of 3 or 5 smallish shrubs under each window (always odd numbers). Then flare out around the portico with something a bit taller to accent the entryway and underplant that with a colorful ground cover or perennials. You can bracket the massings under the windows with something a bit taller. I’d maybe let something big wrap around the right side and use something punchy near the corner where the electric meter is, and then something low and spreading around that and in front of your porch. Pick different plantings to for contrasting foliage color and texture and different bloom times wherever possible. If that sounds like what you want I can come up with a sketch. You’ll just need to verify exact species choices and spacings with stakes and at the nursery.

      2. Chad, I love it. You had me hooked with “portico” which of course I’ll be using from now on much to the chagrin of my down-to-earth husband. I definitely am trying to hide that monster of an electric meter which they insisted on positioning on the front of the house. I tried to stop them but it was not to be. Jo
        PS I’m copying your suggestions onto its own file for reference. Thanks.

      3. Thanks, Chad. Each house in my neighborhood is vastly different, most of them being 1880s-era Victorians which are well-planted with appropriate vegetation. Even each Victorian has its own style — Italianate, Gothic Revival, Georgian, Queen Anne, etc. Even my house once upon a time had nice shrubs until everything was leveled during the renovation. I appreciate your help. Jo

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