The purpose of foundation plantings is to beautify a home by concealing the point where the walls meet the ground. This is done to blend the building into the landscape as well as to hide unpolished features of the foundation that might otherwise be visible. The effect is a lush, more welcoming home. Here are some ideas for foundation plantings specific to Cortlandt Manor, NY falling into the plant hardiness zone 6b.
Add a trellis
A trellis is an excellent tool for foundation plantings because of its wide coverage. It can also be easily slotted in behind shrubs to provide additional greenery and concealment. The structure of a trellis itself provides visual interest and coverage which can be further added to by using it to training a flowering vine such as the Trumpet Vine (campsis radicans). With its bright orange flowers and dense coverage, the trumpet vine is an excellent option that has the added benefit of attracting hummingbirds. Winter jasmine (jasminum nudiflorum) is another excellent option for a trellis. Winter jasmine flowers in winter contributing to year round color in your yard.
Create a background layer of shrubs
A single shrub selected for the background to your foundation plant beds imparts a unity to your design. Excellent shrubs for this include boxwood, with its tightly held shape, evergreen color and ease with which it can be shaped. Juniper shrubs are also a good option providing loose forms and feathery foliage that can be used to soften sharp architecture or the rugged texture of natural stone or brick used in the facade of a home.
Plant trees to frame the design
In your foundation planting design, you may want to choose to have landscape trees at the corners, framing the design, or flanking the front entranceway. Flowering dogwood (cornus florida), American holly (Ilex opaca) and the Colorado spruce (picea pungens) are good options for this, with root systems that won’t interfere with the foundations of a house. The American holly and Colorado spruce are both conical evergreen trees that work well to provide a vertical frame to a scene, while the soft, spreading foliage of dogwood can be used to break up hard lines and add bright color when it flowers in early spring.
Low-growing plants for fullness
A good backdrop of low growing shrubs and flowering plants can be used to fill spaces and provide and rich, dense foundation plant bed that conceals any flaws in the design of a home’s foundation. Plants such as lavender provide this fullness, while ground cover like thyme can further fill in any empty space left over.
Complement foundation plantings with window boxes
To complete the effect of an attractive and well-designed foundation plant bed, window boxes can be filled with flowers and plantings that complement the color of your foundation plant beds, exterior color scheme and hardscaping. Coral bells and yarrow are two excellent window box plants.