Designing Your Home Foundation Planting

Definitively, foundation plantings are the various plantings that reside around the foundation area of your home. These plantings become the anchor to your home’s horticultural design and can be the starting point for a captivatingly beautiful design that covers all four sides of your home.

Foundation Plant Spacing

In planning a foundation design, the number one mistake homeowners make is miscalculating the adult size of the plant. It is easy to plant a “baby” Rose of Sharon shrub, Viburnum shrub, or Wisteria vine close to the home, only for the plants to become so monstrous when full grown that they invade a home’s siding and block all the windows completely.

Measuring well and spacing plants one foot away from walls and each other when the plants will be full grown is absolutely critical. This prevents overcrowding and keeps shrubs, trees, and perennials from overtaking windows and siding. Additionally, well-spaced plants have less fungal problems and are healthier than plants that are crowded together.

Foundation Garden Beds

For the most impact, plan for the beds surrounding the home to stretch out between 6 feet to 8 feet. Test the soil and amend the soil based on the nutrients lacking in the surrounding ground. Consider amending as needed with organic material and mulch well after planting in order to reduce weed growth in the new garden.

Foundation Planting Formula

While most planting sites vary in need, the general formula horticulturists recommend for a foundation planting scheme for most of the United States is –

  • 50% evergreens (year-round interest)
  • 25% flowering shrubs or deciduous shrubs (seasonal interest)
  • 25% perennials (pops of flowering color)

Plan very well for the future of the home’s garden. There should absolutely be at least one foot of space away from the home’s exterior wall when the plants will be fully grown in order to allow for home maintenance of all kinds. This will also enable the plants to be out farther from the house, so they can gather more sunlight and air.

Sticking with the guidelines above can help you design a great foundation plan that increases curb appeal in the front and beauty and design interest in the back of a home’s property. Be prepared for the long-term investment of planting around the foundation; some shrubs will grow quickly and others will take their time. In the end, designing a smart foundation planting scheme can increase the value of a home through beauty and practicality.

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