Foundation Planting – Dos and Don’ts
Fall is prime time for planting trees and shrubs. Well placed greenery around your home’s perimeter will add to its curb appeal and value and can even add a measure of security. But if your plans include adding foundation plantings, there are some things you should know in order to avoid problems and disappointment in the future.
Here are some dos and don’ts:
- Think about design
Foundation plantings should work with your home’s architecture. Traditional styles like Colonial, Tudor, or Federal call for more formal and symmetrical designs, while modern ranch and midcentury lines can be complemented by more casual plantings.
- Plant for color and interest
Choose a mix of trees, shrubs, and plants that give year-round color and add interest with their seasonal foliage and shapes.
- Plant in Layers
A thin row of shrubs along a foundation can be boring. Make your beds deep enough to layer groups of plantings at different heights and spacing to draw your eye in and up. Don’t be afraid to add some “negative space” in front of and around plantings with rock, mulch or groundcover.
- Draw people in
Your doorway and the path to it can be welcoming or stand-offish. Make the area around your main entrance warm and receptive with interesting plants and textures that draw visitors in.
- Soften harsh spaces
Large expanses of bare wall can be broken up with well-placed plants. A large shrub or small tree can add interest to an otherwise boring space.
- Use plants to expand your home’s appearance
Trees and beds at the corners of small homes can make them visually larger, adding interest and blending with the surrounding landscape.
- Crowd your plantings
Allow room for your plants to grow. Overcrowding reduces air circulation and encourages pests and diseases.
- Plant large trees close to your foundation or pathways
A tree’s root system is at least as wide as the spread of the tree’s branches. The thick roots of large trees can cause walks and driveways to heave and can even cause foundations to crack.
- Block the view of your home
A house hidden behind shrubs or other tall plantings can seem unapproachable and sad, reducing its curb appeal and even its value.
- Or block the view out
Plants that are too tall or thick can cut off light and air when located next to windows and doors.
Have Questions? Call a Pro
The choices of trees, shrubs, and other foundation plantings can be overwhelming. Many landscapers and professional arborists offer design consultation along with their other services. They can help you choose the plants that will work best with your home’s design and growing conditions.
Donovan Arborists offers planting, pruning, and shearing services as well as a complete landscape maintenance package for property in the Denver area. And we’re always happy to give free estimates to homeowners and property managers for any services they may need.