Putting Foundation Plants across the Front of your House

Planting foundation plants on both sides of your front sidewalk leading from your front door to your driveway

Planting foundation plants on both sides of your front sidewalk leading from your front door to your driveway

These days a lot of people, as well as landscapers, are planting foundation plants across the front of a house, siting them on both sides of the front sidewalk and running them all the way to the edge of the driveway that runs along the side of the house. I think this practice can be quite attractive, but I have an idea about modifying it a bit.

When laying out foundation plants, on the street or road side of your front sidewalk, think about leaving a space in the planting bed and do it in grass instead. By doing it that way, you have two different walkways out front; one from the front door to the driveway and garage on the paved surface, the other walkway is on the grass which leads and opens up onto your front lawn. Think about your front lawn as a green space, or even an outdoor room on your property.

When thinking about how wide to make the grassy opening in / between your bush plantings, line it up with either the width of your front porch, or landing in front of your home if you have one. img319

Now look at illustration 1; it shows how the grassy entry was created by lining up the edges of the planting border with the front steps.
Illustration 2 shows how the opening is created using the width of the landing in front of the house. Notice how the natural lines in both illustration 1 and 2, created by the edges of the porch or landing extend out onto the lawn to create the edges of the bush planting beds. The red arrows will help you to see how the movement goes across the spaces.

If you find this concept interesting, start by laying garden hoses on both sides of your porch or landing, and extend them out onto your front lawn. By doing this you will be able to instantaneously see how the natural lines go out onto your front lawn. You can move the hoses a little bit this way or that until you create the exact width and shape of the opening you are thinking about making. Once you have finalized a shape using your hoses, take a straight spade or hand garden edger and start cutting along the hoses using them as your guide.

If this is the first time you are putting foundation plants in front of your house, or redoing old borders, the laying out of hoses on both sides of your front door will help you see the shape and how big / deep you want your foundation planting beds to be. Using hoses as your guide, you can easily see if you want a narrow planting space for one row of bushes, or a wide space where you can plant two or more rows of different bushes and even some annuals or perennials if you like.

For more information about planting foundation plants across the front of your house read my two other posts ..Foundation Planting, Laying out Foundation Plants in Front of your Home 9-28-2013, Distance Foundation Plants from your House when Planting 5-3-2012

Companion Posts
Some ideas about Planting Trees by your House for Curb Appeal 4-26-2012,
My Hydrangea Don’t / Won’t Bloom is a Lament uttered by Many 6-21-2012,
Planting a Garden Room on your Property 2-17-2013,
Designing / Laying out Flower Beds 5-4-2013,
Colored Foliage adds the WOW FACTOR to a Garden 2-22-2011,
Neatening up a Rhododendron after it Blooms 6-3-2011,
Got Grass growing out onto your Sidewalk or Driveway?..Edge it! 8-26-2012,
Looking at Evergreens in the Garden 1-31-2012,
Some Ideas about using Garden Ornaments, they add that Finishing Touch to a Garden 6-29-2013,
Thirteen Ideas for Decorating your Country Garden 7-20-2013

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About fredgonsowskigardenhome

Your eyes deserve to view beauty. I hope Fred Gonsowski Garden Home helps to turn your vision, into a reality.
This entry was posted in Bushes, Shrubs, Trees, Garden Design Principles, The Autumn(Fall) Garden, The Spring Garden, The Summer Garden. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Putting Foundation Plants across the Front of your House

  1. lora rhea says:

    Oh fred! Thank you sooo much…

  2. Hi Fred! Love your posts! I recently bought a house that is 2 years old with nice new landscaping —buuut, I hate it all- well, really just the placement of everything. And the variety. Ok I hate it all. The elevation of my house is kind of funky and the garden does nothing to compliment or counterbalance.. I want to completely redo it and create a simpilar more sophisticated look- and soften the entire look (while taking the focus off of the big blank brick wall).
    Hi Fred! Love your posts! I recently bought a house that is 2 years old with nice new landscaping —buuut, I hate it all- well, really just the placement of everything. And the variety. Ok I hate it all. The elevation of my house is kind of funky and the garden does nothing to compliment or counterbalance.. I want to completely redo it and create a simpilar more sophisticated look- and soften the entire look (while taking the focus off of the big blank brick wall).
    Hi Fred! Love your posts! I recently bought a house that is 2 years old with nice new landscaping —buuut, I hate it all- well, really just the placement of everything. And the variety. Ok I hate it all. The elevation of my house is kind of funky and the garden does nothing to compliment or counterbalance.. I want to completely redo it and create a simpilar more sophisticated look- and soften the entire look (while taking the focus off of the big blank brick wall).

    http://www.har.com/12915-arlington-meadows/sold_9116657

    Any advice?
    Hi Fred! Love your posts! I recently bought a house that is 2 years old with nice new landscaping —buuut, I hate it all- well, really just the placement of everything. And the variety. Ok I hate it all. The elevation of my house is kind of funky and the garden does nothing to compliment or counterbalance.. I want to completely redo it and create a simpilar more sophisticated look- and soften the entire look (while taking the focus off of the big blank brick wall).

    • Hi there House of Decor “Gal”, Looking at your lovely new home, I have come up with a few things that you might consider doing….
      (1) Put shutters on the windows on the front of your house, and paint them the same burgundy color as the burgundy vent that is in the gable end of your place, over the three windows. By adding shutters you will be adding a solid color that will be a focal point that will overpower the brick facade of your house.
      (2) Eliminate the topiary by the front door, it is too strong of an element for that spot, and it has a way of dividing/cutting the facade of your house int two sections. Relocate it to some other corner, or solid wall of your house, where it can be a focal point by itself.
      (3) Move that tree that is planted in the island bed that is floating in the front of your house to some other location that is to the side of the front. It is also acting like the topiary cutting your house into two pieces (one section is to the left of the tree, the other section is everything to the right of the tree). You don’t want any element located in the exact center of your house, dividing the facade. Trees look better if they frame the facade. People have to remember that the house’s facade comes first, and adding things around it is to set it off more. Think of the facade of a house as a ladies face. You can add extra interest with earrings, a necklace, and makeup. It’s not soo much about the necklace, earrings, and makeup, but how they bring out and add to the person.
      (4) straighten out that curved border that is to the right of the front door, and eliminate the three stones. Keep the border the size it is by the topiary, and widen it across the front of your house, I hate the way it curves in toward the houses front wall. Read my posts titled Some Ideas about Planting Trees by your House for Curb Appeal, Distance Foundation Plants from your House when Planting and Designing/Laying our Flower Beds The post on laying out flower beds will get you thinking about how planting spaces should relate to each other. AND, also look at Planting a Garden Room on your Property, that post tells about natural lines that go off of a house.

      I hope that some part of my suggestions are helpful, and you also get inspired, in your own way, by the articles that I suggest you read. Good luck with your project, and MANY happy years of joyous living in your really nice looking place.

  3. Amy says:

    Hi Fred,
    I am trying to plant for 3 low maintenance flower beds at my home and I’m a bit overwhelmed by it all. I’ve had bare beds for over a year and the more I go to a nursery to look, the more confused I seem to get with everyone having different opinions. Would you have time to offer any suggestions if I sent you an email with pictures and a description? I live in Virginia.

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