The Q&A Archives: Foundation Plantings

Question: I am trying to redesign the foundation beds around my house. Do you have a shrub suggestion that will provide year round color and will grow to about 8 feet? I love the Otto Lukin Laurel, however it's height does not meet the requirements.

Answer: First, make sure that the area is properly graded so that water doesn't pool against the side of the house and cause moisture problems. You don't say whether the area is in full sun or shade, so I'll give you some ideas for sun. These are just a few options; if you want something more exotic, have a look at neighbor's houses--and remember that asking neighbors for gardening advice is a great way to get to know them! Taller shrubs--don't plant too close to house, and don't plant under overhangs or eaves or they won't receive rainfall. Japanese andromeda (Pieris japonica), fragrant snowball viburnum, Burning bush (Euonymus alatus 'Compacta'). Perennials include a selection of daylilies (there are all sorts of sizes and colors), perennial salvia, tall garden phlox, coreopsis. Spring-flowering creeping phlox and prostrate junipers make nice, low-growing ground covers. Any combination of annuals will add extra color, especially for the first few seasons when the perennials are getting established. Hope this helps.

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