Crime Committed…Dated Foundation Plantings

Let’s first start by defining foundation plantings.  These are the shrubs that are planted next to the foundation of a home, the row of plants closest to the home.

Dated Foundation Plantings

I always try to use evergreen plants in this area because through the winter months the home will have some landscaping that looks good.  And just in case you don’t know what an evergreen plant is…it’s any plant that keeps it leaves during the winter months.

This crime scene is so typical of homeowners that want landscaping but don’t know what to do so they plant a straight line of trimmed boring shrubs.

The good news is these foundation plants make a great starting point.  I always like to use evergreen plants next to the house.

I do this so that there is something that looks good year around.  It’s just that this look, trimmed shrubs in a line, dates a house.

Over the pasted 15 years I have specialized in taking dated projects, mainly apartment complexes, and updating them.

But before I use the existing plants in the new landscape, I make sure they are healthy and not more than 10 years old.  Most shrubs have about a 12-15 year life expectancy, so make sure you don’t have to pull these existing plants out in a year or two.  I know it‘s hard to look at a plant that is still alive and remove it, but you don’t want to have to remove it later and disturb all your new plants.


So what’s next on this project… always start from the back and move forward. You want to have plenty of room to move around without disturbing existing plants.  I would add plants that would provide height and any object like boulders that are heavy or difficult to place.

The second layer of plants can be plants that are not evergreen like roses or perennial.  Just make sure you add plants that will contrast with the first row of plants.  The second roll of plants should also be a little shorter.  I would recommend that the home owner let the first roll of plants grow up to the lowest window sill.  That way the roses would be a little shorter and you began to get the “stair step affect”.  Stair step affect is tallest to shortest from next to your home out.  After that you can start to fill in the  areas next to the roses and in front.  Now this is the fun part.  Add plants that have colors that you like or use plants with contrasting leaves or leaf shapes.

So start with good foundation plantings and add the layers one at a time and soon you will have a landscape that not only is beautiful, but will look updated and add curb appeal.