I’m in zone 6. Could you please recommend some foundation plants that look good yearround?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Mel in Kentucky: Foundation plantings certainly help the aesthetics and value of any home. They are beneficial in terms of insulation and moisture absorption around the house. Choosing the right plant for the right space is key to a healthy long-lived landscape. I do not know the light conditions you are dealing with or your preferences in terms of mature size, but I can give you some sun and shade suggestions that will provide you with year-round interest. When we think of winter interest, we typically think of evergreens. Most are sun-loving and prefer nutrient-rich soil. Junipers, chamaecyparis, boxwoods, evergreen viburnums, cryptomeria, pines, spruce and hollies, both evergreen, and winterberry are all good options. Ornamental grasses also provide winter interest. Red and yellow twig dogwoods are grown for this purpose, and other plants such as witchazel actually bloom during the winter months. As for shade-loving options, mahonia, aucuba, evergreen azaleas, pieris japonica, and cherrylaurels are a few options. If you give me more details as to light conditions and plant size I can be more specific. You might also think about using some evergreen perennials to under-plant the landscape. A well-planned garden has interest during all four seasons. Keep this in mind when choosing plant material. If this is a new construction home you will need to amend the soil before planting. It never hurts to have your soil tested for nutrient and pH levels before planting in a new bed. This can be done through your county cooperative Extension office.