Maybe it’s not as much fun as planting a cutting garden or garden full of romantic flowers, but foundation plantings matter. Foundation shrubs are those that you plant near the base of your house to soften the hard edges of the building and screen the sometimes-ugly concrete block or other building materials from view. An attractive bed of plantings adds curb appeal, but it should also be about planting what you love, not just throwing in the same old boring shrubs you see at any big box retailer. Foundation plants are a design statement, and they should reflect your personal style.
To ensure your shrubs thrive, read the plant tag or description so you know if it will survive winters in your USDA Hardiness zone (find yours here). Also, choose those suited for the amount of light the area near your house receives. For example, full sun is considered 6 or more hours, part sun is about half that, and full shade means no direct sunlight, or only some mild morning sun.
Most importantly, pay attention to the shrub’s mature size, and plant shrubs at least one full width away from each other and the house. We know that quart-sized plant looks tiny now, but in a few years, it can create a maintenance nightmare! Overgrown is never a good look, so save yourself (and the plant) some stress, and give it plenty of space to grow. While you’re at it, don’t forget to plant perennials and both evergreen and deciduous shrubs, which drop their leaves, so you’ll have an interesting display year-round.