Redoing Foundation Plantings

I need to re-do the foundation plantings in front of my 1924 vintage home. My thumb is a only the palest green and I am a "plant it and forget it" kind of gardener. I watch the "Curb Appeal" shows and just get wound up about the project since we are going to put our home on the market next year. I can hire young men to help me, but will need to have a good solid plan in place. You all are so clever. Please guide me!


Hardiness Zone: 6b

By TheOldLadyoftheVillage from Philadelphia


January 7, 20110 found this helpful

Hello! I love projects like this but I have to warn you, I tend to over organize! That said, here's what I would do. Pick and choose what works for you.

1. Get a file folder with pockets so you can keep all your planning materials in one place.

2. Draw (by hand or on computer) a "to scale" outline of the exterior of your home, placing the north facing wall at the top of the page. (Then you can label it N S E W like a map.) Since you are only wanting to re do the front of your house, this will be the only wall you will have to add window, door, porch, sidewalk details and add all of the appropriate measurements to this side of your outline, Make several copies of this as you will probably change your mind on plant choices and placement, more than once!

3. Next sunny day you get, take a series of photos to record shade patterns. Pick a single spot directly in front of your home, and wide enough to include the entire front of the house and take four or five photos at different times of the day. (Be sure to note times.) I would just print all of your photos (in color) on plan copy paper so they will fit nicely in your materials folder.

4. If you have a unique paint color on the walls or trim, take a close up photo of the colors in full sunlight. (After you print these photos, compare the print color to the actual paint and note any difference in color (lighter, darker, etc.) as computer printers are not always accurate in color. Add to your folder.

5. Walk around the neighborhood or an area park and take pictures of plants that are pleasing to your eye. Make sure that these pictures are close up enough that a professional could determine what kind of plants they are.

And, if you are super ambitious you can also go to a local library and find a reference book (with pictures:) of plants native to your area and photo copy the ones you like, too.

NOTE: By taking all these steps before you find a green house or nursery they will know how serious you are and the info will give them some ideas to start with. In other words, it will help them do a better job for you.

Then set out to find the best customer service in a reputable nursery or green house business. Be upfront, telling the employee that 1) you are in the planning stages, 2) you prefer low maintenance plants, and 3) your approximate budget range. If you get a disinterested or unfriendly employee ask to speak to a supervisor or manager.

If you like the service, be sure to at least get a first name of the helpful employee. When you ultimately pick a business you would like to work with, keep asking for the same employee. (You just might help him or her get noticed by a boss for excellent service and the good ones deserve to be noticed!)

I like using a local business as they are most familiar with what grows the best and is the hardiest for your area. Have fun with this project and good luck when you are ready to put the house on the market. I hope at least some of this info is helpful to you. :)

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