Foolproof Foundation Garden Plan

Dress up the front of your home with this interesting combination of plants.

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The job of a foundation planting is to integrate the house with the landscape so the two blend seamlessly, creating a welcoming, harmonious look. Without a foundation planting, a house looks stark, as though it rises directly from the ground.

Instead of the usual row of evergreens, this foundation planting features low-maintenance shrub roses, fronted by neat rows of perennials and backed by sprawling clematis—a romantic touch that is the hallmark of cottage style.

If you don't have three windows along the front, simply plant clematis on either side of a larger window or smaller multiple windows. Choose large-flower clematis, which grow about 6–12 feet tall, just the right size for this scheme. Provide the clematis with a trellis for support. Inexpensive prefabricated types from the garden center will do fine. Just make sure the trellis is at least 6–8 feet tall. If possible, anchor the top to the house to prevent tipping outward.

It's a simple matter to shorten it or extend this plan as far as needed to fit the planting space by adding or subtracting daylilies, salvias, and shrub roses.

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Our free Planting Guide for this garden includes an illustrated version of the plan, a detailed layout diagram, a list of plants for the garden as shown, and complete instructions for installing the garden. (Free, one-time registration allows unlimited access to Planting Guides for all garden plans.)

Garden size: 10 x 28 feet

Plant List

  • 6 Miniature rose (Rosa cultivars): Zones 5–9
  • 12 Lily (Lilium 'Lollipop'): Zones 3–8
  • 2 Indian hawthorn (Raphiolepis indica): Zones 8–10
  • 12 Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Stella de Oro'): Zones 3–10
  • 10 Salvia × sylvestris 'May Night': Zones 4–8
  • 5 Rose (Rosa 'Betty Prior'): Zones 5–9
  • 2 Clematis 'Jackmanii': Zones 4–9
  • 1 Clematis 'Henryi': Zones 4–9
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