Foundation planting in your garden design plan, is as the term suggests, located along the base of the house or along the base of your herbaceous, shrub or woodland scheme. It is used to provide a base for some other entity, generally the house or a planting scheme. It can also be used to provide the base for entities such as berming and other earthworks, a water feature or an area of sculpture.
Foundation planting at the base of your house is said to be beneficial as it reduces heat loss – I’m not convinced. Do be careful not to block or restrict any vents. Foundation planting should be designed to work visually with your style of house, while breaking any monotonous building lines, in order to help it to integrate with its surroundings. You should avoid any competing elements that distract from the focal point that is the doorway, as this may confuse visitors.
Select plants that can be easily maintained and that will be in proportion with your house, planting scheme or other entity for which you are designing a foundation. Plants in this area should at maturity reach at the very most, two thirds or three fifths of the overall height of any walls they are to be seen against, and should not obscure windows or doors. That being said about eighty per cent or more of the planting should be little higher than ground cover and only specimens and focal planting should reach any higher.
If you are setting up a foundation for a planting scheme it is often best to use ground-cover or small spreading shrubs. This technique will give you a low visual centre of gravity and will anchor the scheme for you. It will also provide you with a certain amount of balance in the vertical plane, acting as it does, as a foil for tree canopies as they develop.
Tip: When designing always organise your numbers and proportions to be odd numbers. In quantities use 3, 5, 7 etc and in proportions work in thirds, fifths, sevenths and so on