Create colorful curb appeal
By: Garden Gate staff
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Replace a hard-to-mow slope with color!
Don’t struggle maintaining a slope! One side of this zone 5 front yard was on quite an incline and a pain to mow. Landscape blocks were used to build several stair-stepping raised beds, which helped alleviate the problem and balance out the look of the foundation.
To plant up the beds, start with shrubs that will provide structure all year. The Sunny Knock Out® shrub roses (Rosa hybrid) under the windows reach 3 to 5 feet tall — big enough to make a statement without obstructing the view. At the front of the bed, a few trailing or mounding plants soften the hard lines of the stone.
Keep clicking to find out more about this drought-tolerant — once established — and showy foundation planting.
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Screen the view of unattractive utilities with tall plants. Even though purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum) is only cold-hardy in USDA zones 9 to 11, it grows quickly.
Front yard gardens need curb appeal right away, so buy the largest plants you can find to give them a head start in areas where purple fountain grass isn’t hardy. If you don’t want to replant annually, choose a hardier specimen, such as maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis).
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Containers, even empty ones, provide colors and textures you can’t find in plants.
Check out the glaze on this urn, for example. Its glossy surface reflects light that changes throughout the day. Besides that, its color coordinates with the retaining wall. You could add a few plants, but there’s no need to hide the pretty finish.
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Tidy up plants
Deadheading perennials takes on a little more importance in a foundation planting, since front yard beds give a first impression to visitors. Fortunately with this group, there’s not much to the chore.
Cut the spent blooms of ‘Palace Purple’ coral bells (Heuchera hybrid) back beneath the foliage, which will look great the rest of the season. But you won’t have to worry about deadheading ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ coneflower (Echinacea hybrid). Once the petals fall off, seed-packed cones feed hungry birds. Any seed that escapes their beaks will sprout in spring and look the same as the parent plant. This seed-grown variety comes in a mix of colors — if you want a specific hue, buy a plant or two already in bloom.
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Fragrance up front
Plant something with a scent you enjoy, such as this lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), near the entry. Give these leaves a brush with your hands, and you’ll get a deep whiff of its fresh, clean aroma.