Exterior Worlds
Planting Gardens
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Foundation Planting That Works

Foundation planting refers to the plantings—usually bushes—that are arrayed up close to the house. It is a term that started when many homes were pier-and-beam construction and homeowners needed landscaping to camouflage that visual distraction. However, foundation planting need not be a series of stiff bushes hugging the house. Instead these plantings can be an elegant part of your Houston landscape.

At Exterior Worlds, we recommend that the best place to start in planting gardens of any location is to plan first. We can help you choreograph the layout on paper to determine how much to plant and where. Together we establish a thoughtful approach to your landscape design, including foundation planting, that truly enhances your home.

A pre-planting planning session is particularly helpful if you use the landscape phasing approach to your landscape design. Landscape phasing develops your landscape design over time, sometimes during the course of several years, using incremental steps. The more expensive undertakings are spaced out to help manage your cash outlay. If you use landscape phasing, we usually do greenscapes first to allow more time for plants to develop to their mature shape and size.


In the planning process, we are careful to work with the architecture of your home. If your home contains elements of formal symmetry, such as a Georgian, Federal, or Colonial Revival, then we employ formal aspects in the landscape design—perhaps close-cut shrubs at the main entrance. As another example, a contemporary home could benefit from asymmetrical plant schemes.

We also consider the landscape features of the surrounding area because we want to design foundational plantings that are appropriate for the entire site. These elements include the driveway, sidewalks, streets, large trees, adjacent bayous and woodlands, fences and hedges.

As mentioned, bush planting is the most common plant chosen for foundational plantings, but other choices are appropriate and even luscious. For instance, small, flowering trees add height and color. We can also create interest in your landscape master plan by incorporating layers into the garden beds, with taller plants along the back and moving forward with shorter and shorter plants all the way to groundcover.

We always think in terms of plants that are the right size and scale at their mature size. Forgetting to take into account a plant’s ultimate size is a common mistake of the amateur gardener. Making the right choice in this arena also helps keep pruning to a minimum.

In all foundational plantings, we are cognizant of yard drainage, an issue of particular importance in Houston. You always want water to flow away from the house. One idea to consider around the house’s foundation is a raised bed. Your plants will love them because it will keep their root systems from staying wet too long.

At Exterior Worlds, we use the latest landscape techniques to give your foundation planting the look of a professional landscape. When green plantings are unified with a house, the overall impression is one of a luxurious, highly personalized signature design. Your property conveys a welcoming impression, from the curb right up to the front door.