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    Gardeners: Coodinate your Foundation Plantings with your House Colors

    While taking a Sunday afternoon drive along a country road, I saw a lovely stone cottage with a slate blue arched-top door and matching shutters. It was loaded with charm and blended so well with its surroundings.

    While quickly summing up the overall design, particularly the tree selection and their placement, I knew that it was no coincidence that the landscaper repeated the pretty blue hue, by planting several groves of Colorado blue spruce trees on the sides of the property. The effect was cohesive and extremely pleasing to the eye.

    Many homes in Wilmington are constructed with white siding along with either one or two accent colors on the window frames and door areas. Most have the usual green Yew bushes planted below the windows as fillers, but I always admire the home owner who makes an effort to paint their front door a yellow, or red, or even a blue color, and then selects plantings to coordinate: knockout roses (red), daisies (yellow), climbing Rooguchi clematis (blue).

    Country homes in which beiges and browns are the color scheme look extremely attractive when enhanced by River Birches or Paper Bark Maples due to their heavily textured bark. Even the basic Purple Sand Cherry tree or the Tri-Color Beech tree picks up the dark tones of a house that has black shutters and a formal black front door.

    Several years ago I went on a tour with the Perennial Plant Association. One home was constructed with siding that was a striking dark purple color and a yellowy-cream trim around the windows. To accent the house, the owner (who just happened to be a landscape architect), had planted Iron Weed – which is in fact an 8’ tall weed! I was amazed at how gorgeous the effect was.

    One of my favorite trees is the ornamental Fringe Tree which looks great when positioned in the frontal space between two windows about 12’ out from the foundation. In spring when the tree hangs its white flowers (which of course looks like delicate fringe), the creamy color interconnects with the white frame work of the windows. Again, the effect is unified and consistent to the overall color scheme.