The foundation borders
Just like I don't much care for the look of a lawn coming
right up to a privacy fence (witness the fence
border gardens described on other pages), the
appearance of lawn meeting foundation doesn't excite me either. Plus, it makes
for difficult mowing. So I'm striving to separate the walls of our home from
the lawn by flower borders, and thus far have made progress primarily along the
back side of the house. Although these are not really a cohesive garden area,
I put them together on this page; none of them is sufficiently large or diverse
to warrant its own page.
The main foundation border area wraps around our downstairs master
bedroom, whose back wall is gently curved with several windows, facing east.
A subroof overhangs this part of the border, which contributes to generally
desirable gardening conditions: morning sun, afternoon shade. This part of
the border includes a hydrangea (Amy's favorite, so we had to try one in
Houston), a star jasmine, and some miscellaneous herbs, flowers, and foliage
On the left side, the border abuts the concrete back patio, while on the
right it continues around the corner of the house to run along the north
side for a ways. When I first dug this border, it was with the intent of
providing a home for shade-loving plants, but I miscalculated the cruelty of
the Houston sun, which is almost directly overhead in summer: by mid to late
afternoon, its rays come around the front of the house. With minimal roof
overhang in this area, that meant that my tender-hearted divas were exposed
to harsh sunshine during a hot part of the day. That proved too much for a
winter hazel I planted there, which bravely hung on for most of summer, but
finally expired as autumn approached. Perhaps it wasn't a good choice for
this climate in any exposure. Among the plantings that seem happy enough for now
are an African agapanthus, a chocolate lysimachia, and confederate jasmine.
A hosta also lived here fairly happily all through summer, although it seems
to have gone into decline in early autumn.
The other section of foundation border is to the right of our patio, a
short strip along the windowed wall of our guest bedroom that includes the
backyard spigot. Since it too has favorable conditions, we chose to plant our
azalea there. On a whim, I also set out the poinsettias from last Christmas,
and have been impressed with how well they've done in the garden, although I'm
prepared to lose them as winter cold sets in. A few ferns and foliage plants
round out this small border.
Over time, I expect that these borders will extend somewhat (further) along
the sides of the house, and get a little wider as plantings expand.
Eliminating more bermudagrass sounds like a fine idea to me, so stay tuned.
Currently growing in our foundation borders
November 26, 2017