My goal for the front yard is to have no grass, just a bed near the sidewalk with shorter plants and a bed in front out the house, separated by a path. I'm making good progress on the bed by the sidewalk, although the fennel is larger than I'd like and I'll have to move it, and there's an aster that is overcrowded and...
What I'm not sure about are the foundation plants. Most of them have to move. Many get too big for the space and most are actually touching the house. I've already removed the boxwoods and replaced them with gold threadleaf cypress by the front door (this is a plant my husband particularly likes). I hope to keep the hollies at the corners of the house, we'll see how big they get without regular pruning.
I'm planning to try and move the Pieris to the back yard and the pale pink azaleas that bloomed for less than a week are going to that big compost heap in the sky (well, it's in the backyard...). The question is what do I replace them with?
I don't want anything I have to prune to keep it below the windowsills. That rules an awful lot out. I don't like boxwoods on principle (too overplanted, too boring). I don't have a lot of garden space so every plant has to count. Boxwoods would just make a nice green background. That's not enough to earn a space in this garden.
Should I strive to find a very low growing evergreen (there's only 3 feet below my windows)? Should I look for a blooming deciduous shrub? Should I do the same plant all the way across or mix it up? I don't want it to be one-of-each but maybe two types of shrub? Or I could get really wacky and not put shrubs in at all! Put a nice strong perennial like Baptisia (false indigo, one of many plants called false indigo, hence the latin name) that looks shrub-like during the summers and plant other perennials around. I'm thinking of moving the fennel back against the house and maybe planting that zebra Miscanthus. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Meanwhile the shrubs that are touching the house gotta go soon. We need to get the outside painted and I'd like to see that done before winter sets in.
Maybe I'll leave the beds empty all winter and decide in the spring.