Plant Options in Front of a Window

(Question)

I have a front window that the front of it is bare. I have planted two small boxwood and hydrangeas. What else would you suggest that I put in to get the most impact?

 

(Answer)

 

Before providing some options of plant material, I would like you to consider a few questions.

First, what direction does your garden face?  This will definitely impact what you will plant.  Between 3-6 hours of sun is considered “part sun” and 6 hours or more is “full sun”.  From the plants you have already chosen, boxwood and hydrangea, I am going to assume that you are part sun.

My next question is have you amended your soil?  Regardless of your soil type, adding compost will enrich it and provide nourishment for your new plants and the existing ones too.  You do not need to cultivate excessively, simply add a couple of inches of compost to the top of the bed and allow the worms to do there magic.

Finally I would ask you to consider the height of your window.  Choosing something that is too tall would be a shame as this could block your view and the light coming into your house.

When designing a garden, I like to combine trees, evergreens, woody plants, vines, herbaceous perennials and ground covers where space permits.  A combination of these provides a good balance and structure for a garden.

If you like the look of evergreens which provide year round interest, perhaps you could add some yews.  These shrubs tolerate both sun and shade, come in many shapes and now even a golden hue.

If space permits, perhaps you would consider a small cascading Japanese maple.  I am picturing a cut leaf red variety for some contrast and because of the cascading shape you do not have to worry about it being too tall in front of your window.

If you want to try something a little different, how about growing a clematis or two on an obelisk?  This is an unexpected way to incorporate a flowering vine into your garden without it having to be on a wall.  Having two varieties growing together can prolong your blooming time.

It would be lovely to incorporate some perennials into the mix.  I would suggest a walk around your local nursery to see what appeals to you and check the label for sun/shade requirements.  Heucheras could be a nice option and planting them in groups of three or five will give you the greater impact you are after.

Finally groundcovers.  I love Ajuga ‘Burgundy Glow’ and often plant this growing with other creeping plants such as Galium odoratum and Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’.

You might enjoy getting some inspiration from our gardening guides.  For growing in sun see http://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/gardeningguides/perennials-for-full-sun-a-toronto-master-gardeners-guide/ and for growing in shade see http://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/gardeningguides/perennials-for-shade-in-dry-or-moist-areas-a-toronto-master-gardeners-guide/

Good luck and have fun planning your garden!