Perennials & Ornamental Grass Foundation Plantings

Northampton, MA

This project had a number of components: raised vegetable garden beds, Goshen Stone pathways, mature tree preservation (pruning), and redoing the front yard. These pictures will only focus on redoing the front yard. This Northampton, Mass. home had a traditional “foundation bed”. When a new owner bought the house she new she wanted to redo the landscape but was not sure where to start. She met with Jim and the landscape design process began. Jim suggested that a disease-resistant “Donald Wyman” crabapple should be planted in the front yard (this is not visible in the pictures) creating a visual break between the lawn and road. This tree is small enough that it will not interfere with the power lines or the house’s foundation in the future. The main component to redoing these beds was integrating flowering perennials and increasing the depth of the raised beds. Doing this has created a far more inviting entrance. In bloom is catmint and salvia. These will soon fade and astilbe, coneflower and liatris will take over. They were replaced in the late summer and early fall by native tall grasses, snakeroot, and goatsbeard. Many of the grasses will look great throughout the winter.


Before: While the rhododendrons anchored the corners, the beds were to shallow and little else was in bloom.


After (1 Year Later): A far more inviting entrance has been created. Depth of bed, repetition of species and color combinations are all key elements of this new front yard.


Before: Because the grass in the front yard was rarely used it was decided take some up and increase the current bed size.


After (1 Year Later): The native ornamental grasses are starting to fill in. Because they are the largest vertical element in the garden they were place on the edge near the driveway. This is because if they temporarily flop over after a hard rain they will not be on other plants but on the driveway where they will not be driven on.

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