Need help with foundation planting

I'm looking for some help with the foundation planting on either side of my front porch. This is how the area looked soon after we planted gardenias in front of carissa hollies. The shrubs have grown some, the gardenias are getting larger than I expected them to and I am not happy with the look. The hollies will stay, but I want to replace the gardenias with something that is more dwarf. One side of my porch gets a couple of hours of sun, the other side stays in the shade. I'm looking for an evergreen that is low maintenance and will be deer resistant. I want a symmetrical look on each side of the porch and don't particularly want anything that has a purple or red leaf. I'm located in central NC. Thank you in advance for any advice/suggestions/help!
q need help with foundation planting, gardening, landscape, plant care
  10 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Sep 01, 2015
    For the symetrical look I would put an hynoki cypress they should remain dwart enough.For replacing the gardenias maybe use the dwarf variety of eunomus.They at least will give you some color.For the shade areas you can use huchera which is available in many colors to liven that area up.Keep me posted.

  • Bonny McDaniel Bonny McDaniel on Sep 01, 2015
    Mugho pines, either the standard or the dwarf variety, are nice evergreens that stay smaller and compact...shade or sun shouldn't be a problem although the one in the sun might grow a little more.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Sep 01, 2015
    Had another thought try to stay away from certain pines. They eventually grow out of shape and once this happens it is extremely difficult to trim them back. Learn from my lesson.

  • Candace Ferraro Candace Ferraro on Sep 03, 2015
    Hostas are shade lovers that can take a little sun. They are low growing, with solid or variegated color choices, and pretty reliable.

    • @Candace Ferraro I adore hostas, but sadly so do all of the deer that live in the woods around me. lol I planted several last year and they keep them eaten down to the nubs. :/

  • Candace Ferraro Candace Ferraro on Sep 03, 2015
    I should mention that I live in zone 7. (agriculturally speaking) Not sure how cold your winters get. Here its fairly temperate with the occasional cold snap, though seldom below 20 degrees.

  • on Sep 03, 2015
    Here's a list of the best plants to place around foundation walls. Lots of photos are included:

  • Diana Sherfey Diana Sherfey on Sep 05, 2015
    Here's a nice link to a site from Rutgers regarding deer resistant plants.

  • Jeannette Jeannette on Sep 05, 2015
    I wouldn't be any help with ideas for the type of plantings to suggest, but I do want to warn you about wanting a symmetrical look....I have learned the hard way, over the years...when you want symmetry, and the sun exposure isn't the same, you aren't able to achieve it! So...if I were you....I would accept this and plant each side as it's will still look good, just not your plan A. Good luck! Your yard will look lovely, you have a beautiful home!

    • See 1 previous
    • Bonny McDaniel Bonny McDaniel on Sep 06, 2015
      @Jeannette This is a very good point, Jeannette and Suzy, I was thinking the same thing and not just because of the conditions. I think the house needs a less formal planting...more country garden idea. So plant other things there...I would put azaleas in the shady areas to give some color and the sunny area could have some shrubs that bloom also or have interesting foliage colors. A few spring bulbs like daffodils and a few other perennials tucked in, here and there, would give you a fairly care free foundation planting with some personality. I think color/flowers give a house a friendly look and your beautiful house calls for it in my opinion.

  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Sep 06, 2015
    Google "small shrubs for zone 7b", which I believe is your hardiness zone. You will see pictures of various plants that you can research and then make your choices.