The way your home is viewed by passersby affects not only the value of your property but the way people react to your home and family. A well-kept front yard filled with flowers creates a welcoming and friendly atmosphere that draws people in and allows them to appreciate the architecture of your home. Homes facing the east receive early morning sun, which can be both beneficial and harmful to flowers, depending upon the season. Giving an early boost to springtime plants, it can be a shock to plants still locked in frozen hibernation during cold snaps. Planning the design for your flower beds should include consideration of light, as the morning sun will fade to afternoon and early evening shade.
Make a statement by planting flowering vines close to the house, supported by a trellis. Vines such as clematis, trumpet vine and morning glory are perennials that die back in late fall, providing protection for growth through the winter months. With flowers opening wide to absorb the early morning light, they add height to the flower bed and provide a colourful background for other plants. Moonflowers make an excellent complement to the morning blooms by opening when moonlight hits the flowers and providing brilliant white fragrant blooms through the first frost.
All flower beds should be divided into three sections; the back, the middle and the front. Each section, starting from the back, should hold plants that grow successively shorter. For example: tall plants and vines in back, mid-size height plants in the middle and groundcover or low-growing plants in front. Green plants such as any one of the wide variety of hostas are not only an excellent choice for the middle section but also add interest to your flower bed. Hosta leaves vary in size, shape and colour, and so are easily matched to your landscape design. The spiky flowers add emphasis, while the mounds of leaves provide a background for mid- to low-height flowers. Yew and holly bushes are evergreen perennials that also can provide that needed splash of green.
Shrubs such as the flowering quince or the cottoneaster give texture and form to a front yard flower bed. Placed strategically, both show flowers in spring, with attractive fruit available in fall. The red twig dogwood, also partial to morning sunlight, will flower in spring, provide greenery during summer, colour during fall and bright red twiggy branches for winter. Each can be pruned to a desired height and planted in either the back or middle sections of a flower bed.
Down in Front
The front section of any flower bed can be the easiest part of the garden. Partial-shade-loving annuals such as impatiens, alyssum and coreopsis provide an abundance of flowers but keep a low attitude. Snow on the mountain, a perennial in some growing zones and an annual in others, grows low to the ground, with white and green leaves and lacy white flowers. Snapdragons, phlox, pansies and flossflowers also make wonderful annual additions to an east-facing flower bed. Crane's bill, St. John's wort and buttercups are low-growing perennials that not only provide beautiful spreading greenery but delightful flowers as well.