Please help with choosing plants for garden bed!

4 months ago
last modified: 4 months ago

I have a large space to fill, and no idea where to start. This is in front of our front porch, which is flat to the ground. No railing, just leads into the garden bed which has weed fabric and mulch for now, and then some edging and the lawn. The space is about 20' wide by 9' deep. One one end there is a small rose plant (not bushy like some other ones we have) but other than that it's empty. We are zone 7A in Virginia, and the area is on the west side of our house, so from mid day on gets lots of sun. Used to have rocks with some random plants, like a creepy miniature pine tree thing, but we yanked all that out.

I don't know landscaping plants at all, we mostly do veggies/herbs/flowers in our back yard square foot garden. We don't want hedges, or anything that will "fence in" the porch or cut it off from the yard too much, so we can sit on the porch and still watch the kids in the yard. I do think it would make sense that the side closest to the porch have some taller plants, but nothing higher than 3' or so. I'm picturing various small bushes, grasses, plants, etc., that fill up the area and sort of blend together. Not looking for formal bushes or plants that are just rows. Not sure if that makes sense, just more of a mingling of plants rather than separated.

Anything we can do to have some different colors through the year would be nice. Also looking for low maintenance, but we can manage watering through the summer and giving fertilizer as things need it. Maybe plants more native to the local area?

I go to the garden center and see rows and rows of plants that look great, but trying to figure out how to arrange everything to look good and keep them all healthy is a daunting task. Please help! Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer!

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