A home or business owner who installs a flagpole has the option of leaving the pole to stand alone as a statement or adding to the overall visual effect of the display by including decorative landscaping around the pole's base. A variety of plantings around your flagpole can simplify lawn maintenance, help draw the observer's eye to your exhibit and enhance the overall presentation.
Plant low-growing flowers to encircle the base of the pole. A circular bed extending out from the base of the pole will reduce weed growth and eliminate the need to mow close to the pole. Enhance a patriotic display by choosing a selection of red, white and blue petunias. As the seasons change, mums can extend color into the fall. When estimating the size of the flower bed, ensure that you can still reach the apparatus to raise and lower the flag.
Use the pole as a stabilizer for flowers with long stalks like irises, peonies and lilies. For those who have always wanted to grow flowers that require support, the presence of a flagpole offers just the sturdy anchor point that is needed to keep the blooming stalks high and proud. Plastic-covered wire and cloth ties will not damage the stem or the pole, but still firmly support the flowers that tend to droop under the weight of their showy buds. As a bonus, these perennial choices will return year after year without the need for replanting.
Attract butterflies and hummingbirds by planting hardy wildflowers, like bleeding heart. Other tall wildflowers--like Echinacea--do not require support, yet add height and can dress up or camouflage the bare metal. Their softer outline will help to break up the stark line of the pole and add visual variety. These plants are hardy and simple to start from seed.
Install a circle of shrubs. Choose compact shrubs for their decorative foliage to add interest at ground level, or select shrubs for their simple shape and muted colors to keep the focus on your flag. Any shrub that is acceptable as a border plant can serve well around a flagpole. Many smaller varieties require little or no pruning to maintain their shape.
Options are available that offer plain foliage, decorative flowers, attractive berries or a combination of these attributes. Some examples include Coralberry, which has small flowers and berries, and Korean boxwood, with shiny green leaves.