easy edging plant for rose/cottage beds

ilovemyroses(8 Dallas TX)June 1, 2013

I stuggle with cohesiveness in my garden designs as I like a little bit (one!) of everything! Have over 200 roses, and now lots of perennials thrown in there, always going for the cottage look, but it is Texas, and I have lots of beds, and no gardener...

so, I have a few plants I repeat, lavender, catmint, etc.

I am thinking of doing a bit more organized bordering of some of the beds, particularly those that line the sidewalks and some low walls. Would love a no/low water plant, but MUSt be something that needs no care. And doesn''t get invasive. The catmint gets reallly BIG! as does rosemary, and lavender.

Am thinking about pink skullcap. I have some in scattered places, and maybe every other year I shear it, it never gets bigger than 24 inches around, short, IDK, seems like the perfect answer. I like the color, insignificant but nice bloom, EVERGREEN for the most part. can take full blazing sun to part sun.

Can you think of anything better?? And found it on sale pretty cheap, $2 for 4 inch pots.

EVERGREEN, LOW WATER, NOT INVASIVE, NOT HUGE GROWING, GREEN as opposed to grey green which I don't prefer so much off, CHEAP!

Hate to go plop $100 plus on it but seems like a pretty good answer. Had thought of blackfoot daisy but that isn't evergreen and can get a little ratty. germander can't take the blazing sun without irrigation.


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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

I know you mentioned you have lavenders, but what about hidcote?

I have two young plants, but I love the bright green of the plants and nice compact size. I plan on buying more and making a hedge with them.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 11:10PM
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Maybe Homestead Verbena or Delosperma cooperi (Ice Plant)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 3:19AM
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ilovemyroses(8 Dallas TX)

Kippy, I suppose Hidcote doesn't get huge?? That is certainly a pretty plant. And maybe a better idea for the sidewalk areas. I will investigate. Let me know what you know about the hugeness factor??!!

Sandi, doesn't homestead get huge? I just can't have something that gets the size of walkers low catmint, I am constantly having to keep it in bounds. But ice plant is a great idea, one I have not tried. I saw it at a nursery the other day, cheap, and was not that familiar. funny you mention it. I will certainly check this out too!! Here I go again....so many great options!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 9:27AM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Depending on the website I check, I find Hidcote to get to be between 1-2 feet. So far mine in bloom is about 18".

I want to do a row I can trim like a hedge in our lower garden where the chickens patrol. I am hoping it reads the size info from the suppliers!

I also have Munstead, Goodwin Gray and I think one other. I also have the usual suspects one finds at Home Depot. The HD ones the ones that get much bigger than I want and I have been moving them-very unsuccessfully too but that could have more to do with my lack of concern if they survive the move due to the size of the plant.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hidcote

This post was edited by Kippy-the-Hippy on Sun, Jun 2, 13 at 12:52

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 12:47PM
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Homestead does get pretty big, but is so easy to trim and root someplace else. I would think where you live you could plant some of the other verbenas (like the Tapien) and they would be evergreen. I had Tapien planted in NC and it didn't spread as much as Homestead and bloomed all winter.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 12:50PM
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Interesting thread, I'm curious about your lavender, ilovemyroses, does it grow well for you? I've tried it in pots, no luck at all.

One low growing plant I've tried with good results has been the different sedums, they add a lot of interest and texture, as well as color to the beds.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 12:10AM
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Hidcote is wonderful! It makes it through our cold winters, stays small (our catmint gets huge, too) and has such pretty purple flowers. They're small, but elegant and look lovely with daisies, roses, bee balm, alyssum...well, just about everything :)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 2:54PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Would Dianthus (Pinks) work?


    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 11:05AM
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ilovemyroses(8 Dallas TX)

Aren't they annual, Annette? I bought some hidcote, all. Ogrose, I have pretty good luck with it. Provence does best, I think, but have a Spanish doing quite well. It is finicky. I put lava sand and/or expanded shale to ensure good drainage. And full, full sun. No water unless wilting. Try it.

Homestead verbena gets a bit sprawly on me.

I'm rooting some alleged prostrate germander. So far so good. That, regular germander (I grow this in part morning sun areas and it does fine, looks too delicate for full texas sun), skullcap, etc are going to be my reliable edgers. I just can't quite get my garden lush enough for my tastes, as I don't like to see the mulch!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 7:40PM
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I have about a 20'X3" flowerbed on the east side of my house that I planted with red roses in February and am also trying to find companion plants after removing mint (although I notice here and there it's coming back, probably won't EVER be able to get it all out, but am trying!). I easily rooted a skullcap this winter and planted it to see how that would work out,, but it looks like it's struggling, so am looking for some sort of companion plants, too.

I do notice that a purple salvia does well in this bed, it gets morning sun and afternoon shade, so may go with that and be done with it..

The roses are Firefighter, Oklahoma, Francis Debreuil and Stephen's Big Purple (yikes!), along with a Souv Dr. Jamain that hasn't done anything for two years, and the wonderful Dr Huey that sprung up out of nowhere (and I can't get rid of). I'll be interested to see if this works. Must say at this point I am enjoying the wild colors, so we'll see...This is pretty much my first foray into the more modern roses, and so far they look healthy.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 12:45AM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

If yellow flowers are okay, damianita (chrysactinia mexicana) might be a great fit. Nice fine textured green evergreen foliage, low water use, long blooming, non-agressive growth, and tops out at under two feet. Seems happy in the Dallas alkaline clay as long as it's feet are not left wet, especially in winter. It takes full sun, though ours is doing fine in partial (2 p.m.+) shade.

Don't recall seeing them around Dallas in the lower cost ~4" pots, so cost might be an issue. But apparently can be started from seed or cuttings, so one plant could eventually fill your whole space.

Here is a link that might be useful: Damianita: chrysactinia mexicana

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 9:23PM
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You had mentioned evergreen so I thought I would put out the idea of using something unusual... curly leafed parsley.

I've seen it used in gardens in Quebec and they looked spectacular. helped frame the garden bed.

Anyway, just an idea.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 12:44PM
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fluffyflowers(z8 GA)

Hens & chicks. That's what I added to the edge of my side yard boarder and I love them. They're cheap and very easy to propagate. Plus, they don't need extra water. And, they make a nice texture contrast with most perennials and a lovely color contrast as well. Best of luck!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 1:31PM
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This is my first year with a cottage garden, and I used Mexican heather and some dwarf sages in the front. I was worried about them not getting enough water and being in full hot Georgia sun, but they seem to love it. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 1:43AM
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ilovemyroses(8 Dallas TX)

I'm trying a lot of the above, and just bought Green Cotton Lavendar, just a few, to try for some "fill", its all getting there , thanks for the ideas, I'm using most all of them!!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 11:44PM
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Back to ilovemyroses' question about Dianthus 'Aren't they annual?' No, most Dianthus are perennials. All the old fashioned garden pinks frequently seen edging rose beds are perennials such as Mrs Sinkins, Doris, Gran's Favourite etc. They are classic cottage garden plants and the fragrance is fabulous.

Regarding your cotton lavender. It will benefit from close clipping after flowering, or just before if you don't like the flowers. Otherwise the clumps split and fall open.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cottage pinks

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 11:28AM
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ilovemyroses(8 Dallas TX)

Florauk, good to know on both counts!!! Thanks! I'll follow yr advise!!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 8:56PM
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Love the Dianthus. It has come back and bloomed wonderfully for five years now.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 10:56PM
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