Groundcover patchwork quilt

ptilda(3/4)July 18, 2009

My nephew worked in a restaurant, and had the wisdom to save a couple of dozen plastic 5-gallon oil containers from the dumpster. I've inherited these, and I want to make a sort of "patchwork quilt" with them.

The idea is that I will cut the top & bottom off of the containers (which have a square shape), and bury them in the ground up to the top edge (with about 1/2 inch showing above ground before the mulch is applied). Then, I want to fill them in a patchwork-quilt pattern with different ground covers and other similar plants, in a wide range of colors and textures.

All of these plants should be low-growing (a foot or less), flowers are great, but not essential, and they should spread by root or runners. Also, this is going to be in dappled sun/mostly shade, so the plants have to be okay with that.

So far, I have several kinds of mini Hostas, pink and white Lily of the Valley and wild ginger that I can use. I am thinking of using about 4 of the squares with gravel or colored landscaping rocks or river rocks in them, and some sort of little sculpture or other item in that square. I'm also thinking about a larger item in the middle square, maybe a short bird-bath or gazing ball (although I think most of those are corny).

The "quilt" will be at my mother's house (where I have "my" garden), and I am in college full-time, out of town, and only have summers (not always guaranteed) and some weekends to attend the garden, so it has to be low-maintenance. We can do annuals in some of the squares, but getting them planted might be a trick. And spring bulbs are a nice idea, but what about when they finish blooming?

One more "hitch", I'm in the crack of zones 3/4, so it's gotta be hardy! I'm looking for about 6 more plants that I can include in this. The more interesting, the better!

Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Need Advice. Flowering Groundcovers and Moisture
Friend is redoing an entrance way to an apartment...
alexis717_df
Mini Brass Buttons in Shade
I'm hoping to hear from anyone that has had experience...
bveronico
Surprising Ajuga Findings and Questions
Just thought I'd share something I discovered about...
MisterLeadFoot_Z9
Replacing groundcover
What (preferably flowering) groundcover would stay...
gcotterl
Walnut Shell as ground cover alternative
does anyone have any experience of crushed walnut shells...
SCinCulverCity
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™