Suggestions for front of border

chezmoose(z4/5 MI)July 16, 2007

I recently expanded a flower bed in my front yard to about 3 times the previous size. The bed has a free-form fieldstone border, roughly 8 inches or so above the height of the lawn. The area is shaded in morning and late afternoon, but receives probably 5-6 hours of sun mid-day. This is probably the sunniest spot in my yard! I have planted hydrangeas in the center of the bed and surrounded them with heuchera of different colors. Our soil is very sandy but we hauled in 3 yards of black dirt that seemed to have a lot of clay mixed in.

I am looking for suggestions as to what to plant around the outside edges of the bed. I am drawing a complete blank. Ideally I would like something fairly low growing (under 8 inches or so?) that flowers for a long time, or something with interesting foliage, or maybe a combination of the two. Something that creeps or cascades over the rocks might look nice too, as long as it doesn't invade the lawn.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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You might explore the shorter varieties of some of the perennials: dianthus, gallardia, geum, penstemon (maybe "crushed grapes") and balloon flower. There's creeping phlox, thrift and lamium.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 11:41AM
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stage_rat(5--Indiana Riviera)

Especially since your soil is mostly sandy, check out anything labeled an Alpine, or for rock gardens. I just learned that "alpine" means "short, and likes good drainage." There are many alpines that will drape over rocks, like creeping phlox (an alpine). I've started a list of short perennials I'd like to try, since I really need to add those to my yard. If you'd like, I can post it or email it.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 1:18AM
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chezmoose(z4/5 MI)

Stage_Rat - wow, I didn't know that! I just assumed Alpine meant they were from the Alps. Good drainage we have! If you could post your list, I'd appreciate it. Always looking for new ideas. Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 6:36PM
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LOL, "short and likes good drainage" is often true of alpines but it's not exactly a definition. Alpines are those plants that are naturally hardy in mountainous conditions. This often means well drained and short but most just tough plants.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 1:12PM
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I have some "Candytuft" in a bed against a fieldstone edge. It's absolutely beautiful when it blooms AND the foliage is evergreen!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Candytuft

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 12:16PM
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try maybe some low ornamental grasses,there are several that are amazing. also some Se dam types can be very interesting in your conditions. Also low ornamental Euonamus can be wonderful. For the spring colour add creeping phlox. Consider adding some small annuals for continues summer blooms.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 10:48PM
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