Need suggestions for perennials near school walkway
I have been in charge of our children's elementary school garden in the front of the building for a few years (it was an absolute mess before then, just not enough volunteers to keep it under control). We received a very generous donation of perennials from a fantastic nursery, and while most survived the winter, many in the front portions of the garden near the sidewalks are gone. There are two reasons why this happened.
1. The snow plows go too far and dug into the front part of the gardens, and
2. Every once in a while, kids do not stay on the sidewalks and trample the ground, especially before something has emerged from the ground.
We cannot use stakes to warn the snow crews to avoid the garden as the principal is worried that the kids will pull them out of the ground and use them as swords (which I kinda can imagine happening :-), but I would love it if we could have some plants in that front 12-18 inches of ground to help keep the weeds down and to beautify the area.
Does anyone have any recommendations of perennials or anything, really, that could handle a snow plow, maybe some deicing salt (I imagine that there is some of that going on), and some trampling by elementary school kids??? It is mostly sunny, if that helps. I am just at a loss as far as what to plant, if anything exists that might even survive these conditions.
Thanks for any input you can provide!