Looking for pretty flowering perinneal for front of house!

wendync(7b)October 19, 2013

Hey guys,

I've lived in my house for a year and when we moved in, there was a pretty white flowering plant near the front door. Unfortunately, the yard people seeded a bunch of grass up there and after some vigorous attempts to remove the grass from the decorative border, the plant did poorly and we removed it.

The area has been bare for a few months now and i"m tired of looking at it. I want some suggestions for something that would look nice here, preferably something that would flower in the warm months and come back year after year.

I was sort of considering a lavender, but I don't have a whole lot of knowledge on this stuff yet, so I wanted suggestions. I live NC, zone 7 and the area gets pretty intense sun in the afternoon.

Here's a pic of the barren area(around where the stone is and the ajuga ends), there's some weeds in there right now.

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Hmm, the big issue you have is the small space. You only have a max of 18" wide. Anything you put in would have to be a miniature cultivar.
Azalea, Daphne odora. If you thought Lavender, why not Rosemary? it will smell nice and they're so cheap you can replace it every 3 years for about $3.
If you have the same space on the other side, you might consider dwarf Alberta Spruces flanking the front door there.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 9:31AM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

Chances are in a year or two that ajuga will fill the entire space.
If you act now to dig holes and bury durable pots filled with decent potting soil you can capture spaces to plant annuals like big bushy geraniums.
First though, I'd recommend you take up the edging stones and install a solid edging to keep the grass out of the border. Have it come up at least 2 inches above the soil level so the lawn can be edged/mown more easily. Go with
a metal edging with a rolled lip rather than plastic.
You can then set your edging stones, if you like, inside the border edging.

Is the gutter downspout set into an underground piping collector or is the rainfall dumped on the foundation border?
If it catches a lot of moisture your idea for lavender and rosemary is doomed to failure from root rot.

The pots you bury want to be at least an inch above ground level to keep the ajuga at bay. You could also try
digging holes among the ajuga with a bulb planter and tuck
in mini narcissus which will look pretty blooming bright yellow among the blue ajuga blooms.
The narcissus leaves will die back in late spring and be unnoticeable until the following late winter. Leave the leaves alone to die back when they're ready because they are feeding the bulbs for next years blooms.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 10:30AM
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topsiebeezelbub(z7 Al)

"over the top" is a spray that kills grass only...easier that pulling. I like Dottie's idea of burying a pot...that way you can switch out seasonal things...mums, pansies, angelonia, gerbera, coleus...lots of stuff. I used to have 2 big Kimberly Queen Sun ferns and had 2 big plastic pots buried in the ground. When winter came the ferns came inside and I filled the pots with leaves. Can't think of anything that is evergreen, small, and blooms.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 3:07PM
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topsiebeezelbub(z7 Al)

PS. Chocolate mint would be pretty and smell good and like the extra water.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 3:09PM
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I agree that the downspout might be an issue in an area intended for arid-loving lavender and rosemary, but might work. I also really, really like Coreopsis, especially 'Moonbeam'. It is a hardy perennial (SE native) and flowers for many, many months!

Opuntia cacti are small, evergreen and bloom but the bloom period is not the longest (June-July).

Here is a link that might be useful: Coreopsis

This post was edited by njoasis on Fri, Oct 25, 13 at 19:12

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 7:03PM
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jcalhoun(8b Mobile County AL)

Milkweed may work and butterflies like them.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 5:09PM
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My favorite flowering perennial is Autumn Sage. It loves the heat and blooms like crazy after a rain. Butterflies love it. You can prune it to fit your spot. I wish I knew how to post a picture. Mine is looking gorgeous right now.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 6:43PM
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