Return to the Native Plants Forum | Post a Follow-Up

'front border' plant for partial sun location, mid-Atlantic

Posted by lrobins z6b MD (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 10, 06 at 13:29

I am looking for a "front border" plant for the front 2 to 3 feet of a 22 ft wide x 10 ft deep bed on the side of a townhouse, filled with a variety of native shrubs and perennials. The front part of the bed was starting to look messy and poorly maintained, because of too many different plants crowded together. I decided that the best solution was to clear out the front and replant with (possibly) only one plant, aiming for a more uniform appearance. Actually, I did leave one thing in the "front border" area, a group of Zizia aptera (heart-leaved golden alexander).

Requirements are:
# 2 feet tall or less
# tolerant of partial sun / light shade (there is clear sky directly overhead, but the hours of sun are limited by townhouses and trees surrounded the bed, so it is almost like a small interior courtyard)
# preferably spring flowering (for variety, because the taller perennials in the middle and back are summer flowering)
# average, silt loam soil, medium moisture (doesn't have to be drought-tolerant because bed has a drip irrigation system), almost neutral pH (6.8)
# some spreading is good, to fill in the area, but doesn't need to be a very fast spreader
# native to mid-Atlantic region (PA - MD - VA)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: 'front border' plant for partial sun location, mid-Atlantic

With 22 feet to play with, I would suggest using 3 to 4 varieties but repeat the plants, say plant A in the centre, flanked on either side by plant B, then plant C on the other side of B, and either D or A again on the other side of C. This will be more interesting than all the same. Plant in two staggered rows using three of each plant.

Suggestions: Low growing potentilla shrubs (bloom June to frost with yellow blooms), waterleaf (leaf texture, small flowers), Virginia blue bell (great early colour, dies back after flowering so over plant with something else), cammsia -- (spikes of flowers early, interesting leaves after), Geum triflorum (early pink flowers followed by feathery seedheads and attractive leaves), Heuchera(coloured spikes followed by interesting foliage), dicentra exima (fern like foliage, pink heart shaped flowers), Missouri sundrops, dwarf coreopisis, columbine, Geranium maculatum, the shorter Penstemons (like hairy), grey goldenod, heartleaved aster, liatrus cylindrica.

RE: 'front border' plant for partial sun location, mid-Atlantic

Tiarella cordifolia, Mitella diphylla, Chrysgonum virginianum, Fragaria virginina, Waldsteinia (barren strawberry), Viloa labradorica, Iris cristata

RE: 'front border' plant for partial sun location, mid-Atlantic

Some ferns: ebony spleenwort, broad beech (can be a spreader), lady fern. Also mouse eared coreopsis (Coreopsis auriculata), which can also be a spreader, but the database does not show it occurring in Maryland (Virginia, yes).

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Native Plants Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here