"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Livin' on the edge.

I sometimes have a difficult time figuring out what to plant at the front of flower beds or along paths in my garden.  I like the look of low, "billowy" plants.  I've found some different ones through lots of plant moving or even a volunteer plant that ended up working really well to soften the hard edges of edging stones or stone pavers.  It needs to add more interest than just its flowers too, since it will still be very noticeable once it finishes blooming.
Here are some that are looking nice now and stay looking good throughout the summer.

Lady's Mantle (alchemilla mollis) looks pretty even when it's not in bloom.  The leaves look so pretty when they have water on them.  You can see lots of volunteers in the front.

Lamb's Ear (stachys byzantina) or "Sheep" as the littlest gardener calls them, are another one that I like to use to add some interesting texture.  I bought a one gallon plant many years ago and just continue to divide it and plant it where I want it grow.

Hosta's look really pretty growing along the edge of the pond.

Ferns add a natural feel with their airy foliage against the straight edges of the stone.

These geraniums 'Wargrave Pink' planted themselves here.  I had a hard time finding something that would grow in the dry soil under the pine tree.  These bloom most of the summer and I really like how they look.

Catmint (nepeta) 'Walker's Low' is a really nice one to drape over the edge of the path.  This is another one that will bloom all summer if I give it a good haircut after the first flush of blooms finishes.

I'm always looking for other ideas of plants for edging.  What are some of your favorites?

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  1. All of your edgings look good. I think I should just print out your posts every day and compose a book! I study yours more than anyone elses because you list everything that's planted and why you put it there. Maybe I'm ready to dig a path.

  2. this is a very difficult thing for me. I don't seem to ever be happy with my edges. Yours are beautiful.

  3. Hi Catherine

    I don't know if you're into grasses at all but I discovered Hordeum Jubatum at a nursery this week. Its easy to grow and can seed itself around. If you google it there's loads of images and stuff.

  4. How very pretty everything looks Catherine. I have some Autumn Joy sedums which are large enough now that they make a good edging plant also. If they get tall and straggly looking, I just give them a good trim in later Summer.

  5. You have some of my favorites for sure.

    When we moved here (twenty-four) years ago, I found a new little creeping blue friend, a sweet little Veronica Veronica (filiformis) that creeps and crawls and fills in cracks and spaces quite nicely. She and I met in our lawn but she didn't seem to mind being asked to move to the beds, but I do still love it when she wanders around our lawn.

  6. It does look very good and mature, healthy, billowy;) I have an assortment of things right now. Everything from annual begonias to diamond frost euphorbia.

  7. Everything is all neat and tidy. I like your photos of your garden.

  8. All some of my favorite plants. The only one that does not grow well here is the Lady's mantle. It does not like our hot and humid summers. It is so pretty in mother's garden in Maine though. Artemesia 'Powis Castle' is also a nice one for softening stones. I use it everywhere here. Your garden is most lovely. I like those long shots!

  9. Thank you, I was just looking for some edging. Yours looks lovely.

  10. Love all these plants!

    I have lots of Alchemilla mollis as edging - but have to make sure the seeds don't grow in my lawns, as they are most prolific!

    I also like Uncinia rubra, which is a lovely red grass.

  11. Those plants are beautiful Catherine. I'm afraid I don't have any edging plants.

  12. Linda - Thanks, but once I've listed them all I'll run out of posts. Guess I need to keep on plant shopping then :) I think you should start a path!

    Darla - I think it's hard too, trying to find something low and interesting that flows with the rest of the plants in the bed.

    Rob- Thanks, I will into that one. I don't have grasses and think they really add a lot to a garden.

    Mildred - You're right 'Autumn Joy' is a nice one for edging. I have some in the backyard and I love how easy it is to divide and spread around.

    Lanny - I'm going to look for that Veronica, I really like them. It sounds like it's easy to keep in control too.

    Anna - I saw that euphorbia at the store and really liked how it looks. Great ideas for edging!

    Abe - Thanks! I've been trying to stay on top of the weeds, but they seem to appear practically overnight right now.

    Tina - Too bad you can't grow Lady's Mantle. Artemesia is another one I hadn't thought of, I really like the color of it. I bet it does look really nice as an edger.

    Claudia - These are all great ones that are easy to divide or reseed.

    Phoenix - It sure is prolific isn't it? Good thing it's such a pretty plant! A red grass sounds really pretty. I'll have to look that one up too. Thanks!

  13. Susie - Thanks. I don't think all gardens need them. I just have so much stone that it looks kind of hard if I don't. Did you have a race yesterday?

  14. Your edging plants are lovely. I like Catmint too. Another plant with similar habit is Calamintha nepeta nepeta. It has baby breath-type flowers all summer. I love the fragrance of the foliage.

  15. Those are great choices, I love the drape-y lady's mantle and need to get some here, I had it in my old garden in the shade. Hm, I am not too great on garden design but do have some lavender at the edges of some paths, and grasses that edge the rock wall. Your garden is looking so lovely, Catherine! Hope you are enjoying this amazingly sunny week.

  16. I like the ferns and the lush growth around the pond. It's nice to see that the geraniums had the fortitude to sow themselves right where you wanted them (there's more intelligence in plant life than we care to acknowledge).

  17. Great idea for a post! I have some of those, but hadn't thought of the catmint for being on the edge. I tend to plant that next to the edge plants. That's a good idea!

  18. I am really going to have to get some catmint this year. I love the look of it just about anywhere in the garden but along the walkways it looks so nice! Great info and ideas!

  19. Great choices. I also use Lamb's Ear, although mine start to look tough and I end up ripping it all out!

  20. Nice effect, Catherine. I love the lamb ears - so right about it adding a unique texture. Catmint! That makes it look extra cool.

  21. Oops! Only now did I realize that I posted under my sis' used ID (Shankara). Anyways, that's me. I didn't notice that my sis was logged in :D

  22. What a lovely post Catherine. I don't have much in the way of edges as we have built up walls with flowers in the top! There are some beds in the lawn but I keep things from spilling over or it makes the grass cutting difficult. One of my favourite plants is alchemilla mollis. I love the way it plants itself in the odd nooks and crannies and also geraniums are wonderful for that. As you have discovered!


  23. Hi Catherine. I love Lady's Mantle but only for the foliage. I don't even let mine bloom, just snip off the blooms before they can open. Campanulas and diascia are some of my favorite edgers.

  24. sweet bay - The calamintha sounds really pretty, I'll have to look for that.

    Karen - I like how lavender looks as an edging plant too, it's a good one for people to brush against as they walk by too.

    Prospero - It is funny how some plants end up growing in places on their own and do better than plants we think we're putting in just the right spot.

    Sue - Thanks. Catmint really is a great plant no matter where it ends up.

    Heather - it is great, it's really tough. The cats roll on one of the plants and it always comes back great, although it usually has cat hair on it :)

    Melanthia - Good thing about the lamb's ear is if you pull it out usually enough will be left and come back looking good again.

    Chandramouli - Lamb's ear is a great plant too, I usually cut off the flowers. I've left comments before and realized it was under my daughter's name before.

    BT - Alchemilla does end up everywhere including the middle of my path. Easy to transplant or just pull out though. Sometimes I leave it in the odd spots just for fun.

    Kathleen - I guess that would solve the reseeding problem. The other two plants are great edgers too, I forget about diascia for beds and usually just have it in containers.


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