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Footprint plant ideas needed

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Its winter and time to work on the garden ideas for 2013.
I am looking for ideas for filler or footprint plants to plant around taller plants to keep weeds down and camouflage the feet of same.

What has worked for you?

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I have a lot of ground cover in the front but that doesn't work towards the back. In front of my taller stuff (> 5') I have Monarda, phlox paniculata, shorter lilies, hosta (cuz I can put it pretty much anywhere up here), shorter lilies, short campanula...short speedwell

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

The short campanula is a great idea. Blue Clips and White clips comes to mind.
I'm not familiar with any short speedwells.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Blue and White clips are a bit invasive here. I have the little short guys like those, then there is one about 24" that almost forms a short herbaceous bush. You are right. Not a speedwell, a veronica Giles Van Hees. I think the shorter campunula is called Olympica. How tall are you looking for?

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(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

also Blue Sea Holly is gorgeous, House's Hybrid Scabiosa, and Moulin Rouge Moneywort. All in the 18" range for me.

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Lincoln, NE(Zone 5b)

Sun or shade? I have a campanula Get Mee that is only 3 - 4 inches tall ~ strictly for the front of the border.

That's a nice bunch of choices, Mary. I think your Moulin Rouge is an Astrantia? The sea holly is especially pretty ~ do you know the cultivar? My blooms aren't nearly as full.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Looking for a ground cover type to keep the weeds out.I looked at "Steppables" but those plants form mats and are invasive.
The areas are sun to part sun.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Yes, it is an astrantia. I got a white one in a swap and have them together but I really like the red. It blooms and just keeps on blooming til freezeup. It is called Blue Sapphire. Yes, the wooly thyme will grow everywhere. I use scissors to just give it a haircut to keep it where I want it. Mostly along my paths and between the stepping stones. The golden thyme isn't as bad and is really pretty but not a stepable. I also have Irish and Scottish Moss and another one (thyme) can't remember the name that is really pretty green (prettier than wooly thyme) with a covering of pretty purple flowers for a while. Also not really a stepable. And it is just as invasive as the wooly. I just ruthlessly give them all haircuts to show them who's boss. lol. But they do want to grow back under the peonies and lilies. I still have the stronger weed that wants to grow up through it. I just cut a hole and dig out the weed. The groundcover will fill in quickly. Those are the only really short ones I have. Oh, I have some about 6" tall but not sure if that was what you were looking for.

Moby, I will have to look up your campanula. I really like them. So many different kinds throughout my garden.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

The campanul Olympic can be bought at Bluestone.Its definitely a contender

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I will see who sells Get Mee. I found two other campanula this summer and have them in my 'nursery' out back. If they return and show promise I will figure where they will do best. I am also trying to find things to fill in, more to get a fuller garden look than necessarily to keep weeds down. I have so many tall things from ligularia and phlox paniculata to lilies, delphinium, hollyhock. I put peonies in front along with spots for dahlias and the shorter lilies on down to the campanula, Becky daisy, some sedum and Purple Dragon lamium.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

I love this campanula Blue Waterfalls.I plant it under large hostas and in the middle of the garden plus containers.

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(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I have that also. Hadn't thought about putting it under hosta. course my hosta aren't very big yet. I have one in a pot and one at the bottom of a very gentle slope next to a sedum and in front of some fringed bleeding heart and lilies. Stupid BH keeps going nuts and I have to continually chop it back so it doesn't over grow the campanula and a Rote Glocke next to it. I probably need a more tidy plant above the campanula and at the base of the lilies

South Lake Tahoe, CA(Zone 6a)

I use Dicentra Luxuriant Bleeding Hearts as a filler for shaded areas
and Tri-Color Stonecrop for sun.

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Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

WOW so many suggestions.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I guess 'dicentra' is the correct name for what I call 'fringed' bleeding heart. Kind of lacy like.

Hope some of the suggestions work for you. Certainly giving me some ideas. lol

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I looked up Get Mee and came up with Campanula portenschlagiana also called Dalmatian Bellflower. I have had it but it died. Lookwise it is similar to blue waterfall (campanula-poscharskyana) also called Serbian Bellflower.

I wonder what the difference, other than the obvious names, is?

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

I am not a Bleeding heart fan but whay I do know of it is the fringed leaf one is the old variety.

I'll check out both campanulas and see whats up.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

I found both Serbian and Delmatian bell flowers and the Blue Waterfalls ( serbian) seems to have longer petals on the bellshaped blooms.Delmatians are shorter anr more rounded. I am not a plant expert,this is just the difference I saw.

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(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I like them both. I will have to look for the one I don't have. I am trying to introduce plants like this into the rock around my pond. Thanks for the comparison.

South Lake Tahoe, CA(Zone 6a)

Dicentra eximia
Fringed fern leaf

its all the same and very nice in a shade garden

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I looked at my database and I show it as dicentra formosa. I wonder what the difference is. I will have to look it up.


dicentra formosa is western, wild or Pacific bleeding heart
Dicentra eximia (Wild or Fringed Bleeding-heart, Turkey-corn)

Interesting huh?

This message was edited Oct 31, 2012 12:52 PM

Santa Ana, CA(Zone 10b)

I have the Serbian bellflower in my zone 10 garden, and here it is aggressive! The Dalmation bellflower is much more compact and well mannered. In your zone, I'm sure things would be different since ours grows year round.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

True. Our winter has a habit of taming the most formidable plants. Not all though.

Houston, PA(Zone 6a)

I love Lysimachia nummularia 'Aurea' , Golden Creeping Jenny. It's such a cool color and covers really fast. You can take just a small scoop of it and plant it and in a month it's covered a nice size area. I started with a 3" pot 2 years ago and I have it all over the place now.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Sorry no Creeping Jenny here.Its out of control

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Hi SP,

Does dicentra persist there? Ours goes dormant in summer.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

That's interesting Donna. Ours just grows and grows and blooms forever over the summer. I have the 'Aurea' along the edge of my pond and thus far is is very managable. It takes a hit over winter and then takes off in spring. Same with the Blue Waterfall.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

I guess my Blue Waterfall has just enough cold to keep it inbounds.I lost one and could never figure out why.Now I know it wasnt getting enough sun.

South Lake Tahoe, CA(Zone 6a)

Dicentra Luxuriant is everblooming until frost.
They prefer filtered sunlight, but tolerates more sun and hotter climates then any other dicentra as long as the soil is kept moist throughout the summer.
When the weather cools, it reblooms again in Fall.
The roots spread quickly and forms new shoots each year for continuous divisions.

I add in lots of compost and peat moss to my organic soil to enhance its water retention capabilities.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Mine are in full sun for the most part. At least the fringed ones are. The regular dicentra get either early morning sun or late afternoon sun. The guys on the NW side of the house only get afternoon sun and they are against the footing of the house so they have really cool roots and quite warm sun late in the day. They grow huge and overhand my rhubarb. I have constructed cages finally this fall that I have lagged to the side of the house to keep them above the rhubarb. I like them too much to just dig them up although I have probably dug up and shared at least half a dozen over time. I have one white one left there and I bought 'Valentine' two years ago which is a nice red rather than the pink of the 'garden variety' I have.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

The differences in dicentra are really interesting. It's a garden cliche here that the "problem" with dicentra is that you must put some kind of marker near it so that you will not inadvertently dig into it after it goes dormant. I thought that if I kept mine (inherited) watered I could keep it from going dormant. Nope! And then I almost dug into it!

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